Two ex-Royal Marines are pitted against a former child soldier, and one of the most brutal gangs in Manchester.
When Byron Mason’s seventeen year-old nephew, Philip, becomes embroiled in a murder, he calls his uncle for help. Byron returns to the city of his birth and, having been thrown back together with his estranged family, he finds his nephew is being hunted not only by the police, but also by a vicious gangster, Ritchie McLaughlin, the uncle of the murdered boy, both of whom believe Philip to be guilty of the crime. Shortly after Byron’s arrival, Philip disappears, leaving Byron and his firefighter friend, Adam Sterling, to track him down before time runs out.
As part of her investigation into Philip’s role in the murder, newly appointed Detective Chief Inspector Siobhan Fahey also uncovers the brutal past of Philip’s friend, Mugisa, whose very survival has depended on burying his own emotions and controlling the people around him. She quickly realises that Mugisa is a very dangerous young man.
The search for Philip is made all the more perilous when Ritchie McLaughlin decides he has unfinished business with Byron, and is bent on exacting revenge. Byron and Adam are faced with tough decisions as they fight to keep Philip and his family safe; legal and moral boundaries are crossed in their battle against ruthless adversaries. In the end, though, the greatest peril comes from an unexpected quarter…
David Beckler's debut novel introduces the dedicated, capable and likable young Detective Inspector Siobhan Fahey and her partner Eddy.
A powerful and violent first chapter precedes a superb opening 100 pages, the best I've read this year. And the pace never lets up in this cat and mouse thriller, evocatively set amid Manchester’s threatening underworld.
Philip, a teenage student, is part of a gang that murders one of their members. Wrongly believed to be the murderer, Philip is forced into hiding as both the police and a dangerous crime boss (the victim’s uncle) are closing in on him. And that’s not all. The real murderers, led by Mugisa, a violent former child soldier, are also after Philip, looking to silence him for good.
Philip turns to his own uncle, Byron, an ex-Marine, who returns to Manchester and an estranged family that blame him for a driving accident some years before.
When Philip is taken, Byron and his fire-fighter friend Adam must find him before it’s too late. And with his life on the line Byron must face further demons from his own past.
Beckler knows how to use a hook leaving the reader with little choice but to keep reading on to discover what happens next. The action builds and leads to many violent exchanges and a memorable final shoot out, but it’s the scenes with the teenagers’ families that pulled me in. How parents balance worry and trust, and how they’ll fight for their children.
In DI Fahey, Beckler has created a fine new sleuth who isn’t quite taken in by the convincing and deadly Mugisa, a product of his own past and one scary young man!
Stap yourselves in, take a deep breath and read it.
About David Beckler:
Born in Addis Ababa in 1960. David spent his first eight years living on an agricultural college in rural Ethiopia with his parents and three sisters. His love of reading developed early and the arrival of parcels of books from London provided memorable highlights. In 1970 they arrived in the English city of Norwich before moving to Birmingham where David attended a technical school. Despite concentrating on mathematics and sciences, the love of reading fiction stayed with him.
After a short stint at Bristol University he spent two years working on various building sites. In 1981 he joined Wiltshire Fire Brigade and, after three years, transferred to Manchester where he served for another sixteen years.
David began writing in 2010, and spent nearly two years producing his first novel. He completed two more manuscripts before finding a publisher for his third, Brotherhood.
David's protagonists have a strong moral code and although not obvious outsiders, don’t fit in with conventional society. They get involved in difficult situations because of their unwillingness to take the easy path or ignore injustice. He also enjoys writing about the baddies and try to show the forces that created them. Stints working as a ‘door supervisor’ in Manchester, his time as a firefighter and his varied business life, brought him into contact with many interesting people who have inspired some of the characters.
In his spare time, when not working or writing, David tries to keep fit, socialise and feed his voracious book habit. He is working on more novels, some of which feature the same protagonists as Brotherhood, and trying my hand at short story writing.