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111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How on earth did she do better than the O'Hara's/MItchells???
Well, well, well. When I realised that I was getting my hands on an early edition of Kimberley Chambers new book, to say I was excited is a bit of an understatement. For the benefit of those that haven't maybe read her books before you may want to know a bit more. Kim wrote and published her first book Billie Jo back in 2008. She then went on to write another two books...
Published on 20 April 2012 by Best Crime Books

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 80s bought back to life
The Schemer tells the interlinking stories of many pairings - childhood friends Stephanie and Tammy, wideboys Wayne and Barry, teenage sweethearts Stephanie and Barry, husband and wife Stephanie and Wayne - and how their relationships change and grow over time. It is also the story of how a doomed teenage romance shapes the lives of those involved, both at the time and...
Published on 21 Jun. 2012 by Catherine


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111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How on earth did she do better than the O'Hara's/MItchells???, 20 April 2012
By 
Best Crime Books "Best Crime Books" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Well, well, well. When I realised that I was getting my hands on an early edition of Kimberley Chambers new book, to say I was excited is a bit of an understatement. For the benefit of those that haven't maybe read her books before you may want to know a bit more. Kim wrote and published her first book Billie Jo back in 2008. She then went on to write another two books before releasing the first in a series of books (The Feud being the first) featuring the O'Hara and Mitchell family. The release of The Victim (the third in that series) in 2011 was an absolutely brilliant book and I couldn't have imagined she could ever top the characters she had created, but somehow she has. Kimberley Chambers has made a niche for herself and is now in my opinion as good as (if not better) that the more infamous British crime writers such as Martina Cole.

Sadly, many people have never heard of her and this is where people like me come in. My one true love is reading, and when you find a writer like Kim that writes books as good as hers you feel the need to share it with people. No, I am not paid by Kim or her publicists; I am just a true crime book lover. If you want a typically English bit of grit with a few gangsters thrown in then these are the books you should be reading.

The Schemer starts off by introducing us to Stephanie Crouch in the eighties. The first few pages had me laughing and reminiscing at the same time as Kim's descriptions of being a teenager at that time was absolutely spot on. It had the kind of feel that the new release of the film The Firm had. We get to see her older sister Angela and her mum living in their grotty council house with the rather colourful characters that live in their road! Pretty soon we meet East-End boy Barry who as a teenager falls head over heels in love with Steph. Sadly, their love is to be tested as Barry is taken to live in Spain with his Mum and new boyfriend. Steph then turns to Barry's friend Wayne and they soon move from friends to lovers and all thoughts of Barry leave Steph's head.

The book then moves to ten years later and we see the downside to Steph's decisions that she made as a teenager. This book had me absolutely gripped from the very first page to the very last page. All of the characters in this are absolute crackers and they each have their redeeming qualities. One thing I really need to point out is that if you are not a lover of a lot of swearing, then maybe this book won't be fore you. As a South London girl that swears like a sailor, it doesn't bother me in the slightest. One thing that really struck me was that although the characters are brilliant and the plot and storyline fantastic, the book certainly isn't without its humour.

There is one particular character by the name of Marlene that had me cringing and laughing in equal measures. The other thing that I really noticed about this book is that Kimberley Chambers has created characters that you can start off loving and end up hating. In the case of this book I am still not sure how I feel about either of the men featured and I really want to keep reading about both of them to see how it pans out. Thankfully, the ending of this book is so open-ended it's unreal. This is the best opener for the next book and to be honest I'm a little bit irritated I have to wait so long to find out!

Either way, I truly think that Kimberley Chambers is a good reason to highlight female British crime writers. Kim Chambers has not only earned her place as one of the Queens of British Crime, she is keeping it with this latest book as proof that she deserves to stay up there. All I can say is that if you haven't read her books before, I suggest you start now. If you have and you are keenly awaiting the next one, you will NOT be disappointed. Roll on the next one!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BRILLIANT BRILLIANT BRILLIANT, 2 May 2012
By 
Mrs. C. Swarfield - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a fantastic book. I absolutely loved it, in fact l could not put it down - l really did not think
Kimberley could better her previous novels they are fabulous too - but this dare l say it is her best yet.
She has got everything just right - she describes the eighties as if we are living through them again, the
plot is tremendous and even though her characters are mostly rogues you cannot help liking them and even
empathising with them the way she portrays tham. Stephanie and Barry -star crossed childhood sweethearts,
add to the mix a evil younger sister, an over protective mother an aunt who suffers from dwarfism and thats
just the beginning. I think that Kimberley Chambers is without doubt the best female crime writer to come
out of the UK in a verylong time.

I recommend this book to all crime readers as well as everyone who likes a good read with a well researched
plot - it will have you laughing out loud and gasping with shock at the same time.

I only wish l could rate it 10 stars because like all her books it merits it. Well done Kimberley you have
played a blinder.....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dont Judge a book..., 26 Aug. 2013
By 
Beanie Luck (Cotswolds) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
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Well i honestly didn`t think this was going to be my cup of tea, set in Essex, Chavs came to mind!

Wrong to draw early conclusions i know and it was far from it.

You get instantly drawn in to the characters mainly set around Stephanie and her first boyfriend Barry.

