Ian Black's novel, A Ball of Confusion, consider the flipside, tells this reader that Ian Black is a literary force to be reckoned with.
The novel uses the theme of births as the starting point to explore how the lives of different people can be so dramatically diametrical.
The novel starts with Millennium Jones, aged 16, who, upon witnessing the carnage wrought on 9/11, wonders how anyone could commit such an act.
Just over a decade later and Jones is working as an American foreign correspondent in London.
She meets two men, one, George, a loveable man, a tramp, who killed the man who was attacking and abusing his mother, the other, Hazma, a university graduate who, one might suppose, had it all, until his family died in the bombing of Baghad. And who now is wanting to use death and destruction as his pathway to heaven.
Millie Jones carefully observes both men as they become friendly toward each other as they acknowledge the hurts and miseries of their childhoods that had brought them both to equally unpleasant, but utterly different, bad places within their lives.
But exactly what could go wrong with two people rendered unstable by their different, but both flawed, but in different ways, upbringings?
But what of others who do not have such twisted upbringings who use other people as if they were puppets?
What of the innocents who become emeshed in their machinations as they try to make sense of the ball of confusion that is now our world?
The book is a thought-provoking an original work which is pacy and punchy and extremely topical.
It is published by Matador and is worth every penny of its £9.99 price or £1.99 as an Ebook, both available from the That's Books and Entertainment book shop.