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Low Bite on
By Eden Carter Wood
30 June 2010

The narrator of this hard-boiled underground classic, Morgan, is in prison, having been convicted of breaking and entering with force. To pass the time she works in the prison law library and gives legal advice to her fellow convicts. She also drinks hooch out of a coffee mug, gives backchat to the sweaty guards, and says things like ‘Prison time is chicken bones, something to be sucked clean’. It’s a world of street-talk and swaggering and cigarettes, and people called Birdseye and Deuce is what this is. And very readable it is too.

Contrary to what you might expect, Morgan’s not exactly popular, however. Johnson the lesbian-hating warden hates her for one thing, and Alex the fashionably long-haired lawyer doesn’t like her giving free legal advice neither. Then things get even more interesting when Morgan and her fellow inmates think they’ve found a ticket to the free world, a ‘bloodstained bank account’ they hope to bleed dry from the inside.

Low Bite was first published in 1989, and has apparently been long out-of-print. Happily it has reappeared, as this slim, well-presented reprint is likely to appeal to tough-girls and prison guards everywhere.

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