Jason Purdy’s Cigarette follows the misadventures of self-appointed ‘ex- gangster’ Dave Benson as he unsuccessfully attempts to see off his previous shady life in style. When his childhood friend, Jimmy, comes knocking on his door with one last job, Dave finds himself unable to refuse the offer.
In Dave Benson, Jason Purdy has created an unlikely hero; an alcoholic unhinged character with a missing finger and an irrational fear of smoking, working a 9-5 desk job he doesn’t understand, Dave is also a man stuck in limbo. His struggle to leave the past behind leads to a bizarre series of dealings with a gangster called Drum, and his three psychotic partners.
With both chilling moments and fantastic streaks of dry humour, Cigarette is a darkly funny novel that gently pastiches the familiar clichés of gangster fiction. Jason Purdy has developed fascinating and identifiable characters that could easily live beyond the pages of his first novel.