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The Independent Culture
2 Savage Life by James Rogers, Serpent's Tail £8.99.

A reckless pace yet sound plotting carry this black slapstick of residual post-Thatcherite greed and growing up. Teen-aged Gaz, aspirant housebreaker, discovers that his long-lost father (who doesn't want to know) is Dorian Savage, chairman of the insurance brokers Savage Life and owner of a flash suburban pile and mammoth yacht. Working for Savage senior is tarnished yuppie Colin Nutter, whose spouse is about to appear as Grunt magazine's "Reader's Wife of the Month" (Gaz stole the loaded Nutter camera) and simultaneously to undergo a Jehovah's Witness conversion. A burglar alarm- fitter turns hit man through a drunken misunderstanding with Nutter, and starts off a grisly body count. James Rogers, who is strong on mock-Victorian pubs, the gear of youf and a range of Shepherd's Bush accents, doesn't quite trust his readers' ability to keep track of the plot and throws in a few extraneous recaps of the-story-so-far, but he is a dedicated entertainer. The book's cover, showing a little girls' beauty contest, bears no relation to any of this and must surely have been intended for another book.

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