Kind of Love - Jack Dickson
(last in the Jas Anderson series: FreeForm, Banged Up)
The last in the trilogy of Jas Anderson stories, which began with Freeform and Banged Up.
The most difficult thing about reviewing this novel is to not spoil it, or the end of Banged Up for you, if youíve not read that yet. What happens in this one is integral the end of that. I read Banged Up and ordered this one so fast I think my fingers burnt the keyboard. Some Kind of Love is the only book Iíve ever read where I had to physically restrain myself from glimpsing at the end (except As Meat Loves Salt, which has the same level of tension).
This book is quite amazing.
If youíve come to this site via my fiction, then youíll know I love angst in a relationship. I put my characters through hell, but I stand in awe of the power of this manís writing. I was so tense when I read the end of this book I actually stopped breathing. I had tears streaming down my face, and if I could have screamed NO! and read at the same time, I would have done.
If you read nothing else, get these three books, shut yourself away somewhere where nothing on earth will disturb you and read.
Iíve written to the publisher to beg the authorís contact details. Authors this good deserve feedback.
Utterly compelling. Just read.
Iíve just finished this novel, and itís a relief to breathe again.† Not that Iím anything like over the experience.† Thatís going to take a while.† At least until Dickson writes a sequel. Which he has to.† Or I will personally pay him a visit, with baseball bat (in the spirit of the writing, see)- I think he lives in Glasgow, just along the River Clyde from me.
Itís very, very hard to write this review without giving away plot details, and thereís no way Iím going to deny anyone the full impact of this book.† So forgive me if itís all a bit cagey and vague, okay?
If youíve read the previous Jas Anderson books you already know what to expect- and if you havenít youíve no business reading this.† Excuse my bluntness but it is absolutely essential that you read the series in order.† And if youíre thinking he canít possibly deliver the goods a third time, then youíre so very wrong.† Thereís nothing stale or rehashed about this book, quite the opposite.
The story- or at least the prologue- picks up exactly where Banged Up ended, which comes as a relief.† Enjoy that feeling, because itís the last time youíll be reassured about anything in the book.† I bet you wished for exactly the same thing I did, with the fervency of a true believer in the power of love, crossing fingers and knowing all the while how badly the odds were stacked against my favourite antihero, Jas and ex cellmate Stevie McStay.†
Iíve lived with this book for the 24 hours it took to read.† Nothing took my thoughts away for long, not even the arrival of UK QAF2.† Everything was put on hold while I raced through this novel, all too aware of LadyMolukís desperation to discuss.† Itís more than a sequel, something that by definition implies a completeness that was missing from the earlier book.† More like part two of the same story.† Dickson, with consummate skill and absolutely no compunction, gives us our heartís desire then uses it as a weapon turned on characters and reader alike.† I knew exactly what Jas is going through because I was with him every painful and stumbling step of the way, beginning to final page.† Youíll note I donít use the word Ďendí in that last sentence.†
Thereís a long, slow build to a shattering climax that had tears streaming down my face so I could scarcely read the damn words.† I lay on the couch in a silent house, whispering ĎNoí and ĎYouíre wrong, Jasí, and ĎPlease, donítÖí, crying my eyes out for fictional characters I care about so much I hurt when they hurt- and thereís plenty of that in this story.
Dickson turns his spotlight on the blight of the West Coast of Scotland, sectarianism: bigotry, hatred, outright racism, on the grounds of religious difference.† Tracing its origins back to ancient ties with Ulster, the historic problems of that troubled province recreated in our largest city.† A city divided by religion, Protestant vs. Catholic, battle lines drawn up every time Rangers play Celtic.† Supporters to whom football is more important than life or death, Jas informs bewildered outsider, Tom Galbraith.† Tell that to Margaret Monaghan, mother of Joseph, found brutally kicked to death following a match.† She asks Jas to do what the police donít seem willing or able, to find her boyís killer/s.
Galbraith is an old acquaintance of Jasí, a policeman who investigates other policemen.† He hires Jas for a routine surveillance job that comes to occupy most of the PIís time.† Are the two cases in any way connected?† And where does a series of gay bashings in Easterhouse fit in?† Jas has never had a case that hit so close to home, and never wants another.
Thereís sex, frequently interrupted, desperate, raw and needy, yet powerful, even poignant- used when words fail or are inadequate.† Thereís tension and angst galore, an interesting mystery to solve, but the focus of the story is a relationship thatíll break your heart, again and again.† They cling together, the f*****g wounded.† In an atmosphere laden with tense awkwardness and telling silences, driven by external pressures and inner conflict.† Itís an emotional seesaw that makes uncomfortable but compulsive reading.† What else can I say?† Go, read and weep.† Then pester the author for another dose.
Buy Some Kind of Love from Amazon here
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