Maureen Hutton lives on a council estate in the East End of London with her three children. Her husband was a waste of time alcoholic who never helped her and she has had to go it alone ever since. Maureen's life over four decades sees the ups and downs of her family's life. Unfortunately when she is told a secret that may tear her family apart she has no choice but to get rid of the betrayer before it is too late.
Okay first off, what planet have I been on? Why on earth I haven't picked up a Kimberley Chambers book I do not know. What I do know is that every book she has written I have now ordered and I have no intention on missing out on her future releases.
Kimberley Chambers has written a book that reminded me of the first book I read by Martina Cole. Her style is something of a slap in the face. It's hardcore reality and immerses you from page one. I actually picked this book up because of the rave reviews here on Amazon. Of each of her 5 books, none of them have rated less than 4.5 out 5 stars ranging from a minimum of 9 reviews up to way over the 30's. This alone was enough to grab my attention. I randomly decided to choose The Betrayer as it had a whopping 15 reviews rating it as 5 star. Thankfully, all 15 people were right!
The book itself starts off by introducing us to Maureen Hutton in 1975. We meet her three children, Tommy the eldest son, Susan the middle daughter and her youngest son James. Living on a council estate in the east end of London in the seventies is difficult for anybody, but for Maureen it is all she knows.
Her children are all completely different and we watch as each of their lives revolves around decisions they did or didn't make when they were younger. No matter what happens to them they can always rely on their Mum. The story picks up pace from the word go and we see Maureen's eldest son Tommy make a choice that affects the rest of his life and that of his family. It sets the precedent for their futures and as usual Maureen is the glue that holds them all together.
Kimberley Chambers has an uncanny knack of making you feel like you are living their lives alongside them. The characters she created makes for real emotion towards each one and by around chapter five I had an intense loathing for Tommy Hutton. As the years progress we see her children grown up and break away from Maureen all doing their own thing. Some of their lives they keep secret from her for fear of upsetting her. Maureen's daughter is also somebody that I instantly disliked although James, the youngest son I fell in love with.
The story itself immerses you into a world where drug addiction, the underworld and dysfunctional families is all part and parcel of everyday life. If you are easily offended then you may not like the language in this book but for me it is what makes it all the more real. There is no hiding from the reality of being brought up the way the Hutton's were and everybody'd secrets get dragged out over time. I love the fact that the story was set over four decades and this just made the reality set in even further. I almost had a longing to find out what was going to happen and was annoyed that I couldn't read faster.
Kimberley Chambers is genius and has produced a top notch book that Martina Cole and Mandasue Heller fans will love. She is certainly creating her niche and in my opinion is one her way to fighting for the crown of the best female crime writer around! If I was you and you haven't heard or read Kimberley Chambers before, I suggest you start right now. Trust me, if you don't you may well regret it.