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Hamelin's Child

Hamelin's Child [Kindle Edition]

DJ Bennett
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Michael Redford died on his seventeenth birthday – the night Eddie picked him up off the street, shot him full of heroin and assaulted him.

Now he’s Mikey and he works for Joss. With streaked blond hair and a cute smile, he sleeps by day and services clients at night. Sometimes he remembers his old life, but with what he’s become now, he knows there is no return to his comfortable middle-class background.

Then he makes a friend in Lee. A child of the streets, Lee demands more from friendship than Mikey is prepared to give. But the police are closing in on them now and Mikey’s not sure anymore who he really is – streetwise Mikey or plain Michael Redford.

Hamelin’s Child was long-listed in the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award. A thriller set in the seedy world of London's drug rings, this book contains strong scenes and adult material.

(approx 85,000 word novel)

About the Author

I tell lies and make things up. Sometimes people pay me for it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 416 KB
  • Print Length: 274 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #51,528 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Debbie has been writing since primary school and handwrote her first novel aged 14 in a fancy ring-binder. After that inspiring debut, she wrote several (mostly unpublishable) novels on a manual typewriter and later computer, until an agency contract in the 1990s led her to think she might actually be good at it.

She's worked in law enforcement for over 25 years, in a variety of different roles (both front-line and back-office), which may be why the darker side of life tends to emerge in her writing. In 2005, she was long-listed (top 25) for the Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger Award, which gave her the self-confidence to independently-publish the crime novel Hamelin's Child on kindle and other e-outlets in 2011, closely followed by a young adult fantasy Edge of Dreams and a collection of short (and not-so-short) stories Maniac & Other Stories. Other books followed and Debbie has now started publishing paperbacks of some of her books due to local demand.

She spent 9 years editing and publishing anthologies, newsletters and other publications for the British Fantasy Society, and has had numerous short stories in print in a variety of outlets from award-nominated anthologies to women's magazines. She's also reviewed for the BFS and Starburst magazine, and was a reader for a national short story competition for many years.

At present Debbie plays with police computers during the day. The rest of the time she's working on a couple of other novels and several short stories. Her website can be found at

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing, riveting, genuinely original 24 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Most modern crime novels with a gritty bent seem to focus on the relationship between the perpetrator of the crime and the detective or police officer hunting him or her, showing how much they have in common. In Hamelin' s Child, DJ Bennett takes a different approach. Michael "Mikey" Redford is a seventeen-year-old boy, rebellious although not remarkably so, who finds himself dragged out of his middle-class life on his birthday and hurled into a sordid, terrifying world of hard drugs, prostitution and violence. With startling speed, he adapts to the life, making his rescue from it all the more difficult for his sister Kate, herself trapped by others' expectations in a life she never really wanted, and Derek, the (presumably) unhappily married police detective in charge of finding Michael.

With its graphic descriptions of heroin abuse, homosexual rape and beatings, the story could easily have wallowed in luridness. It's a testament to the author's skill as a writer that this is never allowed to happen, and despite the horrors you get the sense that the narrative' s under tight, expert control. The structure of the novel is masterful, with an apparently climactic midpoint series of events which turn out instead to open a new phase in the story. And Hamelin' s Child opens with one of the best first lines I've ever read.

A most impressive debut, and I'm looking forward to reading the next two novels in the series. Highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Hamelin's Child is a novel of rare power with a storyline that takes the reader into a world very far removed from normality. 'Mikey' is a a victim, preyed upon and forced into a life that degrades and yet draws him into its spell. Forced into prostitution and heroin addiction, the contrast with his plight and the sheer normality of the family who search for him is remarkably well portrayed by a gifted author whose attention to detail never wavers. The powerful nature of chapter eight, in particular, will remain with me for a long time.
Exceptional writing, I recommend this very strongly.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Left me speechless 29 Oct 2014
By BookAddictShaun TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I was browsing Amazon when I came across this book. The author very kindly sent me a review copy and I couldn't wait to start it. With some glowing reviews on Amazon I started it with a bit of trepidation at what to expect. Debbie Bennett has written one hell of a story here, one that will pull at your heartstrings and have you experiencing every emotion possible as you read. At times the story becomes so difficult you almost want to put the book down, but it is just too gripping to do that.

