This is my first, but certainly not my last, Kimberley Chambers book.
The Sting is a glorious read for everybody, but especially for people who had their teenage years in the 1970’s.
The story follows the life of a young lad Tommy Boyle and picks him up as a 12 year old. To say he has a hard upbringing is an understatement. His father is a bullying wife beater who works on the oil rigs and makes family life a misery when he’s at home.
As the story progresses Tom ends up in a children’s home for reasons beyond his control.
The friendships he forms there should last for life, but again life takes a cruel twist.
The story follows him through his family life, through to his life in care, and sees him change from an innocent lad to the fearsome teenager, and ultimately into a violent man.
When his time in care comes to an end on his 16thbirthday Tom has already been spotted by a criminal family and they soon take him into their inner circle.
Tom has had a hard time, but the new family mean everything to him, and so begins a life in organised crime.
Lurking in the shadows throughout the story are secrets. Secrets that will inevitably come to the surface and lead the book to a fantastic end.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. My usual read is crime fiction, which this falls well and truly into, but it’s from a completely different perspective to what I’m used to.
This is all about a boy gone bad, a boy whose transition to manhood is guided by the actions of the people who should have loved and protected him.
Having grown up on a council estate in Birmingham in the 70’s I can recognise so many of the characters in this book. The nostalgia for that era is reflected in the music that is mentioned throughout the book and which had me calling out to “Alexa” on numerous occasions.
A cracking read.
Publishers: Harper Collins