Wednesday, 24 October 2018

PAUL HEATLEY - AN EYE FOR AN EYE (2016)


Synopsis/blurb....

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. 

When it comes to Neil Doyle’s daughter, Gandhi had no idea.

An accident leaves Jasmine Doyle permanently disfigured, and the patriarch of one of Newcastle’s crime families goes on the warpath to find the perpetrator. He doesn’t care who gets in his way, or what he has to do to them, to get his hands on the man responsible.

Graeme Taylor and ‘Tracksuit’ Tony Gordon find themselves dragged into this brutal quest for vengeance, pushed physically and mentally to the breaking point by all that they see, and all that they are forced to do. 

By the end, the streets will run with blood, and no one walks away unscarred.


Not the kind of thing that will appeal to every reader, but one which worked just fine for me.

A bit of pub banter, some leg-pulling and as sometimes happens when there's drink involved an escalation and an accident and for those involved some heavy consequences. Neil Doyle's daughter, Jasmine just lost an eye. The first thought of those involved is flight.

Our main focus is Graeme. He has a history with Neil Doyle, some of which we learn during the course of this fast-moving novella. Doyle is a strike first, lash out, shoot the messenger, kind of guy. He's also the big cheese, the main man, the top banana, the king of the hill. Graeme does his bidding, on occasions, as do most other people.

Doyle wants Graeme (or others) to bring him the guilty, where a bit of biblical restitution will be brought to bear. An eye for an eye!

Graeme has a more measured approach in getting results. Violence is an option, but not his first recourse.

Brutal, bloody and savage in places, but not out of context with the kind of people we are reading about. Neil Doyle is your worst nightmare when you're the rabbit in his headlights.

Graeme is capable, thoughtful and while there is no real way of avoiding the issue - what Neil wants Neil gets. He's enough of his own man to deliver a result but on his own terms.

An interesting character study of a man..... his strengths, his mistakes, his history, his loneliness, his talents, his regrets, his lost love and all that entailed, his compassion, his loyalty, his duty and to a lesser degree his independence.

Lots to like....

Setting - the Toon - Newcastle and a bit of gallivanting around the local area - Byker, Middleboro, a boat trip and a small caravan park in Amble, not so far away.

Action - tough, near to the knuckle (or even close to the bone!) and almost tender in places, in an unspoken, understated masculine type of way.

Character - in spades.

Tale/plot/resolution - straightforward - an event, a problem to be solved, an expert problem solver with his unofficial investigation, a solution and the best possible outcome given the situation.

Length - spot on at 130-odd pages

4.5 from 5

Not my first time with Paul Heatley's work - The Boy, FatBoy, The Motel Whore, The Vampire have all been enjoyed.

Not my last either - The Runner and Violent By Design - the next couple in a loose trilogy with An Eye For An Eye - plus others wait for me.

Read in October, 2018
Published - 2016
Page count - 129
Source - purchased copy
Format - kindle


NEW EDITION RECENTLY DROPPED......



11 comments:

  1. Col, I like the cover's perspective on the 90yr old bridge. My crime thriller THE BREAD OF TEARS takes place in London and Newcastle and has had good reviews. :)

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    1. It is a great cover, Nik. I'll have a gander at yours when I next pop over to Amazon.

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  2. That cover is attention-getting, Col! As for the story, I like the Newcastle setting. And the characters sound solid and well rounded. I think the brutality would put me off, even if it is consistent with what those kinds of people do. Still, it's an interesting premise, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

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    1. Margot, definitely more me than you though there are elements I think you would enjoy.

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  3. Nicely reviewed, Col, particularly where you write about the setting, action and character.

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  4. Col – I’ve got some catching up to do when it comes to Heatley. I’ve only read MOTEL WHORE, and he’s got quite a few others listed on Amazon. And, I agree with the others here, the cover on this one is a grabber.

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    1. Elgin, I think I'm five down, five to go with Paul at the minute. No doubt by the time I catch up on the existing ones, he'll have dropped a few more!

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  5. Newcastle, eh? I've just this very instant (well, within the last two minutes) been advising an American friend about the magic of Newkie Brown. This must be a Meaningful Coincidence . . .

    The book sounds fun indeed. Good, too, to see that page-count. I must give this author a try.

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    1. John, synchronicity - I hope you can track one down. Does Newcastle Brown export to the US? It would be an ideal accompaniment!

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