* Prices may differ from that shown
I love reading although I am not the quickest in the world. When my sister lent me The Betrayer, I have to say I have never read so fast in my life.
This book had my emotions all over the show and shock wasn't the word, as I eagerly turned each page and was totally absorbed in all that was this gritty truthful book.
The basis of the story revolves around The Hutton Family from a council estate, in the East End. The story spans over 30 years and strangely it works. I haven't ever come across a book that works like this and I have to say I loved it!!
The Hutton Family consist of, Maureen the mum, Tommy her eldest child, Susan her daughter and her youngest James. We are also introduced to Ether the gran and mother in law who I have to say was one of my favourite characters as she actually reminds me of someone I know!!
The story starts in 1975 and tells of the Hutton's family life. Maureen is separated from her husband and is doing her best to bring up her 3 kids on a rough estate with not many pennies to go round.
It seemingly strange how it starts in 1975 and not a lot in this world has changed. People struggling for money, and Maureen doing her best to bring her nippers up. Teaching them right from wrong.
It's a pretty mean feat for her, as all 3 of her kids have something that sets them apart and makes Maureen want to cry on more than one occasion.
Tommy the eldest son commits a murder and gets put inside for 10 years. Although Tommy is a real hard nut in this book the way he is with his younger brother James shows that he still has a soft side. Tommy isn't a very nice character and I have to admit I wasn't a fan as soon as he was introduced, I took an instant dislike to him.
I know it seems mean but I actually loathed Susan. A spiteful little cow who terrorized the local kids she wasn't someone I liked the sound of. When she finds out she is pregnant and is going to move in with the boyfriend and you think that Maureen finally can have a daughter to be proud of....all I can say is...without ruining the book...Man alive Maureen has her work cut out for her with her daughter. I did end up feeling a bit sorry for Susan though towards the end of the book, and you do get a better understanding of why she is the way she is.
James was my favourite next to Ethel. The youngest son and the blue eyed boy he is the one child that Maureen actually can see making a life for himself. He is protected by Tommy, but early on we can see the hold that Tommy has on him. However as brothers they have that close connection. James always wants to do the right thing and has manners and is a ''good lad'' and you just hope that he doesn't get led astray as his brother gets released from Prison. He is in love with Maria the girl next door, and their love is what strings the whole wangled web together.
Maria- The girl next door who is a beauty from the start. James is in love with her and throughout the book we see their relationship flourish. Strangely though it's Maria who holds a secret throughout the book which makes you understand her angst. All I will say is as you read you just wish for her and James to get it together and have their happy ending that they should....you have to read it though to find out!!
Ethel, My fave...she had me in hysterics the whole way through. She is one of those old before her time Nan's who has all the answers, and can sense when someone is lying or when disaster is about to strike. She is a tea leaf and steals anything that isn't nailed down. She swears like a trooper and has absolutely no sense of shame. The sad thing is the family doesn't pay much attention to her wise words and soon they realize that ''the old bird'' might actually know something but by then it's all little too late....
I found this book an absolute joy to read and couldn't put it down. I have to be honest and say that I hadn't heard of Kimberley Chambers before and I had heard people saying that she is like Martina Cole but I haven't read enough of Martina Cole's books to comment on that. What I can say is that if you want a ''real'' book that feels like you are there...this is it.
The characters and storyline and scarily real and you are drawn into the dark world of crime and feel like you want to go there and help them!!
The book is fantastically written. It had me on tenterhooks one minute, and then nearly crying the next.
I liked all of the characters and could see this being the sort of book that could easily translate to a series on TV...although they would have to cut out the swearing (unless they put it on after 9)
Overall I am thrilled to say that this is by far one of the best books I have read for a while and I thoroughly enjoyed the style of writing.
A big fat fu***g thumbs up from me!!!!