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Monday, 8 August 2011

‘Brotherhood of Blades’ by Linda Regan

Published by Crème de la Crime, 28 July 2011. ISBN: 978-1-78029-009-6

Jason Young released from serving twelve years in prison for armed robbery heads back to the troubled South London Aviary estate. Before being sent down Jason had been head of the Buzzards gang that ran the Aviary estate, but in his enforced absence his territory had been taken over by Stuart (Yo Yo) Reilly, leader of the Brotherhood of Blades, who has turned the love of Jason’s life Chantelle into a whore and a crackhead.  During his time in prison Jason has matured, realised what he wants, and having won a dancing scholarship he has returned to take Chantelle away to start a new life.

As Jason hides, looking for a way to contact Chantelle and persuade her to come with him he witnesses the gang rape of Chantelle’s Aunt Haley. As Haley was the one who informed the police which resulted in his incarceration, Jason faces a dilemma….

Matters escalate rapidly as Jason seeks to get Chantelle away. News of his release has reached   Yo Yo Reilly who has the upper hand, as with his pitbulls and henchmen he has the whole estate buttoned down.  Can Jason contact Chantelle’s friend Luanne to help him get to Chantelle?

Two killing on the estate following Jason Young’s release, and the police, knowing his record quickly latch onto Jason Young, as armed and dangerous. Assigned to the investigation are DI Georgia Johnson and her cockney side-kick DS Stephanie Green. The arrival of DI David Dawes an expert on London gangs puts them both on alert.  Georgia because she speculates on his agenda, and Stephanie because he is attractive and she wants to bed him – not really a compliment, as Stephanie beds everyone.

As the tension increases and events spiral out of control I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The descriptions of the effect on the frightened people on the estate who react through fear against the only people who could possible help them is an insight into the hold that organised crime can have on the ordinary person. This is an amazing read which moves at a cracking pace and culminates in a stunning climax. The twists and turns had me reeling.

Whilst we live the trauma that is the lives of Chantelle, Luanne and her twelve-year-old sister Alysha on the Aviary estate, we are also privy to the lives of Georgia Johnson, and David Dawes, both scarred by their own pasts. The characterisation was masterly, I can only hope that Linda Regan will write more books featuring these characters, as I so want to read more about them.

But the question is can Jason escape his past?  This is a must read. Highly recommended.
Lizzie Hayes

Linda Regan is a successful actress. Her career has varied from The Royal Shakespeare company to a regular character in the  BBC's comedy HiDeHi series. Also guest appearances in The Bill, Holby City, Doctors, Crime Watch, a Lynda La Plante series- Framed. Her first three books all have theatrical threads. Behind You! is set backstage in a pantomime. Passion Killers- is a dark thriller. In Dead Like Her someone is killing off Marilyn Monroe lookalikes. Brotherhood of Blades takes Linda’s writing into a new dimension. This can only be termed a thriller.

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