#Bookreview for A Gangster’s Grip by Heather Burnside @heatherbwriter

Gangster's Grip V4

A Gangster’s Grip is the second novel by Heather Burnside, the first, Slur, is reviewed here and her book of short stories, Crime, Conflict and Consequences, here.

A Gangster’s Grip is a sequel to Slur though four years have passed and Rita (one of my favourite characters from Slur) has settled down with Yansis and is living in Greece. They come back to Manchester to sort out some personal issues and are surprised to find that Rita’s sister Jenny is going out with local bad boy, Leroy, and is heavily pregnant. There is no room for them to stay with Rita’s parents, Joan and Ged, so they go to stay with Rita’s best friend Julie, her husband Vinny and daughter Emily.

Very early in the story it is apparent to Rita that Leroy is up to no good and worried for her sister she wants to warn her off him but with her father also involved in Leroy’s shady world and her sister seeming to be besotted with the man it’s not going to be easy.

I’ll say straight away that this book gets better and better as it progresses. The start for me was a little slow, with sometimes too much description and we didn’t get to see a great deal of Leroy’s bad side until much later on. However Burnside really picks up the pace in the second half, along with the crime, violence and death.

The characters that I thought were particularly well written were Carl, who sells drugs for Leroy, and his wife, Debby. Their lives were dismal, their filthy house and desperate kids horribly realistic. Debby is hooked on heroin the supply of which Carl controls along with beating her; presumably because that is the only way he feels he has power over anything. You can sense his frustration at working for Leroy, having to work the less lucrative pitches because Leroy is getting Winston (oh and there’s a twist there which I won’t share!) to work those and Carl is also having to run around picking up drugs as well which adds to his discontent.

There’s a terrific ‘discussion’ between Leroy and Carl in which Leroy’s aggressive dog Tyson plays a part and as the book builds towards its violent end here’s a snippet.

‘Within moments of setting off, Rita realised they had acted rashly, fuelled by impulse. They should have rung Jenny and warned her, maybe rung the police. But what would they tell them? There might not be any crime to report yet. It was too late now; if they doubled back it would waste more valuable time. Besides, what if Debby was wrong? Rita hoped she was.’

There is language in this novel which might offend some but if you’ve picked up a book set in the gang culture of Manchester then that’s only to be expected. I’m looking forward to what comes next from Ms Burnside and highly recommend this to those who like a little grit in their reads.

And now to those all important links if you want to find out more…

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About Georgia Rose

Georgia Rose is a writer and the author of the romantic and suspenseful Grayson Trilogy books: A Single Step, Before the Dawn and Thicker than Water. A short story, The Joker, based on a favourite character from the series followed and is free to download from Amazon. Her fourth novel, Parallel Lies, a standalone, encompasses crime along with Georgia’s usual blending of genre. Following a long stint working in the law Georgia set up her own business providing administration services for other companies which she does to this day managing to entwine that work along with her writing. Georgia’s background in countryside living, riding, instructing and working with horses has provided the knowledge needed for some of her storylines; the others are a product of her passion for people watching and her overactive imagination! Her busy life is set in a tranquil part of rural Cambridgeshire in the UK where she lives with her much neglected husband and dog. Their son, currently at university, comes and goes and their daughter, having delighted them all for long enough, has eventually moved out, got married, and is discovering the joys of being all grown up and having a mortgage.
This entry was posted in Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to #Bookreview for A Gangster’s Grip by Heather Burnside @heatherbwriter

  1. Thank you for your wonderful review, Georgia, which is much appreciated. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *