Alan Trotter

A mind-bending slice of pulp fiction, which takes a traditional noir story of detectives, toughs and femmes fatales and pushes it to the limits of our imagination.

Date Published
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In a hard-boiled city of crooks, grifts and rackets lurk a pair of toughs: Box and _____. They’re the kind of men capable of extracting apologies and reparations, of teaching you a chilling lesson. They seldom think twice, and ask very few questions.

Until one night over the poker table, they encounter a pulp writer with wild ideas and an unscrupulous private detective, leading them into what is either a classic mystery, a senseless maze of corpses, or an inextricable fever dream . . .

Drunk on cinematic and literary influence, Muscle is a slice of noir fiction in collapse, a ceaselessly imaginative story of violence, boredom and madness.

Critic Reviews

Muscle unfolds like a series of Russian Dolls, each more Beckettian, winding and wonderful than the one before. Compelling enough to read in one gulping go.

Daisy Johnson
Critic Reviews

What a rare and accomplished debut this is - it teases out classic Noir riffs and set-ups but in a language sinuous enough, and with invention ripe enough, to make them feel new.

Kevin Barry
Critic Reviews

A dazzling, muscular debut that is as gritty as it is absurd. Muscle manages to surprise at every turn.

Nikesh Shukla
Critic Reviews

Alan Trotter's Muscle bowls me over. The language of it – the complete boldness and control. Trotter plays with genre with a deft dark humour, the result is a one of the best books I've read in ages. A striking debut from a fierce talent.

Jess Kidd
Critic Reviews

A breathless, breakneck debut; a dizzying amalgam of exploded hard-boiled-isms, modernist acrobatics and hallucinatory sci-fi, propelled by relentlessly inventive prose.

David Keenan, author of THIS IS MEMORIAL DEVICE
Critic Reviews

Muscle reads like a tragi-comic mash-up of Elmore Leonard and Samuel Beckett, with more than a dash of Tarantino for added zing. Trotter delights in the language of noir fiction . . . Trotter is undoubtedly a writer to watch.

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