I finished reading Warren Ellis’ Gun Machine a couple of days ago. This would be the first novel I’ve read by the same guy who wrote one of mine (and countless others’) favourite comics, Transmetropolitan. Gun Machine is about Detective John Tallow who, through an encounter with a naked man and a shotgun, is left with his partner dead and an apartment full of guns. Guns that are linked to unsolved homicides and owned by heretofore unknown serial killer. You can read better plot summaries from a dozen other Googled sites.
Gun Machine is book that contains the echoes from other Warren Ellis works, like Fell, Transmet and Doktor Sleepless. There’s similarities between Detectives Fell and Tallow. New York crime as it described over the police scanner in Gun Machine, mirror the City’s workings in Transmet and Fell’s Snowtown. The connections made between the suspects and the serial killer and his work, resemble the larger machinations occurring in Doktor Sleepless.
Warren Ellis has this habit, a good habit mind, of taken a small piece of information, a seemingly minor fact or clue, and expanding on it, inflating it to an immense size. He has done it before in a couple of his works and here in Gun Machine it really shines through. His perspective of the serial killer is intriguing throughout until the very end and is the main driving point of the whole book, like all good antagonists.
Its probably a given that any Warren Ellis fan will probably like this book. Others, not so, because writing novels is leading away from comic book work and a few series left unresolved (when will there be more Doktor Sleepless?!). Either way Gun Machine is worth a read.