I happened to come across this author purely by coincidence on twitter and I received the book in exchange for an honest opinion. As a blogger it is so easy to get caught up with all the 'big' name authors, blog tours or whatever book is being hyped at the time in the blogger community. So on that basis it was an absolute delight to find this hidden gem, it wouldn't have reached my radar otherwise. Which proves there are so many books and potential enjoyment being missed!
This is a mix of crime and thriller, with an underlying paranormal element which is not my usual preference but it worked so well in this.
There is no slow build up, it's instant action from the outset. Who doesn't like being in a park on a hot sunny day, there can be many reasons behind each visit and we are introduced to several characters whose daily activity involves being in that particular London park on that fateful day, when a random gunmen is on the loose.
Edward has many issues, ranging from a troubled childhood up until the events that lead him to the point where he loses his 'rightful' inheritance. There is a complex family history and this is where the story unfolds as we learn about the relationships between him and primarily, step-brother Charlie and his nephew Sam. I could easily visualise what slimy little toads these people were!
The reader is taken on the journey between past and present, the young Edward didn't always behave in a responsible way and his teen love interest makes a re-appearance later in life. I found the parts revolving around him and Janine quite heart-wrenching. As hard as Edward wants to improve himself he is stuck in a downward spiral, some due to his own stupidity but the majority exacerbated by circumstances.
The descriptions of Edward's living conditions pull emotions in all directions. At times I wanted to shout at him to get a grip and make something of his life instead of making poor decisions or mixing with the wrong people, especially Tommy. But by the next paragraph I was 'inside' his head feeling the rage, pain and anguish.
Although the ending was obvious from the outset due to the nature of the story I was totally transfixed and couldn't wait to see how all the pieces fitted together. Thankfully all the loose ends are tied up nicely to completion. There are a lot of characters involved but the writing style makes it easy to follow.
I really enjoyed this, since finishing it I have been attempting to understand the psyche behind Edward's thoughts and have come to the conclusion that even the most ordinary people can sink into madness if the provocation is there, quite a scary thought!
I have other books by Joy sitting on my Kindle, just waiting for an opportunity to read them. Based on Random Bullets I think I'm in for a treat. Just reverting back to my comment about 'meeting' on Twitter it just shows the importance social media can play in book awareness/promotion.