Chambers, Kimberley - 'The Victim'
Frankie Mitchell is a young pregnant mother who is on remand in a specialist unit in Holloway. She is charged with the attempted murder of her partner, Jed, the father of her children. Jed is from a notorious traveller family, famous for their criminal behavior and enemies of a local criminal family who happen to be Frankie's relations. Jed has custody of his young children, Georgie and Harry, while their mother is in jail and is determined to keep control of their upbringing in the culture and traditions of the traveller community. He denies Frankie and her family any visitation rights claiming that it upsets the children but they miss their mum and grandparents very much and one day decide to try to find them. This starts a train of events that can only end in violence as Jed and his father Jimmy and Frankie's father, Eddie, aim to settle some very old scores.
Both families have lost members of their families in violent ways. Frankie's grandfather has been tortured and murdered, and her two uncles have been found guilty of the murder of Jed's young nephew and also his brother. Jimmy, Jedís father, wants revenge even if Eddieís uncles seem unreachable in Belmarsh secure prison.
The story starts in 1993 and resumes in 2001 and the writer very cleverly shows how incidents of the past can still cast a heavy light over the actions and decisions made in the future. The world of both families is very violent and this is described in graphic detail.
This is the third book in a series featuring the two families but can be read as a standalone. The writer manages to give enough description of previous events without the reader feeling that this is too much whilst telling key facts to new readers of the series. Personally, I didn't find any of the characters appealing or engaging. This was mainly due to their lifestyles which I do not find attractive to read about. Even though I didnít particularly enjoy the book, I do think that readers of Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller or Lynda la Plante will find this a good read.
Susan White, England