When the troubles ended the violence didn’t
Whilst the paramilitary leaders turned politicians the foot soldiers found others to support
Gangs rule the streets running drugs, trafficking vulnerable women, and girls, they need muscle, and the old paramilitary muscle needs work
The younger generation, raised in an ambient atmosphere of violence, see punishment beatings, kneecapping, and murder, as nothing more than away of dealing out Justice.
So when DI Ronnie Taylor tried to take one of the highest ranking Gang Bosses of the streets, but was let down by the justice System, he thinks he’s made of Teflon and carries on bringing drugs into the country. Using his old paramilitary muscle as enforcers, and encouraging the new generation to distribute with menace.
But Ronnie is adamant she had her man bang-to-rights. The bosses agree but tell her he’s off limits for a while, because he’s quite the celebrity philanthropist, and not getting him convicted has led to bad press.
So when an apparent gang war starts up on the Belfast streets, and his name becomes linked, she has to tread very carefully.
As the investigation continues Ronnie starts to realise that there is something wrong, this isn’t gang on gang, this isn’t a war over drugs, or prostitution. This is somebody chipping away at everybody, this is somebody who either wants to start a huge turf war, in a very volatile environment, or somebody who is out to destroy the gangs and inflict pain on the leaders.
This is a cracker of a book. Set in Northern Ireland on the streets of Belfast. The only city in the U.K. where this story could have been set and still been realistic.
The troubles only ended, if they have really ever completely ended, a few years ago. There are generations brought up on violence, there is a younger generation who are still very much influenced by the stories of the recent past.
Mix that with the drug culture, and people trafficked into slave labour and prostitution, that is found in most big Cities, and you have one hell of a good backdrop to a story.
Then add Phillip Jordan’s story telling and you end up with a brilliantly book.
One of my favourite authors is the American Crime Thriller writer Greg Iles, I liken him to John Grisham without filters.
Phillip Jordan is the U.K. version of Iles. No punches are pulled. The gritty bits are very gritty, but it’s not gratuitous, it’s only ever in context.
Where the story needs violence it’s there, where the story needs to insinuate fear it does, and it all makes the 600 plus pages absolutely fly by.
After the epilogue, in the authors notes, there is a a paragraph made me grin from ear to ear. A paraphrase of what it said is, if you enjoyed the book you’ll be pleased to know that Veronica Taylor will return in The Crossed Keys and No Going Back.
Yes! At least 2 more in the series and I’ll be right at the front of the queue when they are published.
And I’ve found out there is a novella staring Ronnie, Behind Closed Doors, which is my next read.
I love it when I discover a new author. I love it even more when that new author excites me as much as this one did, and that’s only ever happened two or three times.
Pages: 624. Publisher: Five Four Publishing Available now