This book was recommended to me by a fellow reader, and I am extremely glad that I took their advice! Howard Linskey released this, his debit novel in April 2011 and his follow up book is due for release in April 2012.
It takes less than two chapters for me to be utterly engrossed in this book. David Blake is a gangster, except he isn't your ordinary violent and ruthless man. He is somebody that has worked his was on to Bobby Mahoney's firm by giving his sound judgement on things and proving his loyalty. When David returns from his holiday, he gets news that Bobby is not a happy man. David, who is head of Bobby's security, has managed to leave an important drop to another man in the firm who, it seems, has disappeared off the face of the planet. Pretty soon David realises that he has to find the money and the person responsible.
I really liked David Blake from the off and as he races to find the people who have Bobby's money I found myself liking him even more. This was not your typical gangster that roughs everybody up; he merely asks politely and leaves the roughing up to his colleague Finney. The story has a relentless kind of pace as David uncovers more and more things that aren't quite right.
Although David is the main character, we meet a hell of a lot more along the way, all who make the story that little bit more interesting. Bobby, David's boss features heavily as does Bobby's young daughter Sarah. We also see some of the other people who are either on the firm or were once part of it. The characters and storyline kept me turning pages late into the night.
There is actually an underlying humour to this book too which I loved. The setting up in Newcastle was done perfectly, with no overkill on either the accent or the place. I loved the ending, and the fact that this is the perfect opener for the second book. An absolutely cracking debut novel and the follow up is already pre-ordered. If you haven't heard of Howard Linskey, take note, this man is already a well remembered name in my never ending list of great authors.