Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“It’s all about survival out here and I intend to survive the only way I know.”
Incredible. Need I say more?! I loved everything about this book so much and I’m already putting it on my TBR list to re-read! The author has created some of the best characters I’ve ever met and written a book that I’d be quite happy to read over and over again. So happy to share my review of the book on this blog tour with so many other wonderful book bloggers!
The Wire crosses the pond.
Ed is a detective who handles informants. He recruits Ben, a young man, who is treading a dangerous path into the criminal underworld. Ben’s unsure of where his loyalties lie. They have to find a way to work together despite their differences.
Both men are drawn into the world of Troy, a ruthless and brutal leader of an Organised Criminal Network. Ben is torn between two worlds as he tries to walk the impossible line between criminality and helping Ed combat crime.
He lives in fear of discovery. When your life is thrown upside down who do you turn to in order to survive?
I loved everything about the opening to this book! The characters are introduced to us in such a memorable way and the very opening scene had a great mysterious feel to it that got me asking questions and thinking hard so early on. Ed and Sienna are amazing characters right from page one, and Ben had me thinking of his own life story before this book; why was he serving jail time? How could this character potentially help Ed in his work? I love an opening to a book which just grips you from the first paragraph, and this book is the perfect example. There’s a great pace and tone which I’m confident anyone could get lost in and already, I was desperate to find out more about the characters we meet. Absolutely flawless!
The different points of view from the main characters worked very well and I found myself desperate to read the thoughts of each character as each chapter began. I really liked Ben’s character; at first, he seemed so rebellious, running errands for some pretty dodgy folk which made me think more about what he’s getting himself into. Could Ed really trust this guy? As much as I liked this character, I felt the need to keep an eye on him. Even though he’d just got out of prison, I wasn’t convinced he had a good heart straight away, even though he was in regular contact with Ed about his findings. Things seemed very dangerous for him at this point and it’d be interesting to see just what he’s getting himself into later down the line. Would he turn out to be the good guy Ed hopes?
As well as exploring how Ben works alongside the police, we also get to know more about Ed’s character. Ed and his wife, Lucy, are trying for children; this little side story was such a contrast to the main story, but it worked so well to give this character depth. We see two very different sides to him, but also of how his job affects his family life too. As time goes on, we learn more about Ben and where his priorities lie, especially when he finds out he’s going to be a father. With so many factors throwing the reader off course, how could we know whether Ben is trustworthy? Would he ever give up his criminal life completely? Would things simply become too much for him? Would he land himself in prison once again?
“London is a war zone. My battleground is the street. My unit is on a hearts and minds campaign to keep control and maintain law and order through gathering intelligence.”
The one thing that truly grabbed me throughout the beginning of the book was just how vivid everything was. Each piece of description and every scene just seemed to pop out of the page. It was exactly what I needed to be able to imagine each scene playing out in my mind and I feel like it’s rare that an author can do this so effortlessly. We share Ben’s feelings when he’s in danger or in pain, and we share Ed’s feelings of concern for Ben and determination when he’s working. It amazed me how real everything seemed and I only became more excited for what was to come in the middle of the book. Would Ben find himself in even more trouble, and would he truly be able to commit himself to the police force?
It’s clear how much Ed needs to keep Ben safe and in times of need, it felt so heartwarming to see how he protected Ben, sometimes even risking his own life to do so. It’s funny – so much of the story reminded me of Grand Theft Auto, so when this was actually referenced in the book, I had to have a laugh! Each dangerous scene, each gunshot and each argument felt so frightening as I read, and again, I found myself wanting more of it. Making a reader feel immense terror is a skill in itself. There’s one particular character that I developed a fear of quite quickly; Troy. With Ed trying his hardest to find this guy and using Ben as much as he can to do so, the story was most definitely heating up. However, would Ben give Ed the information he needs or would he keep this to himself to protect Troy and himself?
The style of writing changes dramatically from one character to the next which I found very impressive. You can tell the kind of people both Ed and Ben are simply from the way each chapter is written. I enjoyed how Ben’s chapters sounded like more of a diary entry in a way, and I found myself reading these chapters with a weird accent in my head (something I’ve never done before, I’m not even sure it was the right accent, but it was fun to do anyway!) As the story progresses, we see Ed’s personal life and work collide again, and, seeing as Ed doesn’t want to be moved from his department, he gets the go ahead to stay put, especially while going through fertility/adoption processes at home. I couldn’t help wondering whether he’d regret this decision eventually and just whether the stress and hard work would be worth it. I was so excited for the rest of the story!
