Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Book Review - Soho Honey by A.W. Rock - Blog Tour

Amazon UK
Title: Soho Honey
Author: A.W. Rock
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Publisher supplied review copy
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: 5th May 2016
Rating: 3 Stars

This contemporary crime story takes place over three weeks in November and unfolds against the multi-cultural backdrop of Soho, London. Branen had to leave the UK six years before to escape his complex clandestine history and the consequences of a crime that achieved worldwide notoriety. When his daughter is brutally murdered in Soho he believes that he could be the reason. He returns to his old hunting grounds to find the killer. His search brings him into conflict with the British Secret Service and Soho's underworld. He is forced to flee Soho again after a tragic meeting with his ex-wife. His past has caught up with him and the hunter becomes the hunted. Now forty years old Branen wants to stop running and to remove forever the continuing threat to his life. In an effort to get rid of his pursuers he is faced with the prospect that his only chance of survival could lead to his death.

Soho Honey feels different to the others thrillers I have read so far this year. It is a very slow to start, and there were times where I was seriously wondering if it was worth persevering with. Thankfully once most of the action has happening in real time and not just the huge amount of background information, the last 40% or so was a fairly enjoyable read. 

Although I am sure some may find it helpful, I found the 4 pages at the start of the book consisting of the entire cast of characters and their nicknames and in some cases acronyms incredibly off putting, as I wasn't sure how I was ever going to remember all of it, and although you can use the Go To function on a kindle to jump back and forth, I wasn't convinced how useful it was. 

The story as you may expect is split into parts, with the start giving you all of Branen's background, including why he was convicted and what he was involved in, that leads him to think all these years later that his life could be at risk. The main incident of this section, reminded me a lot of a major real life event also from 1997. As I was slightly confused by some of the abbreviations at the time, I am not sure how deliberate it was, at it took me a lot further into the story to fully appreciate what was going on. 

It was the second part that featured Branen's daughter, that started to draw me into the story slightly, and contains all the events leading up to her death. She is in a situation that she should never have found herself in, and its through her, we are introduced to most of the major players in the book. 

I was always under the impression that thrillers were meant to be fairly fast paced, but this just felt very slow, almost even when it was more urgent. Once I got past the halfway point I found the story had grown on me enough to make it a likeable book, and there were definitely elements in the wrapping up that caught me slightly unawares. 

Soho Honey will definitely though give you a great feel for the seedy underbelly of Soho, and some of the locations featured, I really did feel as though I knew by the end of the book. But since it was the seedy underbelly, expect a lot of drug references and there is a fair amount of organised violence too. 

I am aware its a Book one, and I am curious as to what is going to happen next in the series, there are definitely elements that could be wrapped up or expanded on, but equally there is a character called The Controller who I would love to find out more about. 

At times with one specific character it felt as though there was a political undertone to parts of this book, which given the extremist views which don't match my own, I felt slightly uncomfortable with. There also seemed to be a lot of government secret service style departments all acting independently, and trying to keep track of which group knew what about who was mildly confusing. 

Overall Soho Honey was a book that grew on me as it progressed, and although for the most part I liked it, I couldn't shake the feeling that it just wasn't quite for me, although I am sure there are many people out there that will enjoy this style of writing. 

Thank you to Kate Appleton and Clink Street Publishing for this review copy. This was my honest opinion. 

Please follow along with the the rest of the blog tour, to see what everyone else thinks. 

Twitter: @SohoHoney

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