After reading Howard Linskey's debut novel The Drop I was really looking forward to the second book featuring David Blake. Even if you haven't read the first book you could easily pick up the second and know what is going on. I admit I was worried that maybe the second wouldn't be as good but I needn't have worried as it was actually better!
We once again meet David Blake but the difference now is that he is now the 'top dog' Gangster boss running Newcastle. He is actually living in Thailand with his girlfriend Sarah and only needs to fly back to the UK to sort out any issues his two right hand men Palmer and Kinnane can't handle. Sure enough very early on, problems start cropping up involving his firm in which he decides he needs to get back to Newcastle to resolve.
We meet characters that reatured in the first book such as David's brother Danny, Palmer and Kinane, the Gladwell's who run Glasgow and some new faces amongst all those too. David Blake is the main reason I loved the first book as he isn't your typical Gangster. He comes across as a really nice bloke who only uses violence when absolutely necessary. In addition to him we see quite a bit more of Palmer and Kinane which I liked as it gives you a real idea of other people involved in David's life.
The story itself kept me gripped from very early on. It seems that there are numerous threads and problems that soon spiral into something much worse and end up with David fearing for his own life. He has to deal with a new supplier named 'The Turk', corrupt politicians and coppers as well as dealers, pimps and celebrity coke addicts. There is quite a lot going on at any one time and it means as the reader you are constantly left wondering what is going to happen next.
As in the first book there is a darker side of humour running through some of these characters and it makes them that bit more readable. I also found that although a lot of conclusions were made at the end, there are lots of more threads I can see opening up for follow up books. Overall I am delighted to have found such a great author at the very beginning of a series. I can only cross my fingers and hope that Howard Linskey carries on writing so well. This man is certainly one to watch!!!