Michael is approached in a bar by a stranger when his girlfriend is occupied with another man, the stranger spikes Michael's drink, taking him back to a flat in the East End where he is kept prisoner, raped, shot full of heroin and sold for sex. We see Michael, or Mikey, go from a normal teenager to a drug addict, so dependent on the drug he will do anything for it. Debbie has captured the mind of the male teenager incredibly well. We really get inside Mikey's head, and start to understand his thought processes. At times he is confused and angry, coming across sometimes like an adult yet retaining that childlike vulnerability that teenagers still have. Sharing the house with a boy named Lee, Mikey wants to escape, but it isn't long before his drug addiction prevents him from doing so. His friendship with Lee starts to develop further, leaving him even more confused and angry at the things he is thinking and feeling. You do want Mikey to escape and find freedom but at the same time know that there won't be much of a story if that happens. Lee has an adult voice despite being younger than Mikey, and this isn't due to an author fault but the fact that Lee has had to grow up very fast.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The director of The Exorcist and Cruising would heartily approve of D J Bennett's relentless pacing and unflinching commitment to showing, in horrifying detail, one boy's forced descent into heroin addiction and gay prostitution. The suspense is finely orchestrated on several fronts: our empathy for this likable boy...our growing realization that this author will go the distance in showing still worse degradation...and the artfully shown race to find him--while there's still something worth saving. Make no mistake, it's a grim read. But there's more compassion here than you'll find in all of Friedkin. While surgically dissecting the progression of his addiction, Bennett is careful to add rays of hope: a rebellious streak...shrewd attempts to escape his captors and his sickness. He falls hard, and then harder,and then harder still. But he never once falls from our hearts. The book has first-class villains and a fine set-up at the end for the two sequels that followed. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read. 13 Oct 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
DJ Bennett's Hamelin's Child, demonstrates an original approach to crime fiction by the author. We are used to the crusading police officer pursuing the shadowy, one dimensional perpetrator of some evil act. Rarely do we get inside the world of the criminal to such an extent that our sympathies fluctuate so dramatically. There is Michael and there's Mikey. We know what we want for one, but what about the other? The attention to realistic detail made this reader question his own attitudes and even loyalties within the context of the novel. Beneath the gritty realism lies a delicate sensitivity, with which DJ Bennett manipulates your expectations and emotions. Resonating throughout the novel are echoes of the Pied Piper and this leads one to formulate a possible ending scenario. But Ms Bennett never does the expected. This book succeeds on many levels. It is a pacey thriller, a microscope on a brutal underworld, a raw dissection of modern family life, an intelligent consideration of the descent into drugs and, not least, a page turning, entertainment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read, am going to buy the next book
A very good read, am going to buy the next book, which follows on from this one, thank you
Published 1 month ago by maggie mclellan
4.0 out of 5 stars Great
good read. realistic, good pace. Kate was annoying, being very naive and self absorbed. good characterisation. ending too abrupt though.
Published 4 months ago by maddie N
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Brilliant read couldnt put it down.
Published 5 months ago by Sallybosher
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Good story, realistic and riveting. Haven't read anything from this author before but will do so in the future definitely.
Published 5 months ago by Wendy Thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
First time reading one of Bennett's books and I really enjoyed it. Very true to life . Gripping. Can't wait for the next book.
Published 5 months ago by shal/stepney
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping yarns!
I think I've read all the books in this series - well told tales, well-drawn characters who draw the reader into the story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by AmadouMann
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant ;-)
this is the first book with two more to follow wow couldnt put them down would defo recommend to my friends :-)
Published 9 months ago by sandy
5.0 out of 5 stars Guilty pleasure?
I felt almost guilty for enjoying this book so much. It's a harrowing tale, with insight into a life that's hard to stomach but it's written so well that you can't help wanting... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mally_Brat
5.0 out of 5 stars Hamelin s child
Captive storyline well written excellent characters would make a great movie the two characters at the end ( not giving any names away ! Read more
Published 14 months ago by d. metcalfe
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