Brick, by Conrad Jones

A drug dealer is killed when he attacks a young boy in a park, and the boy picks up a brick and swings at his assailant. The ripples from this spread out as the various criminal gangs who are competing for drug territory fight one another and try to seek/prevent retribution for the death.

This had a rather amateurish prose style and used the wrong words sometimes e.g. "quipped" when something wasn't at all funny, such as: "Calm down, Eddie," Nicolai quipped impatiently. "He is a local kid from the Stockbridge Village housing estate" In describing Liverpool, "the mythical Liver Birds sat atop the Three Graces, guarding the city from their stone perches" - mythical? Maybe he means "statues of the mythical Liver Birds" (although I don't think they're mythical in any event)

The white space in the book was bizarre (perhaps this is just a Kindle thing) with the a large chunk of whitespace before each paragraph, including in the middle of reported speech, so you keep thinking it's a change of scene when it isn't. And the punctuation wasn't great, e.g. "We will, Guv. On a brighter note, the Crime stoppers line has had a number of anonymous calls, all saying that the Johnsons made a living, stealing containers and articulated lorries from the docks, truck stops and airports."

And the plot was made hard to follow because there were quite a few sets of characters:

The various gangs were in league/double crossing each other and I found it very hard to keep track of who was who. Also hard to know which set of characters to pay attention to

Some bits were quite exciting/tense but it didn't flow well enough to keep me gripped, and I kept stumbling over the awkward phrasing, bad punctuation, and surprising whitespace.

Probably wouldn't bother with another by this author.

Completed : 4-February-2017

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