Absolute Zero Cool is a book that defies categorising. Its a crime/psychological/self aware/meta thriller. In truth it belongs in a genre of it’s own, I have not read anything else quite like it. it is tough to give a preview of the storyline without giving too much away. Absolute Zero Cool is a book about writing a book and, more importantly, about the books that are never finished. One such writer is visited by Billy Karlsson, a man claiming to be a character from a book the writer never finished. Karlsson has a life, he works as a hospital porter, but he stuck in limbo. Karlsson’s life cannot go on until the writer finishes the story and his plan to blow up the hospital.
The writer and Karlsson work together, meeting each morning to develop the story to its bombastic conclusion. I will not say anymore than that on the plot, it needs to be discovered as you read. The book has many sides to it; noir, social commentary and character profile to name but a few. Burke manages to hold everything together, plot progression never loses out to any of the additional strings and, importantly, the plot remains grounded in the tradition of the crime genre. Buke goes to great lengths to test the boundaries of the genre to introduce new elements.