5 stars

First of all, let me just say that I could not put this book down. I read it in two sittings, which would have been one had it not got to around 5am at the end of the first one.

The mystery of the book is intriguing and well-constructed, and the solution very satisfying and (to me) not at all foreseen. The way that Brooks tantalisingly drops hints and clues as Pete’s drug-addled mind does its very best to comprehend everything is exciting and is a lot to do with why this book is so un-put-downable.

Another of the other reasons that I couldn’t stop reading this book was its beautifully realised characters. Each one has their foibles and their good sides and there’s a lot of commentary on how well we really know the people we choose to call our friends. Pete realises over the course of the book how little he knows many of the others and through him we learn more and more about each of them, even seeing the better sides to the most detestable of characters. Pete himself is very likeable and believable, especially in the way he is so fiercely protective of Raymond and the stupid decisions he can’t help but make, making me want to scream at him each time he decided to lie about something.

This is my first Kevin Brooks novel and I have to say that I adore his writing style. It flows beautifully and the prose is very readable and at times surreal, helped along by Pete’s flashbacks to the drugs he took, while the dialogue is completely realistic.

I honestly can’t think of a single thing to fault in this book. I daresay I will be reading some more Kevin Brooks in the future.