My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Pages - 448
Publisher - Harper Collins
Source - Pre ordered from Amazon
Blurb from Goodreads
TWO CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
Best friends Tommy Boyle and Scratch always had each other’s backs. Dragged up in care, and cruelly betrayed by everyone they trusted, they made a pact to fight their way out of the gutter – together.
TWO SIDES OF THE LAW
Old loyalties die hard on the streets of London. Tommy throws his lot in with the notorious Darling family – even if it means leaving Scratch to the wolves. She’s destined for a different path, reinventing herself as copper Kim Regan.
ONE DEADLY SHOWDOWN
Now they’re on opposite sides of the law. Running Operation Sting, Kim will rip the heart out of the Darling’s empire – and only her old pal Tommy stands in her way.
As gritty and dangerous as the London streets in which it’s set, this is No.1 bestseller Kimberley Chambers at her best. Get ready for a shocking read with a STING in the tail . . .
The prologue opens in 1972 and we hear from Tommy Boyle, first person narrative before we head into third person narrative. The book does this for each part of the story, each new part we hear from Tommy and then straight into the tale. Tommy has a rough upbringing, a house with violence, alcohol and abuse. When something happens to shake Tommy's world his home and family are taken from him and when things seem they can't get any worse Tommy is betrayed in the worst possible way. Ending up in care he meets Scratch another kid who has been abused, passed from pillar to post - the two bond becoming friends for life. We skip to them being adults, Tommy is a big name in the crime world and Kim aka Scratch is now a cop. Bad blood from the past and a chance at getting even who will come out on top?
I always pick up a Chambers book with trepidation, I LOVE her books, not read one I didn't like and always wait impatiently for the next. BUT when the author smashes it each time you can't help but worry if this will be the one that isn't as great.......totally unfounded AGAIN. Chambers has a knack for bringing alive characters that draw you in, creating settings that have you living and breathing the time period with an authentic feel.
Always gritty crime, violence, family and gangsters but this book gives us something else, new, and touches on some hard hitting subjects. Domestic abuse, infidelity, child abuse and there is some sexual abuse, nothing is in depth but enough is hinted at or briefly nodded at so the reader knows exactly what has happened without horrific details. I think sometimes in crime we can be saturated with every horrific gory detail, The Sting is not that type of book. The emphasis is very much on relationships and the struggles these two kids have and how they end up how they are as adults, actions and consequences. You know what you are getting with these type of books but The Sting caught me unawares and hit me with the emotionals. I think it is an absolute testament to the authors writing skills that after so many books she can still keep it fresh and surprise the reader. It isn't too often I read a crime book and get the feels, I did with this book. As with the others, I started it and wanted to sink it in one sitting, I got vested in the characters so quickly and gasped out loud a few times. 5/5 for me, it isn't many times you can say you feel for the "bad guy" but I think reading these books you do get to glimpse the other side of the coin and how they get to be the people they become and in The Sting how we can never really outrun our past or decisions! An absolute belter of a read, emotional roller coaster, action packed and for me hooked from the opening chapters!
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