Publisher: Bantam Press
Publication Date: 17th May 2018
I heard the synopsis for this book on somebody’s YouTube channel and thought it sounded intriguing. When it came up on Netgalley to request I was straight in there!……Sadly I was rejected *cue sad music*. So I quietly fumed to myself (OR took to twitter to complain a little bit, obvs).
When one of my good bookish pals saw the physical copies being offered to bloggers on Twitter she alerted me quick smart and I jumped right aboard that train with my hand in the air shouting ‘Me! Me! Me! Pick me!’
Not only did I bag myself a copy of the book (Thank you Becky Short!) I became involved in a little blogger game of Snap (hence the Ace of Hearts playing card in the picture of the book up there), and managed to win myself a copy of another Belinda Bauer book to boot! So it all worked out ok in the end, and all was right with the world.
Anyway enough of me being a Billy bragger…..let’s get on with the review.
This book opens with 3 children stranded in a lay-by in their broken down car. Their mother had told them to sit tight and she’ll be back soon….their mother never comes back.
The three children are Jack, and his sisters Joy and Merry (love that name!). Their lives are irrevocably changed that baking hot August day and Jack is forced to grow up very quickly, thrust into the role of guardian for his two sisters, despite none of the authorities knowing they are living alone and in poor conditions.
Jack has to learn a life of petty crime in order to survive. Stealing food and items to sell for money.
One night Jack breaks into a house and finds a sleeping woman, pregnant Catherine While and stumbles across what he believes is a connection to his mother.
Catherine and her husband Adam are excitedly looking forward to the impending birth of their baby, but the sudden appearance of Jack in their lives, making bold claims threatens to derail their marriage and their lives.
Jacks quest to find out what really happened to his mother and seek justice is a complicated one but Jack is a determined young lad and isn’t willing to be ignored.
Told from the perspective of Jack, Catherine and new DCI in town John Marvel, this book is fast paced and a real page turner (cliche I know).
I read it in a couple of sittings over one day. It’s one of those stories that pulls you along and leaves you wanting to know more. The characters in this book are larger than life and I absolutely loved DCI Marvel. Curmudgeonly, straight talking and perpetually grumpy. Jack is such a lovely character too. Even though he’s cashing in on other people’s belongings he’s doing it for all the right reasons. To keep his already fractured family together and keep his sisters out of the care system.
The writing is very atmospheric and the opening chapter centred around the baking hot day, with the children sat waiting in a stuffy, airless car was so realistic you could almost be there with them.
This was one of the most enjoyable thrillers I’ve read in a while.
I would definitely recommend getting your hands on it.
See you soon.
Bookish Chat. Xxx