Gotta say I'm quite enjoying Lee Thompson's digression into crime fiction, the general scope of feeling is still dark and gritty, the characters broken, surviving but only just.
It's Only Death is told through the eyes of Elmore James Jackson Jr who comes back home after 10 years of self-enforced exile when his Mother is at deaths door. James sister Harley reaches out and he risks plenty to pay a last visit but it was never going to be that easy, not with the anguish and regret that follows him round chipping at his soul.
You see ten years ago James decided to rob a bank in his home town, not the wisest decision anyone ever made and the police officer that attempted to stop him paid for it big time with his life. James without any hesitation shot and killed his father, and then ran, left everything behind except the demons burrowing deep in his conscience.
Now he's back and his fragile mind is not the only thing looking to fuck him over, no there's a list of people on both sides of the law looking to introduce him permanently to a shallow grave. There's a lot to catch up on truth be told and a hell of a lot, desperate to catch up with him, the majority of it precarious at best.
He strives to put things right, to make amends but too much water's gone under the bridge, it's an impossible task and his sister's been ripped off over his mother's medical bills. On top of that he's pissed the wrong people off and it’s all coming down on his head. Does he run again, abandon his family again or does he fight, it's well worth finding out what James Jr decides.
Lee Thompson excels at portraying a flawed character that is difficult to get a handle on, so much conflict and torment torture James Jackson he at times seems destined for a collision in his own mind but he needs to do right by his sister, finally after all these years and that's that.
“It’s only death,” I said. “Nothing to be afraid of.”