As a fan of the city’s football team and living just outside the area, I had high hopes for this Bradford based book. After this brilliant debut from Julie Shaw, my expectations for the second and third in the series are higher than the town hall clock in Bradford’s Centenary Square.
This was an exhilarating tale, an absolute joy and I tore through it in just a few days. I found it a sheer delight; filthy mouthed and violent and hard as Yorkshire stone but just as beautiful as the scenery in “God’s Own Country”.
This first book about the authors family, the criminal Hudson’s from the notorious Canterbury estate, starts in 1970 and tells the tale of 14 year old Vinnie. Like his family, he is a petty criminal, and soon finds himself locked up. His journey through the justice system can be shocking to read but you find yourself rooting for him at every stage. Vinnie does some terrible things, yet endears himself to the reader. Vinnie’s sense of right and wrong and, despite his own criminality, his version of justice is well explained and seems, oddly, right. I think this is testament to the writing of Shaw; she has given the characters such clarity and depth that they seem real. Obviously they were/are – but you know what I mean!
I found Vinnie to be a wonderful, dreadful, compelling character and thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with him. Thankfully though, he was safely on the page and not in front of me. That might be somewhat less enjoyable.
My Rating: 5.0* out of 5.0*
Publication Date: November 6th 2014
Published By: Harper Collins
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