A Merciless, Morally Hazy Neo-Noir: The Student by Iain Ryan

A Merciless, Morally Hazy Neo-Noir: The Student by Iain Ryan

Student strap line_HIRES[1]In this morally hazy neo-noir, Iain Ryan portrays an immaculate vision of hardboiled regional crime. Ryan is a compelling storyteller who balances stunning prose and a level of suspense that shares the robustness found in top-shelf thrillers. But that’s not all – Ryan has a gift for stylising his angsty protagonist’s voice, echoing a modern Holden Caulfield.

In Queensland 1994, Nate, a sometimes student, sometimes drug dealer, finds himself in a tricky spot when his friend and weed supplier Jesse goes missing. From that point his life is thrown into the hidden darkness of deception and suspense that lies beneath the surface of the otherwise calm and ordinary university campus life. Especially when bikies from a local gang hold a knife to his throat and urge him to get their money. And a girl called Maya Kibby is found dead. And Jesse’s house appears totally abandoned.

After all, people depend on Nate, and their patience (and business) is wearing thin. Things are becoming all too much for young Nate. He can’t even remember whether he’s slept.

In a state of druggy disorientation he stumbles through Thursday and Friday, searching even deeper for the truth, until he finds out far more than he bargained for – realising that secretive things, more than petty weed dealing, are happening in the town’s underbelly.

But has Nate merely developed some good old paranoia from all his recreational habits? Or is something seriously sinister going on around him?

This is an obsessive, neurotic read, easily sliding between psychological distress and page-flicking anticipation. More than anything else, Nate, in classic anti-hero form, is worried about keeping himself safe first – which is increasingly tough with the escalating pressure from the bikies who want a stack of cash from him, and the police who are equally perplexed regarding Jesse’s whereabouts. Tensions skyrocket by Sunday, beginning the third act with the killer sentence, ‘I wake up in my car at dawn and start thinking about where I can buy a gun.’Iain Ryan

Ryan’s debut novel is a cornucopia of disaffected youths, eccentrics, and menacing deadbeats. His writing style is stripped back and poetic, sacrificing embellishment for cutthroat economy.

Iain Ryan grew up in the Brisbane suburbs. At the age of seventeen he moved to Gatton (Qld) to attend university. Following a short stint in property economics, Ryan pursued his interest in music and for a number of chaotic (and fun) years performed as a touring musician. Feeling burnt out and on the advice of his therapist, he started writing fiction. In 2015, his first novel, Four Days was published and in 2016 it was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. He lives in Melbourne.

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                      Publisher details

                      The Student
                      Author
                      Iain Ryan
                      Publisher
                      Echo Publishing
                      Released
                      01 July, 2017

                      Synopsis

                      A high-paced, hardboiled regional noir: fresh, gritty, unnerving, with a stark and lonely beauty.Do bad people look like good people, like friends and brothers and boyfriends and students, until they have their hands around your throat? All of these men standing around me, drinks in hand, backs to this screen… smiling, laughing, flirting, and they look harmless. But any one of them could be something else now: rapist, murdered, spree shooter, torturer, paedophile. I try to picture them sprayed with blood and gore and it’s easy. I can do it, mentally. All of these guys could be him because all of these guys were just like him, right up until he…Gatton, Queensland. 1994. Nate is a student, dealing weed on the side. A girl called Maya Kibby is dead. No one knows who killed her. Nate needs to refresh his supply, but Jesse, his friend and dealer, is missing. Nate is high. He is alone. Being hunted for the suitcase he’s found and haunted by its contents. And as things turn from bad to worse, Nate uncovers far more than he bargained for.About the authorIain Ryan grew up in the Brisbane suburbs. At the age of seventeen he moved to Gatton (Qld) to attend university. Following a short stint in property economics, Ryan pursued his interest in music and for a number of chaotic (and fun) years performed as a touring musician. Feeling burnt out and on the advice of his therapist, he started writing fiction. In 2015, his first novel, Four Days was published and in 2016 it was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. He lives in Melbourne.
                      Iain Ryan
                      About the author

                      Iain Ryan

                      Iain Ryan grew up in the Brisbane suburbs. At the age of seventeen he moved to Gatton (Qld) to attend university. Following a short stint in property economics, Ryan pursued his interest in music and for a number of chaotic (and fun) years performed as a touring musician. Feeling burnt out and on the advice of his therapist, he started writing fiction. In 2015, his first novel, Four Days was published and in 2016 it was shortlisted for the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction. He lives in Melbourne.

                      Books by Iain Ryan

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