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Saturday, 7 January 2017

‘Sisterhoods’ by Linda Regan

Published by Accent Press,
26 November 2016.
ISBN: 978-1-9109-3981-9

Fighting for a better life seventeen year-old Alysha formed a band of girls to rid the Aviary Estate where they live in South London of the gangs that control the estate.  Eventually, the girls who called themselves the Alley Cats, with the help of DI Georgia Johnson managed to obtain a council grant to rebuild the run-down community Hall and the grounds.  Thus providing a place for the youngsters to meet and play rather than sell themselves and drugs to survive. Could the residents of the Aviary Estate one day live normal lives?

However, the help from the police came with a price tag and the girls are now paid informers, which carries a death sentence from all the gangs should the information become known.  So Alysha and her trusted lieutenants, Panther, Lox and Tink walk a tight rope, but one they are willing to do it in the hope that their children can live a life free from drugs, starvation, stealing and prostitution.

As the book opens, the community centre has been burnt down. Was it  the work of the EIB’s, East is Best gang run by the ruthless Zhanf family, or the RIP’s Rifles in Peckham gang, both determined to take over the Aviary estate, to peddle their drugs.

Whilst the girls have agreed as part of the deal with the police not to be involved with anything unlawful, it is proving difficult. With the community centre burnt down the council are unwilling to put their hand in their pocket again, so to hold onto what they have achieved the girls need money to rebuild the centre themselves.  When an opportunity presents itself they agree it is worth the risk.  But with two rival gangs gunning for them, can the AC’s hold off the vicious EIB’s and RIP’s, keep the police onside, and rescue one of their own who has been kidnapped by one of the gangs. 

It’s a tall order but one that makes for a riveting, heart in your mouth read as the ACs try valiantly to keep control of the situation which is spiralling totally out of control.   

Gritty, fast paced, this page-turner harshly illustrates life on a South London Estate terrorised and controlled by drug dealing gangs.   The action mounts to a terrifying climax as the differing fractions collide.  Not to be missed.
Reviewer: Lizzie Sirett

Linda Regan is the author of six police procedural crime novels. She is also an actress. She holds a Masters degree in critical writing and journalism, and writes a regular column, including book reviews, for three magazines. She also presents the book-club spot on BBC Radio Kent. She is an avid reader, and welcomes the chance to read new writers

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