Title: Time To Win
Author: Harry Brett
Publication Date: 27th April 2017
Format: ARC eBook
Note: This book was received from the publisher in return for an honest review
About the book:
The first in an unmissable crime series from an exciting new voice in the genre – think Raymond Chandler meets The Sopranos in Great Yarmouth.
When local crime boss Richard Goodwin is pulled from the river by his office it looks like suicide. But as his widow Tatiana feared, Rich collected enemies like poker chips, and half of Great Yarmouth’s criminal fraternity would have had reason to kill him.
Realising how little she knows about the man she married, Tatty seeks to uncover the truth about Rich’s death and take over the reins of the family business, overseeing a waterfront casino deal Rich hoped would put Yarmouth on the map.
Out of the shadows at last, it is Tatty’s time now, and she isn’t going to let Rich’s brother, or anyone else, stand in her way. But an American has been in town asking the right people the wrong questions, more bodies turn up, along with a brutal new gang. The stakes have never been higher.
With her family to protect, and a business to run, Tatty soon learns that power comes with a price . . .
What I Thought:
Hands up who didn’t properly read the synopsis before requesting this on NetGalley – Me! As a result this wasn’t the book I was expecting it to be, however this was a pleasant surprise. The book begins with the murder of local ‘businessman’ Rich Goodwin; I was expecting this to be your standard crime fiction police procedural, and I enjoy them so that certainly wouldn’t have been a disappointment. Instead Time To Win barely mentions the police enquiry focusing instead on Richard’s family and business associates and how they deal with the aftermath of his death.
Time To Win is set in Great Yarmouth, it’s somewhere I’m vaguely familiar with having been there on holiday when I was a teenager, and as much as I love Scottish crime, it was nice change for me to read something not set there, or in one of the big cities. For me this really worked well, and was a believable setting, Rich had clearly been a big fish in a relatively small pond. As the story develops you learn he clearly had his finger in a lot of pies, and it’s interesting following his family as they discover more about the man who was a husband and father.
There are a large number of characters introduced in the book – beginning with the victim Richard Goodwin. All the major characters then introduced are connected to Rich in some way, the majority are family members, we meet his wife Tatty, and their 3 children, his brother, and business partner, Simon and his wife. We’re also introduced to his right hand man Frank. I’m not sure how I feel about a lot of the characters, I felt that throughout the book I learned more about Rich’s business dealings than I did about anyone still living. There were hints about Tatty’s past and what she did before she met Rich but I would have liked to learn more. Everyone is still a bit of a mystery, which lends itself to a continuing series I’m sure, however it left me feeling a bit detached from the characters and not as invested as I perhaps could have been.
I wasn’t sure about the ending, I won’t go into detail as I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone, however for me it felt a bit open-ended, again it lends itself to a follow-up but I would have liked a little more of a conclusion within this book. 350 or so pages is a fair amount to invest in the story and I felt the pay off wasn’t quite there, it seemed to end very abruptly.
Would I recommend it?
Despite my criticisms I would recommend the book. I’m sure it’s not a completely novel idea but for me it’s an interesting take on a new crime series. It’s not perfect but I think there’s definitely potential here, and I’ll be looking out for the next one.
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