I will admit I struggle with Martin Amis as a writer, I do not like his approach to books as he often appears as a misogynist. Often he writes crude and crushing things about women, "If you're going to be violent stick to women. Stick to the weak."
That came within the first 10 pages and its set me up to think I just need to get through this book.
The concept is quite a good idea, an author with decades of writers block trying to find a story. However the length he goes to get this story is supposed to create "black humour". I didn't find the book funny at any lengths, it was disturbing.
The books opening page was ominous, "I know the murder I know the murderee. I know the time, I know the place."
I will compliment Amis on his ability to create suspense, it doesn't make you comfortable. One of the methods he uses is telling the story through unreliable narrators, four narrators, helping the author tell the story.
None of the characters have redeeming characteristics, they all use each other. Keith Talent, the thief or cheat, Nicola Six, the motive, Guy Clinch, the weak one and the author Samson Young who is terminally ill but will do anything to get his break.
Throughout the book what the characters do will make you raise your eyebrows. Yet the ending s probably the best bit without sounding to callous.
After Miss Pettigrew most books were going to fall short. But one thing I can say is that Martin Amis is a successful writer however he is one I don't enjoy.