The Edge of Blood

Jaques, Lincoln Tyrone
Johnson, Mike
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Master of Creative Writing
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Auckland University of Technology

The Edge of Blood is a full length creative work set within the neo-noir genre. It follows four professional assassins as they are blackmailed by a ruthless criminal Boss on a job to take down his lifetime ally who has recently turned against him. Now faced with an uncertain future, and each deeply suspicious and untrusting of the other, they take refuge in a small village in the hostile environment of central Spain. As the great mafia clans also turn against them, they must face up to their violent pasts and prepare themselves to come up against a formidable foe, who has been sent, in turn, to kill them. The novel explores themes of alienation, loss, free will, personal responsibility, redemption, childhood trauma, violence, vengeance, betrayal, and senses of identity. The accompanying exegesis sets out to explain my reasons and methodology for writing The Edge of Blood. The exegesis focuses on two areas: the antihero alienated from society, endemic to the neo-noir genre, who is forced to recognise themselves and to look inwards existentially rather than outward a priori for answers; and following closely on this idea, I also discuss the inescapability from the world of the ‘self’ as reflected in the ‘other’. The novel and the exegesis draws on influences from the classic noir period (1941 – 1958), in both film and print, from the sweeping cinema of Welles through to James N. Cain’s revolutionary The Postman Always Rings Twice, onto the resurgence of neo-noir with Boorman’s 1967 Point Blank, to the more recent work of Jean-Patrick Manchette, Ted Lewis and Natsuo Kirino. I also highlight the difficulty critics and academics have had in recent years in clearly defining what ‘noir’ really is and what it is not, both in a historical and contemporary sense. [NOTE: The novel "The Edge of Blood" will be available after May 19, 2020]

Noir , Neo-noir , Crime , Thriller , Redemption , Vendetta , Spain , La Mancha , Violence , Betrayal , Senses of identity , Alienation , Free will , Loss , Postmodern
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