THE SCALDING ROOMS by Conrad Williams, intro by Graham Joyce, dj by Edward Miller. Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK; PS Publishing; 2007. 1st edition PPC semi-hardcover (trade paperback bound in pictorial boards).
Some nights you can hear screams rising up from The Eyes, the abattoir on New Cut Lane. Those screams belong to the animals queuing up to be slaughtered there. Well, most of them do...
The Eyes is a brutal place to work, let alone die. Many lives have been lost there over the years, sometimes due to faulty machinery, sometimes because of disease, and occasionally when the trapped animals turn on their executioners. But it remains the only employer for most of the people who live in and around the town of Red Meadows. The alternatives include alcohol, random violence and suicide. Some might say those were vastly more attractive. Junko Cane would disagree. Having clawed his way back from a grim life of gang warfare, he is happy with his job, despite the ogreish abattoir boss, Max Grappen. The work, though unpleasant and treacherous, puts food on the table for his wife and child. Life, such as it is, has its comforts.
The shadowy past that Junko has tried to leave behind won't give him up so easily, though. When he stumbles across Max Grappen's key card Junko's curiosity gets the better of him and he uses it to access the hidden world of his employer. But he is not the only person investigating Grappen's past. The enigmatic Boa Cleethe, injury analyst, is also suspicious of the abattoir chief. And Junko's nemesis, crime lord Krave Wheaste, is breathing down his neck.
What Junko and Boa discover together will not only put the wider population of Red Meadows into terrible danger, but will menace Junko's fragile family and expose the shocking, insane and murderous secrets of The Eyes.
Fine. Issued in a SIGNED/LIMITED edition of 500 PPC semi-hardcover copies SIGNED BY AUTHOR ONLY.