My Rating: 5/5
Apologies for the length of this review but when a book comes along that is perfect, I feel the need to tell everybody about it. Shockingly, I had not even heard of Kimberley Chambers and only read her first book in October 2010. After reading the first one I realised that I may well have stumbled across a new talent that I feel is fast approaching the title Queen of Crime in the UK. After devouring the first I read her second and third book in quick succession. Her fourth book (this one), is the start of a trilogy featuring the Mitchell and O'Hara family.
As usual her breakneck speed of drawing you in takes you by surprise. We meet the Mitchell clan with the father Harry as the head of the family and his three sons Eddie, Paulie and Ronny. Kimberley Chambers has a fantastic style of writing where she spreads the book over the years without it being too little or too much. You see chunks of their lives as the year's progress and she gets the balance absolutely spot on. The book starts in the seventies and progresses through to the late eighties. The Mitchell family have always had a long running feud with the O'Hara's and as Harry decides to take a back seat he looks to Eddie to tale over his criminal empire.
Eddie is a fantastic character and he is everything you would expect and underworld gangster to be. He is fearless, ruthless and fiercely loyal. When he meets and marries the young Jessica, her family aren't that keen but are aware they have no say in the matter. Over the years we see Jessica and Eddie have twins of their own Frankie and Joey. We see them not only as young children but later on as teenagers too. The main characters of the story are Jessica and Eddie and we see what it is really like for a woman being married to a man so high up in the underworld. We also see and learn a lot about Jessica's parents Joyce and Stanley, her brother Raymond as well as he twins Frankie and Joey.
The story itself gives great background to why the feud started and what has happened to keep it at bay. As the chapters speed along we meet the O'Hara's and see the two families interact. As time, and chapters, go by we see the feud start up again and the reasons why. The story itself doesn't let up pace at all and just rushes towards a huge climax at the end of the book. I was shocked by the turn of results at the end and realise that this has ended well. Kimberley Chambers had finished and answered half the questions regarding the families, but has left it that I have so many more about what is to come.
The writing as usual is gritty and realistic with violence and language being a staple ingredient. If either of these things offends you, then maybe this wouldn't be to your taste. For me, it just makes it so real and I literally could NOT stop reading. I started this last night and finished it this morning. The only negative is that I have to wait until the second installment is delivered to my door before I can get stuck in and find out what happens next. This particular book has had 33 customer reviews, and 32 of those rated it as 5 stars, that you won't see very often!
Having only discovered KC as an author a mere 3 months ago, I am shocked that she is not more popular. I for one cannot believe that more people do not know about her. The friends that I have handed her books to are now as addicted as I am. Kimberley Chambers is certainly the BEST British crime writer I have discovered this year. Comparing her to Martina Cole is an insult to the standard of Kimberley Chamber's books. As an ex- Martina Cole fan I can honestly say that Ms Cole should learn a thing or two by maybe picking up one of KC's books.