It starts off in the 80`s and i laughed as it brought to mind growing up as a teenager, first loves and adventures. You get to know their families, and the roads they grew up in, and read about the comings and goings of the people living in the street.

Some quite savoury characters too. Barry`s mom in particular had me in stitches and i could well imagine `Marlene`s` antics and foul language at times, curtain twitching and her being more entertaining than watching the telly.

An overbearing mother, an evil sister, her aunt born with Dwarfism and a rogue of a boyfriend.

All the makings of a good plot, 10 years on and it really hots up, i couldn`t put the book down, characters that you grew to like , you start to hate, twists and turns with every chapter.

Revenge is sweet, happy endings its not, and i didn`t guess the ending either. A great book and an author i will wait in anticipation for her next instalment. I will check out her previous books also!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 STARS..FANTASTIC! GRIPPING, 7 Jun. 2012
By 
Mistyange "Mistyang" (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
It was great to see one of Kimberley Chambers books up for grabs as a reviewer and I could hardly wait to read it. Once I had started reading it I could not put it down. Every book has surprised me that Kimberley has written and I wondered how she could better the gripping story of the Mitchell's & O'Hara's saga, but she did it again. SO LOOK OUT Martina this girl is every bit as good.
This storyline was fantastic as it starts in their teens and carries on through the decades, you have no idea what is going to happen next and the end was amazing (NO I am not going to give anything away) except to say the characters of Marlene and Marge her friend had me laughing out loud.
A thrilling read from Kimberley hope she writes many more. I will be reading this one again as I loved it. Highly recommended especially to Martina Cole and Mandasue Heller fans, Kimberley is up there with you and Dreda Say Mitchell, Helen Black and Jessie Keaane. Congratulations to Kimberley on this fab story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really keeps you guessing to the last page, 3 July 2012
By 
I. Mcintosh "Ian Mc" (Great Yarmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
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If you were in your teens or early 20's in the 1980's then you will love this book. The story is about 2 teenage sisters, their friends, family and lovers and how a doomed teenage love affair comes back to haunt them 20 years later. Its a real page turner and, although the plot gets a little thin in places, the charatcers are so well written that you cant put it down until you find out what happens to them next. As for the ending..I thought Id guessed how it would all end about three times..and each time I was wrong..so it really keeps you guessing to the last page. Ive never read one of her books before but will definately look out for her in future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic read from Kim Chambers !!!, 3 July 2012
By 
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
Again a fantastic read, having read all kim's book before I found this one different to the other's but still as good! A total page turner hence match sticks for eye lids next day as I really couldn't put it down well done and I look forward to jan 2013 when the next book is out!!!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The 80s bought back to life, 21 Jun. 2012
This review is from: The Schemer (Kindle Edition)
The Schemer tells the interlinking stories of many pairings - childhood friends Stephanie and Tammy, wideboys Wayne and Barry, teenage sweethearts Stephanie and Barry, husband and wife Stephanie and Wayne - and how their relationships change and grow over time. It is also the story of how a doomed teenage romance shapes the lives of those involved, both at the time and for many years to come.

For me the real strength of the novel lies in its dialogue and setting. As a teenager in the 80s I went to school with real people who were just like the main characters, and I could easily visualise the wardrobes and hairstyles they would have had. the vibrancy of the settings and characterisations drive the novel when the plot becomes a little thin. The twists and turns were fairly predictable, but the coloufulness of the protagonists and the sense of place and time carried the story along and made it a fun summer read.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping from start to finish, brilliant book, brilliant writer, 3 May 2012
By 
JM (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Firstly let me say that I usually steer well clear of this genre, I generally do not even consider books about gangsters etc like this. BUT, it is to the absolute credit of Kimberley Chambers that in spite of this fact, she is one of my favourite authors and I have read most of her books and am just about to order the remaining two I haven't yet read.
This is probably my favourite of her books so far and that is saying something as I have enjoyed them all very much. It features a range of interesting characters but the story is centred around Stephanie Crouch, fifteen years old when we first meet her, and her childhood sweetheart Barry Franklin. When fate tears them apart as Barry is forced to move to Spain with his mother (dreadful character) and her new boyfriend, it isn't long before young Steph finds her broken heart mended by Barry's best friend Wayne.
Unfortunately Barry isn't one for taking things lightly and years later is out to seek revenge. As Steph's happy life crumbles, she wonders who is to blame for her change in fortunes, is it really Barry or could it be someone else, but the schemer is not revealed to the very end of this gripping story.
Although well over 500 pages long, the author's writing grabs you throughout and it is virtually impossible to put this book down. I read it in a couple of days.
Very highly recommended to anyone who likes a gripping read, fabulous. And I hope from the way this book was left open ended, that there will be a follow up.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her best yet, 6 July 2012
This review is from: The Schemer (Paperback)
Have just finished the Schemer by Kimberley Chambers and after reading all her books this is her best so far.
Will this be the start of another trilogy ? I hope so as it would be brilliant.
The book tells the story of pure hatred and revenge and Marlene the mouthpiece had me boubled up laughing
at her antics with her friend Marge.
Well done and keep them coming.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The schemer..., 29 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: The Schemer (Kindle Edition)
This was the first book I had read by this author but will be buying more of her books loved it....s h e is even better than martina Cole fantastic ...
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The Schemer
The Schemer by Kimberley Chambers
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