Today I am over the moon to be taking part in the blog tour for Trickster by Sam Michaels. Gritty, raw, and rooted in London’s seedy underbelly this tale of trauma and survival will have you turning the pages at a breakneck pace!
Author: Sam Michaels
Publisher: Aria Press
Publication Date: April 16, 2019
Genre: Fiction, Crime Fiction, Historical Fiction
Themes: Friendship, Relationships, Crime
My Rating: 4.5/ 5
To be ruthless is to be powerful, at least it is on the Battersea streets…
Georgina Garrett was born to be ruthless and she’s about to earn herreputation.
As World War One is announced a baby girl is born. Little do people know that she’s going to grow up to rule the streets of Battersea. From a family steeped in poverty the only way to survive is with street smarts.
With a father who steals for a living, a grandmother who’s a woman ofthe night and a mother long dead, Georgina was never in for an easy life. But after a tragic event left her father shaken he makes a decision that will change the course of all their lives – to raise Georgina as George, ensuring her safety but marking the start of her life of crime…
Okay, if you’re looking for a happy, hopeful read you should walk away right now. I mean really, what do you expect from a book that opens with an impoverished mother dying during child birth? But, if you’re looking for strong characters, a touch of adventure, and a bit of grafting it out, this is the book for you!
Full of honourable villains, true friends, and even the embodiment of pure evil there’s rarely a dull moment. I adored the cast of central characters with the strong wiled Dulcie, wily Jack, despicable Percy, fragile yet loving Ruby, and the spunky and tenacious George/ Georgina.
It was fun watching George grow up, although some of the events she had to endure were less than comfortable to read. Yet despite it all her spunk was infectious. I loved how Jack went out of his way to not only protect his daughter but also to make sure that she could protect herself despite the gender norms of the day. I found it endearing how George took it upon herself to protect and empower those who didn’t know how to defend themselves, and how she chose her friends based character not their social standing.
And then there’s Billy Wilcox. I suppose he must have exceptionally well written as I spent the entirety of the novel waning to wring his neck! And his scenario was entirely believable – a prized son raised in a hard crime household, with a father often absent on business, constantly pressured to be tough and compassionless to keep up the family name, and left to run the streets with no supervision – yikes! Now add in the blindness of a mother’s love, a hard neighbourhood, and an early exposure to regularized violence ad voila, you have a budding serial killer and sociopath.
At least Norman Wilcox was an arse with morals. After all, it’s one thing to do away with someone who crosses you in business (especially when you head a crime syndicate) or tries to kill you themselves, but it’s something else entirely to torture and kill for pleasure. Some of his actions made me grossly uncomfortable – but when the situations and characters get so deeply under your skin you know it’s a job well done.
My heart really went out to Fanny and Molly Mipple, and was surprised that it took so long for Mike Mipple to meet his fate. But, in a time when a marriage to an undesirable man was more preferable to being an unmarried mother, or worse divorced, it really drove home how hard it was for women (especially those without means) between the wars.
Brutal or no, none of the scenarios felt contrived. Perhaps the only thing that really ruffled my feathers was some of the typecasting such as Ezzy the Jew who dealt in stolen jewellery, or Lash the traveller who made his living in bare-knuckles boxing. And yet, I couldn’t decide if I was offended by the typecasting, or if it was a genuine representation of the positions available to these people, at this time, and in this place. It probably doesn’t help Lash’s case that I was annoyed by the fact that after George made it so far as strong and independent woman, that he so easily swept her off her feet. I was surprised by George’s acknowledged need for a man’s protection and the security that their relationship offered, and I was left on the fence as to whether or not this was George taking the easy route or if she was making a calculated decision that garnered her more power on the street. But, I suppose even the strongest people need to be loved, and I can’t begrudge George’s affections!
Would I recommend this book? Oh hells yes! It’s quick paced, action packed, and full of strong and interesting characters. And, it’s a quick read – perfect for when you’re curled up beside the fire with a drink in hand. Read it my friends. For lovers of period pieces this is an absolute beauty!
About The Author
About the author:
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2H8HrI3
Many thanks to Victoria Joss at Aria Fiction for inviting me to join in this tour and for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.