Review – An Eye for an Eye for an Eye by Marc Nash
It’s not too difficult to see the world that we live in falling into a quagmire of warring factions, where the nation state begins to fall apart under the weight of ever decreasing resources, but Marc Nash describes it with economy and skill. Dystopia is often used to describe the descent into anarchy, and in An Eye for an Eye for an Eye, Nash describes a country depleted of resources and income, ever reducing the services it provides its citizens to such an extent that even the Police are virtually impotent. The death penalty is now routine worldwide, and near instant justice is enacted on those who murder.
Enter Simon Moralee, the solution to the Police’s problems, and the bane of all policemen. Ever since his mother’s death, Simon has been able to recall the last moments of a person’s life, recreating the image of their murderer. Now, throughout the capital city of an unnamed country (but presumably Britain), Simon is chauffeured from one crime scene to the next to identify the culprit. The killers hate him for his efficiency in identifying them; the crime scene investigators hate him for turning them into glorified body men; and the Police themselves hate him for taking away the thrill of the chase. And so each night, Moralee sinks into a drunken stupor on Mezcal.
The story could have ended there, but Nash introduces a neat twist: another person with similar powers to that of Simon, only this time they have the ability to reach into anyone’s mind and read their innermost thoughts. Suddenly Moralee’s very existence is at threat as his own reality and life are questioned from inside his head. The end of the storyline feels almost inevitable, but remains unexpected, and certainly not for the reasons you assume.
An Eye for an Eye for an Eye paints a grey picture of the world, populated by the downtrodden who attempt to find any small escape from the descent into anarchy. This is a sometimes brutal vision of our future, where any faint glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel is rapidly extinguished, yet it’s a compelling read. There are aspects of Nash’s writing which do occasionally throw the narrative off kilter, as a number of descriptive segments are delivered in sentence fragments, but this does not overly detract from the plot. Overall, this is a gripping story, despite the imperfect, marred characters that make it difficult for you to empathise with them.
**** Three and a half stars