Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Book Review - Down Among the Dead Men by Kerry Wilkinson

Amazon UK
Title: Down Among the Dead Men
Author: Kerry Wilkinson
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Publication Date: 22nd October 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars

'I'm going to do you a favour: I'm going to tell you my name and then I'm going to give you thirty seconds to turn and run. If any of you are still here after those thirty seconds, then we're going to have a problem.'

Jason Green's life is changed for good after he is saved from a mugging by crime boss, Harry Irwell. He is then drawn into Manchester's notorious underworld, where smash and grab is as normal as making a cup of tea.

But Jason isn't a casual thug. He has a life plan that doesn't involve blowing his money on the usual trappings. That is until a woman walks into his life offering the one thing that money can't buy - salvation.

This was the first stand alone book I had read by Kerry Wilkinson. Previously I have read some of the Jessica Daniels series, so was aware of the possible quality of the writing. Down Among the Dead Men is a gritty look into Manchester's criminal underworld. 

The first chapter introduces us to a young Jason Green who is trying to escape being mugged for his brand new trainers, he takes a bit of a beating and is saved by Harry Irwell, who is a notorious crime boss for the south side of Manchester. 

The action then switches to the present day and we see Jason as an adult, clearly now working under Harry's influence. He also has to look after his mother and try to keep an eye on his brother too, who can be a bit unreliable. 

I can't help but feel that Jason isn't intentionally a criminal but has been sucked in and manipulated to become who he currently is, and after he meets two different women and spends a bit of time with both of them, he starts to question everything. 

I loved Jason's idea of an escape plan, and was very impressed with the big bucks being paid in the criminal world in Manchester. 

It didn't take long for me to be fascinated by the story, its a world so far removed from my own, but yet the writing really drew you in, and I was finding the further into the book I was, the more gutted I was when I had to put it down for real life to proceed. 

If you have read any of the Jessica Daniel series, I can say that this book is quite different, for starters it doesn't have a police presence, and this is far more from the criminal point of view, than law enforcement, however what they have in common is a talented author who is capable of drawing you into a world where crime is rife. 

Thank you to Pan MacMillan and Netgalley for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

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