Newest Review: ... Stephanie ends up falling for his best friend and new kid at School Barry who lives across the road (and has a bit of a slag of a mum t... more
Does "Jeremy Kyle meets The Only Way is Essex" sound like a good idea to you?
The Schemer - Kimberley Chambers
Member Name: azana
The Schemer - Kimberley Chambers
Date: 07/01/13, updated on 07/01/13 (68 review reads)
Advantages: if you like car crash tv may appeal
Disadvantages: not so trashy it's good, just trashy
I'm quite an open minded reader and will happily dip into varied titles and genres; this author was sold as the "new Martina Cole", sadly it was not to be a novel that I was to enjoy. If I was hoping to read a thriller, given the title, I was pretty soon disappointed. Perhaps the fact that the most glowing review on the cover is from the now defunct News of the World should have been warning enough; to cut to the chase I can't recommend this book myself as someone who enjoys a light read and even a bit of trashy fantasy from time to time, sadly this tale had very little to recommend it. The characters were pretty well all unlikeable from the start and though there was some mileage to be got from the "back to the eighties" opening of the book - the story follows the characters through the years up to the near present - I couldn't help but think that actually it would have been no bad thing if the whole cast of characters had been fed to the sharks like the unhappy woman in the prologue.
The story is that of Stephanie, being brought up in Dagenham, with her n'er do well sister Angela and a whole community of slappers, muvvers and bruvers - innit. The young Stephanie, aged 14 falls in love with Barry and then takes up with his best mate when he moves to Spain, so much is revealed in the blurb on the back of the book. I imagine that the interest in this tale is supposed to be from the suspense of Barry moving back to the UK years later and plotting revenge. Unfortunately this failed to interest me at all and the antics of the rest of the characters like the despicable Pam and Cathy, Pam's hard-drinking dwarf sister Lin (yes you read that right,) and varied hangers on and minor characters none of whom seemed to have a brain cell between them or any ability to speak in sentences that didn't involve swearing, became tedious after I had read surprisingly few pages too. Undaunted I pressed on, but in all honesty it just wasn't to get any better. Even having more than its fair share of sex scenes couldn't make up for the lack of much happening at all, and said scenes were seedy not steamy. If that wasn't bad enough the phonetic East End dialogue ("ere wanna hear the latest") was omnipresent and actually quite hard to read. It was, as per the press release on the back of my review copy "Jeremy Kyle meets the Only Way is Essex", this I think was probably not a good thing. I think it may have been supposed to be gritty but it was just rather vile in so many ways. The twist in the plot at the end came as no surprise either, and unfortunately by the time I got to it I was just kind of pleased the whole thing was over.
I'm no literature snob but I didn't enjoy this book and I really wouldn't recommend it.
Book is 560 pages, and available on Amazon for £3.86 in paperback form
Summary: no no no