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Seven Daze Kindle Edition
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They say the devil is in the detail and that's how it is with Charlie Wade's writing. We get to see all aspects of Jim's life as he struggles to repay the debt to his former employer. What Wade does well is the fine details. He creates a fully rounded and in depth character with Jim. His observations are often funny, witty, sarcastic and cynical sometimes all four at once.
I very much enjoyed the insights given into the character of Jim, as much as I enjoyed the events that unfolded. You can't help but feel for Jim's plight and most of those he is robbing won't miss the money. After their shared experience Jim's developing relationship with Charlotte has the reader wondering where this will go. Charlie Wade does a great job of keeping the book interesting despite his need to have to repeat some events given the nature of Jim's task.
Overall a very enjoyable novel. The author writes in a very British way and his observations in the novel would, perhaps, appeal more to a British audience. He seems to play down events in a very British fashion where our friends over the pond might be tempted to make it more visceral. This to me makes it more effective, more realistic and more enjoyable for the honesty. Charlie Wade has made his mark here with his own brand of crime fiction. I hope more follows.
Despite this, as the story unfolds you find yourself rooting for him. You want him to make a big score from his pickpocketing or burglary to pay his debt and you start to worry about his prospects for survival. This says volumes for the way the characters are drawn and I found this to be fascinating. By the end of the book, when things are getting resolved, I found myself spellbound.
Do I have any criticisms of this book? As time passes and the central character drifts from one petty crime to the next, it gets a bit tedious occasionally, but I rather suspect this is a ploy by the author for the reader to experience the thoughts and feelings of our (anti)hero.
So, in all, I found myself being drawn into the story the more I read it. Money well spent, I think!
Jim's problem is his disparate failure to earn some serious money from a gangland boss - his failure turns his hoped for profit into a serious loss that needs to be made good in quick-time otherwise the underworld threatens to swallow him up in a tangle of broken limbs and a one way ticket to the bottom of the Thames.
In a world where you can trust no one Jim hooks up with what he at first believes is an attractive, rich woman that may be able to save him. It turns out they have more in common than he expected.
For a first novel Charlie Wade shows us great promise with a well researched and thought through plot. The reader is cleverly invited to keep wondering "what if it were me?". Glimpses of London's seamier side are contrasted with the high flying City folk who choose to know little of the people surviving in the "real world". At what point does criminal behaviour become legitimate, how far would you go?
Even if Jim is a petty criminal, he is not a particularly bad one and I would challenge anyone not to root for him.
Seven Daze is a light hearted, funny and engaging novel which keeps your interest throughout.
I can definitely recommend.
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