There are so many scenes throughout the middle of the book which quite literally had me on the edge of my seat. The club sting operation was my absolute favourite part and I just couldn’t get enough of how well planned it was and just how well the author has made each character play such a vital part in how it all unraveled. It was even more exciting when things went wrong! The book has so many action packed scenes such as this, and when mixed with the detective/mystery nature of the book, it creates such a perfect read. I couldn’t get enough! Ed’s character is so likeable all the way through the book and I instantly found myself on his side the more we read. He also had the patience of a saint when it came to Ben. How long would this continue? I was desperate to see how the relationship between these characters changed over time.
“My home life is dead; my work life is where I feel alive. Alive among those people society seeks to incarcerate and reject as useless, not worthy of good fortune and happiness.”
As time went on, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sorry for Ben in a way. He’s young but he’s also been through a hell of a lot of danger in his life, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. In fact, the danger seems to be escalating for him, and it was crucial he watched his own back. However, I still couldn’t trust this guy, and as Ed started to become a little suspicious, I felt like this story could go so many ways! My mind was filling with questions and possibilities, and as always, this author kept me gripped from one chapter to the next. The ending of the book was fast approaching and I was desperate to read the finale. How would the author end things? How would Ed and Ben’s relationship end up? The build up was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever read.
The more we learn about Ed and Lucy’s journey to become parents, the more I got the impression that Ed saw Ben as some sort of child figure, someone he felt the need to watch over and teach right from wrong, even though they didn’t see eye to eye a lot of the time. Also, the fact that Ben is to be a father gives these characters something else in common. We learn more about Ed from a personal point of view too, such as finding out how his parents died and what motivated him to join the police force, which I found particularly moving. With yet another argument between Ed and Ben spiraling out of control, I became concerned for the safety of Ed and Sienna. Would Ben really go to extreme lengths to get his own back? Ed and Sienna really needed to watch their step…
Troy begins to get in Ben’s head and I became even more worried for what was to come next for him. Ed is also deep into Troy’s case, working out ways to bring him down, with or without Ben’s assistance. He soon realises Ben is trying to play both good guy and bad guy, which simply can’t be done. I loved how this played out and I felt that really deep down, Ben had some good in him – he just found it difficult to bring it to the surface for his safety. The author gives the reader so much to think about; the plot becomes so complex and the creation of such perfectly imperfect characters make the book what it is. I’ve heard that another of this author’s books is being made into a TV series, and this book could definitely work too!
Ben goes missing which caused a bit of panic in my mind. It’s later discovered that a boy has been killed and that Ben’s name is circulating. Could it really have been him? Did he have it in him to take a life? Ed’s in desperate need of a break from all this and I agreed that he needed it for his own sanity. I think anyone would go mad with all the stress, especially in his job role! From this point on, any mention of Troy in the book made my heart sink and I had an awful feeling that all the character’s we’ve grown to love were in danger. A chilling phone call makes everything so much more serious for Ben – would he do what needed to be done to save the mother of his child?
“Unless you’re livin’ life on the road, then no on can tell you what it’s like for real.”
The final few chapters were so terrifying for me and I couldn’t even begin to imagine how anxious the characters in the story were. It was incredibly fast paced and I tore through it like it was a matter of life and death! Well, for Ben, it quite possibly was just that. The closing chapters were everything I’d hoped they’d be and more – completely gripping and addictive to the very last word. I found myself fighting back the tears as the action and heartbreak just became too much. It was a complete masterpiece and such an honour to experience. It’s been a while since I read an ending so perfect and so impactful! So faultless and something everyone needs to read! I’m just going to go and cry now…
I loved this book from start to finish and I’m a little lost for words right now! If you’re looking for a read with complex characters to analyse and a fast paced plot, this needs to go straight to the top of your list. This book forces you to think way beyond what is being explored in the story and I found myself constantly questioning the outcome for the characters, even after I’d finished! I won’t hesitate to give this book five stars – what a journey!
Thank you so much to the author of this book, Ian Patrick, and Emma at Damp Pebbles for my copy of this book and my place on the blog tour! You can purchase your own copy of How The Wired Weep over on Amazon, available on Kindle and in paperback. Follow the author over on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date!