When Bluebottle runs away from a religious institution to live on the streets of Dublin, he is taken in by Malcolm, an ageing sensualist with a penchant for younger boys. But lust soon turns into full-blown sexual obsession. There follows the first of a series of increasingly violent encounters which lead relentlessly to disfigurement and bloody murder.
As the first of the six narrators warns: “this murder is messy - a stone inside a stocking sticky with blood.” Besides this brutal attack, there are beatings, betrayals, perverse and illicit desires, and even a disfigurement - the Judas Kiss of the title. Dark territory indeed.
The Judas Kiss is dark and moody. But the tale is relieved throughout not only by a pervasive black humour, but by the emergence of love in all its various guises.
|Publication date||5 Aug 2012|