Would you commit murder, just to fit in?
The UK is gripped by the threat of gang violence - the media is building on that hysteria, convincing us that knife crime is rife and the streets are flooded with guns and drugs. So when a member of a notorious girl gang is charged with a brutal murder, sympathy is in short supply. Enter Lilly Valentine, a tough talking lawyer who is never prepared to take things at face value and is determined to uncover the truth, whatever the cost.
A gripping crime novel that will force every listener to reassess what they think they know about society and gang culture.
About the author: Helen grew up in Pontefract, West Yorkshire. At 18 she went to Hull University and left three years later with a tattoo on her shoulder and a law degree. She became a lawyer in Peckham and soon had a loyal following of teenagers needing legal advice and bus fares. She ended up working in Luton, working predominantly for children going through the care system.
©2011 Helen Black (P)2013 Audible Ltd
"A dark and gripping read that will have you on the edge of your seat" (Closer magazine)
I have not read the print version; but since Imogen Church narrates the audio, nothing could be better. I discovered Helen Black because Imogen Church does the narration. I am addicted to Imogen Church, and I love thrillers, so I search for thrillers narrated by her. This was a good find.
Maybe the scene in the crack house? This was a very atmospheric, scene heavy novel, so there were many.
Thanks for giving me a chance to rhapsodize about my favorite narrator! She is able to embody each character with their unique voice, without drawing attention to the transition. Her velvety voice draws one inside the story, and is never distracting in itself. Her timing is always flawless. I find it very difficult to wean myself off of Imogen Church when I want to listen to a book narrated by someone else. I have listened to four Imogen Church narrations in a row. My definition of bliss is to be read aloud to by Imogen Church.
Sorry, it would be a spoiler.
This is a fascinating glimpse inside the world of girl gangs, poverty and adolescent angst.
"I would give no stars if possible"
I hated this from the minute I started listening - the gang fight - the awful speech - etc. but when I got to the part where the heroine/solicitor was not capable of keeping staff because she was so untidy and disorganised - and then when we caught her trying to make a 360 degree circuit/twirl on her secretary's office chair, I really decide that I had better things to do.
I bought this based on quite good reviews - but my goodness, I found it abysmal in both characters AND writing.
"Not a book I would recommend"
Difficult to say. The book was awful from beginning to end with a very weak storyline and not particularly well narrated.
Don't think so
The pathetic do-good solicitor.
"A story of our time"
Not only is this superb story that lets you into the lives of another generation but Imogen Church really brought it to life. Superb story telling and I will be looking for other story narrated by Imogen. Overall fantastic union of writer and narrator. Highly recommended.
Probably. I enjoyed everything about it.
The characters, the believable (if grim) scenario. The compassion which the author shows for people from all walks of life: there are no cardboard-cutout goodies or baddies,only very credible, rounded characters. It was well-structured, very gripping, but with a humorous light hand at times. I'd definitely look out for Helen Black's work in future.
I think she's brilliant - much the best female narrator so far. She's really good at accents where so many actors don't quite cut it; she gets all the nuances and intonations in the right places, which not many manage to do! She and Helen Black's work make a great working partnership, but I think Imogen Church could make even a mediocre book interesting.
There were several. Amongst others, the bit in the cafe where Chika drops her bravado and tells Demi exactly what happened on the night of the attack; most of Jamie's scenes; the scenes in the collapsing tower block where the characters interact.
Having a one-star review as the first in line, put me off buying this book at first glance. Then I got it regardless, and I'm glad I did! I really don't understand how those two other reviewers gave it such a poor rating. It sounds as if they simply picked a style and genre of novel which wasn't their cup of tea...it beats me why they bought it in the first place. It's a shame when people can't tell the difference between bad quality and something which just isn't to their taste.
Not sure why but the book doesn't quite pull it off for me. The quality of performance varies and the whole just isn't quite right.
"Insightful and strangely addictive"
I started of wondering why i downloaded this. not my normal style and had no real interest in gang culture. Something in the description made me want to try. So glad i did. It took a little while to get into the pace and style. Was not sure about the narrator. again personal and not a criticism.
BUT. then i just started to get it. I found I cared about the main characters and was drawn into a brilliant plot that is full of sadness and desperation with a health layer of wit and humour. The climax leave you wanting more. I will be looking for more books from Helen in the future.
The narration: i grew to really like it...
At first I almost gave up on this, it was my first Helen Black book, actually... I did. I managed about 30 mins and thought I'd bought a teen book by mistake. I left it alone for a couple of weeks and then one day, at a loose end I reluctantly came back to it and I'm so pleased I did.
Within a short time I was completely drawn in and didn't want to put it down. I love the insight into London's drug and gang underbelly and how the characters and their relationships developed.
I am now looking forward to hearing more from Helen Black.
"What an unexpected great experience!!!!"
I am an avid reader and generally pretty old school and like to feel the paper, that is why when choosing audible books I try to get ones that I would never have picked up of the bookshelf, Hence the reason for the title of my review, the story is well written with plots and twists that I never saw coming, the narrator was brilliant making it really alive and vibrant, I did look for others, by the author, for my next download but no luck yet. Definitely worth a go even if not your normal genre.
I really enjoy this author and the narrator, I have several books by both of them in my library.
The main character, Lily, is a total scatterbrain, but also a very dedicated family services lawyer. Although the subject matter can be harrowing there is enough levity in what Lily gets up to at home and in the office to keep it balanced.
I love the narrator, she has different, believable voices for all the characters which makes listening to the book a pleasure.
Well paced, gritty novel. Refreshingly uncluttered and sadly relevant for our time. Well paced, and well narrated audio.
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