Les Edgerton. Noir Master. The Rapist. An astounding novel. Out next Spring

If the narrator of Camus’ The Outsider had written an especially disturbing thriller it would be The Rapist – rock hard, darkest Noir, very fine writing, first class storytelling.

An intelligent, proud psychopath on death row tries to win your approval, in the last few hours before the big sleep. You don’t like him but it’s impossible to stop reading.

While some of us tourists can sometimes concoct realistic stories from knowing criminals and having dabbled occasionally, Mr Edgerton has served time, giving him knowledge citizens prefer not to have.

Writers Helen Fitzgerald and Wendy Gager also had initial misgivings being associated with this title and a persuasive narrator. My name, for the very few who know it, is already associated with unapologetic hard drug use, chronic alcoholism, a lightweight’s criminal record, sex work, (that’s where drugs can take you) and twenty years campaigning for consensual fetish sex. “This is supposed to be about him!” sorry, but if degenerates like me are squicked out by our unrepentant host, a cold man who looks down on those who empathise with other humans, you might feel uneasy about this book. Decent people should despise scumbag predators but that’s not a reason to avoid this gripping book.

I’m thrilled to have a new author over whom to obsess. It’s been a while since I discovered Ted ‘Get Carter’ Lewis, Elmore Leonard and Thomas Harris. Decades since I saw my first Tarantino. Les Edgerton belongs in that company.