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~~Geezer Girls by Dreda Say Mitchell~~
"Great read written by a great girl" Martina Cole.
I found this book at the local library it was on the new additions shelf and it immediately caught my eye, I noticed it wasn't a book I would normally read but I had seen that a few people had taken it out in a short period of time so I viewed this as a good indicator that this book was worth a go!
After a bit of research I found out that Dreda Say Mitchell the fantastic author of this compelling read is an award winning author who has had other hit novels called Running Hot and Hit Girls. She has also been named one of Britain's remarkable women. Dreda is also a journalist and educational advisor at present. Dreda was born in the east end of London to Caribbean parents. She has had a varied career before becoming an author with some of her career's being in the teaching sector and also as radio broadcasting.
The book is aimed towards adults and its story line sees four teenage girls go through "special community projects" which sees the girls being turned from naïve and unknowledgeable about the crime world, to becoming "Geezer Girls" in which they take part in organised crimes such as drug dealing, gun running, gem smuggling and money laundering. They are taken in by a man they name The Geezer after their mothers who were previous "employees" get themselves stitched up by the authorities in Sankora; he makes the girls believe he is looking after them but then again it's all about deception and distraction.
The story features the saying distraction and deception which are viewed by The Geezer as the two things to be a successful criminal, the writer has used this in her writing to distract the reader and deceive them into believe the story is going to go one way and then all of a sudden the tale twists to something your mind hasn't thought off, it is a very clever read. The story is very strong and gripping and I managed to read the whole book (435 pages) in 2 days that is quite good for me it normally takes me a week to get through a book of that size. The story features many different topics, from crime to love after hardships. I have never heard of the author before this book but I will definitely be looking for more of her books in the future, I think this book is a very clever way of making a perhaps ordinary crime story into a woman as well as man friendly story which twists and turns with different possible endings being created by the reader, the actual ending is very clever and one I wouldn't have sussed out from the beginning. I think this is a very strong advantage of the book as many books I have read that follow similar stories are all predictable and leave me feeling disappointed as I could have guessed the ending rather than reading it. The book itself is very diverse and multi-cultural as it features both black and white characters, the settings all contrast and show how cultures differ greatly, scenes are set in prisons abroad where it is acceptable to bribe prison officers and how these officers are free to abuse their inmates, and then it shows how a similar thing is happening in London and how the social services are "bent" and are helping known crime lords get their hands on innocent children to mould them into clever criminals.
The story starts with a mild portion of the ending, it does get quite confusing as you try and work out what is happening and who is who, however when the chapter is repeated at the end with the extra bits to piece together, you see how the whole story slots together and your mind starts mentally noting how the end has come to be like this. The story features many different aspects as it flitters between London and the four girls, then to Sankora and their four mothers and in between the people who link the story together, I like this as it makes the read more compelling and realistic as you are seeing the story from a more objective perspective as you can weigh up what is happening from all angles, it sort of makes you feel like a detective piecing together the crime and trying to work out what will happen to the characters by the end of the story. I would like to see this book be turned into a film as it is full of strong imagery and storylines that would make a great theatrical movie.
This book can be purchased from most high street and online book retailers, it is currently available on Amazon UK for £4.99 (Kindle edition), £5.99 (Paperback with free delivery) there are other Amazon trade prices which vary weekly so it would be worth shopping around to get the best deal.
Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (23 July 2009)
Review also on Ciao under the same username