the slang was a bit of a struggle, at first--Liverpool street-speak?--but like working one's way deeper into A Clockwork Orange, code starts to make sense as it just keeps coming. a bigger challenge is perhaps keeping track of who is narrating each section, as the narrator changes every 2 pages or so, and sometimes a lot quicker than that. for instance, when Jade and Moby meet for the first time and try and get a sense of whether they can work together, over maybe 5 or 6 pages, the viewpoint and inner thoughts presented alternates between them. which is really interesting in its own way, because by moving swiftly from brain to brain, the reader can delight in how either Jade or Moby's internal reactions to each other differ from the crap they sometimes verbally fling back and forth. that kind of narrator-jump-cutting is an extreme--but even when the shifts happen every 2 pages or so, I have to make sure I note the name in bold print, at the top of each change in storyteller.
overall, it has grown on me very quickly! I'm charmed by this very different feel, effected simply by having maybe 6 narrators tossing the baton back and forth at a frantic pace. as far as story content goes, this book does remind me a bit of another from not long ago: The Long Firm, by Jake Arnott. it also reminds me of the Gangster film The Long Good Friday. no brutal violence yet, although the book starts with various takes on some recent executions that have paved the way for a bit of a power-shift as far as some expanding territory for drugs and prostitution goes--including politicians and lawyers in the thick of it, trying to lighten the applicable laws in the "leisure" districts. it does feel like there will be some nasty violence ahead, that's for sure. and a heads-up...the language used by some of the narrators is what we can safely label Filthy. Jade and Ged are my favorite characters so far, Moby is a creep, Margo may not go quietly, and Cormack seems too civilized to wield more than a metaphorical hatchet, while not expecting a real one in the back.
this is generally what I wanted right now, for one book's worth, and I'm glad it has such a unique feel in the specifics. nasty, though.