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Monday, 4 July 2016

‘Same Face Different Place Beginning’s by Helen J Christmas

Published by Chichester Publishing,
12 Feb. 2012.
ISBN: 978-0-99298995-8

The book begins in 1972 in the East End of London. Sixteen-year-old Eleanor Chapman had suspected that there was something illegal about her father's employment with night club owner Sammie Maxwell but she had not wanted to know the truth and had willingly accepted her father's decision to send her away to boarding school. Eleanor has had a happy and privileged life, enjoying school and pleased to spend the holidays in her comfortable home, looked after by her father and their housekeeper.

Home for the holidays, Eleanor's comfortable world falls apart when another gang leader moves in on Sammie's turf and, after a battle between the gangs, Eleanor's father is forced to disappear. This leaves Eleanor homeless and insufficiently protected in a violent, immoral world. Eleanor is a very pretty girl and soon she learns at first hand where her father got the money that had funded her privileged lifestyle. She finds herself in a very dangerous situation with nothing but her own wits and courage to rely on. She grows up fast, learning to fight to save herself.

While she is escaping from her captors, Eleanor encounters Jake, a young musician, who is also a prisoner. She releases him and together they flee, but their chances of escaping the ruthless gang that rules London are slight and soon they find themselves running for their lives.

Beginnings is the first in a series of four books, each with a decade between them. The 1970s setting is skilfully brought to life, especially the corrupt under-belly of life in London, with its political tensions, police corruption and the ever-present threat of IRA bomb attacks. The gang-land scenes are vividly described as Eleanor discovers the squalor, violence and exploitation that lies beneath the veneer of respectability. Eleanor and Jake are appealing protagonists, especially Eleanor, as the reader goes with her on the journey to find within herself the strength to fight back and take control of her destiny.

Same Face, Different Place is a bold and innovative venture and Beginnings is a strong and interesting start to the quartet.
Reviewer: Carol Westron

Helen J. Christmas lives on the south coast of England with her husband. She has a passion for gripping stories with strong characters. With a love of writing since childhood, she started her own series of books 'Same Face Different Place'. Her first book Beginnings is a conspiracy thriller combined with a love story, set in 1970s London. Helen finished her second book. Visions in 2013 - a 1980s psychological thriller set in the counties of London and Kent.
Writing is something she juggles around her family and social life as well as running the web design company, she and her husband set up together from home. But writing is not about fame and fortune - it is about creating compelling stories which others enjoy and so far, Helen has been greatly encouraged by the positive feedback she has received for her books. You can find more by visiting her website
Carol Westron is a successful short story writer and a Creative Writing teacher.  She is the moderator for the cosy/historical crime panel, The Deadly Dames.  Her crime novels are set both in contemporary and Victorian times.  The Terminal Velocity of Cats is the first in her Scene of Crimes novels, was published July 2013. Her second book About the Children was published in May 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for publishing such a complimentary review. I should have the series finished soon :)