Saturday, 29 June 2013

So Low So High by Pete Sortwell

So Low So High is the story of drug addict Simon Brewster. Simon is a complex character. He doesn't want your sympathy. He doesn't want your understanding. He just wants money for gear, right now. He is unrepentant for the crimes he commits and he has a wicked sense of humour. He detaches himself emotionally from anything that makes him feel uncomfortable and that he does not want to hear. All of these factors add up to a little bit of a tragic but at times likeable character. You almost see "good" Simon trying to get out and you root for him.

This novel may well make you uncomfortable. There is no flowery prose. The author doesn't dress anything up. It's life warts and all. Where So Low So High succeeds is that it has the stark ring of truth to it. Of course it is fiction but you wouldn't know it. That's how well done it is. It's easy to draw comparisons with Irvine Welsh here but Sortwell's novel speaks truer.

A gripping read that can't help but affect you. Read with an open mind and consider the kind of events that happen daily in modern Britain and you will appreciate So Low So High.

So Low So High is available on paperback or kindle format and published by Caffeine Nights.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Veil of Civility by Ian Graham

With Veil of Civility Ian Graham brings us an all action page turner of a thriller. Following the terrible death of a friend former IRA man Declan McIver finds the peaceful life he has tried to build disintegrate before him. Hunted by the FBI and the police he must try to make sense of the conspiracy that surrounds him. Can Declan avenge his friend and keep his family safe?

There is a depth of descriptive prose not often found in novels of the genre and yet it still flows excellently. The characters are engaging and Graham gives all of their drives and actions purpose that makes clear sense to the reader, there’s no need to jump to wild assumptions. It’s clear that Ian Graham is an author to keep an eye on for fans of action novels. Could Declan McIver be the new Jack Reacher?

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Seven Daze by Charlie Wade

Seven Daze is the story of Jim who has just been released from prison. His former cellmate, lifer Harry, had sold the idea of becoming a contract killer to him and as he stands in an alley waiting to complete his first contract things go badly wrong. His mark has a heart attack. Jim and city worker, Charlotte, who appears out of nowhere help out the target and from there Jim’s nightmare begins. He must make ten grand in seven days or he’ll end up in the Thames wearing concrete leg warmers.

They say the devil is in the detail and that’s how it is with Charlie Wade’s writing. We get to see all aspects of Jim’s life as he struggles to repay the debt to his former employer. What Wade does well is the fine details. He creates a fully rounded and in depth character with Jim. His observations are often funny, wit, sarcastic and cynical sometimes all four at once.

I very much enjoyed the insights given into the character of Jim, as much as I enjoyed the events that unfolded. You can’t help but feel for Jim’s plight and most of those he is robbing won’t miss the money. After their shared experience Jim’s developing relationship with Charlotte has the reader wondering where this will go. Charlie Wade does a great job of keeping the book interesting despite his need to have to repeat some events given the nature of Jim’s task.

Overall a very enjoyable novel. The author writes in a very British way and his observations in the novel would, perhaps, appeal more to a British audience. He seems to play down events in a very British fashion where our friends over the pond might be tempted to make it more visceral. This to me makes it more effective, more realistic and more enjoyable for the honesty. Charlie Wade has made his mark here with his own brand of crime fiction. I hope more follows.