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Witty, interesting, dramatic, well-developed plot and a classy performance by Lewis Hancock. I loved it.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Many years ago I bought John Lawton's Black Out, in paperback, and although I finished it eventually, it was a struggle from the very start.
Last month I was pleased to see a Lawton book available on Audible. Having read reviews of Lawton's work on other site, I decided to give it a go in digital format. Certainly the subject of Blue Rondo - gang warfar, London, 1950's - sounded interesting.
Just like Black Out I realised my mistake very early on in the story. It's just ... too long. Way too much padding. Large chunks of story could be disgarded as they were of little relevance to the overall story. Hints of villans, gangs, murder. Some interesting sections about regeneration of London. Sadly, this come infrequently as instead we have to meander away on sub-plots and follow weak characters.
The main character, Troy, is clearly from a well-to-do family and having the luxury of a family estate to wander around in makes the London Copper character a little hard to believe. A brother who is highup in the Shadow Cabinet in Parliament, twin sisters who share lovers from time to time. Just some of the characters that flit in and out of the story but add nothing except more pages / listening time.
The voices given to the characters on the audio book were OK but I'm left with the impression that Troy is about 22 and could be 'had' by any street smart teenager. Future recordings should beef up the characters voice as it really is just too whiny to be believable. Stay away from American women too as that voice just forced me to skip every section where 'Katie' and Troy were together.
I'm sure the book is well researched and for some readers it will be an entertaining, gripping read - a trip down memory lane. However, I found it disappointing and considered just not bothering to finish it. Where I originally hoped for a gutsy London-based gangland war story, what I actually got were some OK villans, weak characters, annoying voice-overs, and way too much padding.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful