8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Bradford's muse hits the spot,
By A Customer
This review is from: Billie Morgan (Paperback)
Joolz Denby is a poet and speaker and this shines through her gorgeous prose. Her descriptions of Bradford are both beautiful and real, she evokes the city so well, in all its grimy reality. Indeed the city itself is almost a character in the book. Knowing Bradford fairly well it felt like she was describing a relative who can be sometimes embarrassing but occasionally brilliant.
Although the book has been put into the Crime genre it is so much more than that. The voice of the book is Billie Morgan, named for Billie Holiday by her father. Billie grows up in Bradford in the 70s and gets involved with a Biker Gang. This leads to a murder. The novel is told as a confessional leading the reader slowly to understand how the murder happened and why. Joolz' descriptions of the intricacies of family relationships are superb. You really feel that you can get under the skin of the characters - all of which have huge but loveable flaws. The overriding feeling I had when reading this novel was that this really happened and that the characters really do live in Bradford. It is shocking, devastating, fragile and real. I don't often re-read books but this is one I could read again.
Here's a taste of the prose to whet your appetite (on Bradford):
"Oh sure, it's a poor place; when the textile trade all but died poverty crept in on naked, rotting feet and soured things; clabbered the milk in babies' mouths and put a blighted fury in our young men's hearts that leads them to rash and brutal acts...But it's not grey; it's not dull - it's as fiery and drenched with colour as a Turner painting. It's a stone maze; a trap for the unwary - I'm not surprised poor old Londoners get culture shock..."