Upgunned

David J. Schow. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-57137-5
At the outset of Schow’s sardonic tale of hard-boiled hijinks in the film world, a stranger shows up at the studio of photographer and part-time pornographer Elias McCabe and abducts Elias at gunpoint to shoot blackmail photos. Unbeknownst to either, one of Elias’s video cameras records their encounter. When Elias finds out, he uploads the footage to the Internet, blowing the blackmail scam—and signing his death warrant. His abductor goes on a bloody rampage, eliminating anyone who knew of that evening’s events. Elias, realizing that he’ll soon become a target, decides to fight back while hiding out incognito on a New York movie set. Schow (Internecine) works his usual narrative magic, larding his tale with loads of gun porn and spiking it with snappy repartee that gives it brisk forward momentum. This novel reads as not only an entertaining thriller but an incisive commentary on our image-obsessed culture and the difference between real-life and cinematic violence. Agent: John Silbersack, Trident Media. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/19/2011
Release date: 02/14/2012
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