THE SITE FOR DIE HARD CRIME & THRILLER FANS
KindlePrintReviews

The Drop

2 Mins read

Written by Howard Linskey — David Blake is a classic good-guy gangster. Like Tony Soprano, he’s in a comfortable position that involves little obvious law breaking, but much of the associated reward.

This world is suddenly turned upside down when money he’s responsible for goes missing. His boss, Newcastle crime lord Bobby Mahoney, starts the countdown and gives Blake 72 hours to find the cash before the reality of his employment catches up with him.

What follows is a ticking-clock trawl through Newcastle’s seedy bars, drug dens and brothels in search of the money and the man thought to be holding it. At every new location Blake encounters a challenge to his quest – whether that be a rival gang and the eruption of a violent turf war, the emergence of a rat in the mob, the meddling of Mahoney’s pretty young daughter, or his pursuit by an ambitious police detective.

Linskey’s breakneck plot propels the novel forward, while his unflinching descriptions and brilliant episodes of violent punishment can be as amusing as they are unflinching. The writer clearly knows Newcastle, its underbelly and its less savory characters well and captures them note perfectly.

Like Ted Lewis’ Jack Returns Home (or Get Carter if you’ve only ever seen the film), this is a story that relies on location and tension. Each chapter has been constructed very carefully, and there’s a definite cinematic feel to the pacing of each. But this can read a little uneasily – sometimes the explanatory dialogue between Blake and his henchmen is strained, going over old ground for the sake of the reader. And not every chapter needs to end with a character quipping on some defeated foe. That said, some of the finest moments come laced in Linskey’s dark humour and use of Geordie aphorism. It’s impossible to read without doing so in a Geordie accent, and The Drop is all the more enjoyable because of this.

Linskey clearly focuses on plot and in building tension: the love interest made personal; the suspicion of a rat; the threat of police capture; a 72 hour deadline to deliver. It’s a well-structured novel, and the climactic ending scene in particular really goes a long way to satisfying the pace at which the readers hurtles through the proceeding chapters. Linskey’s dialogue can seem trite at times, but it’s more often witty. If many of the twists and turns are obvious, they are no less dramatic – plot is what matters here, and its exactly what The Drop delivers. The Kindle price is an admirable £2.39 as well.

Download a sample chapter here

No Exit Press
Print/Kindle/eBook
£2.39

CFL Rating: 3 Stars


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related posts
KindlePrintReviews

The Pain Tourist by Paul Cleave

Taut. Twisty. Propulsive. You can trot out all the cliches regularly used to describe thriller fiction and use them with abandon for Paul Cleave’s new police procedural, The Pain Tourist. In Christchurch, New Zealand, a serial killer named Joe Middleton was caught but somehow escaped…
KindlePrintReviews

Canticle Creek by Adrian Hyland

Jane Harper really started something with The Dry, now Antipodean crime fiction is so popular in the UK that Australian publisher Ultimo is releasing new titles directly. Following Sulari Gentill’s The Woman in the Library we have Adrian Hyland’s Canticle Creek. It’s a gritty, inventive…
KindlePrintReviews

This Train by James Grady

James Grady was 23 in 1974 when he wrote is iconic conspiracy novel Six Days of the Condor, in which the sole survivor of a wiped out a covert CIA unit has to figure out who and what is behind the massacre. Reconfigured for the…
Crime Fiction Lover