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  • hard-hitting thriller

    ‘Family’ is the latest novel from the pen of Scottish author, Owen Mullen. We’re introduced to Team Glass; Danny and his younger siblings, Nina and Luke. Danny built up his empire after the death of his alcoholic father and now holds an area south of the River Thames in a vice like grip. The story is told in the past tense and we see some of the action through the eyes of Luke and his sections are written in the first person, with the remainder in the third person. Luke has served a seven year prison sentence for his involvement in the death of a rival gang boss, Albert Anderson. Now released, he wants to start a new life away from his brother’s Machiavellian influence but someone is watching his every move and that someone wants to make him suffer for the past. Events soon supersede his plans and the stage is set for a gangland war to rival any in London’s history. This book definitely packs a punch with a shocking opening scene. Its relentless pace takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride through the streets of London, from seedy pubs and clubs to the luxurious house owned by the senior police officer that Danny has in his pocket. Rollie Anderson, Albert’s son, has made Danny look foolish; we know Danny will retaliate but how and when? The plot and subplots lay before us many negative human emotions; fear, disgust, shame, hatred, greed, envy, revenge and guilt. In contrast, we have small glimmers of positivity in the form of hope, trust, loyalty and love. The structure is tight and the characters complex. We witness Luke’s struggle with his conscience; the old life dragging him back into crime, against a chance of freedom to start afresh. We see how Nina resorts to desperate measures to cover her tracks and we watch as Danny descends from mindless cruelty to sadistic madness as his grip on reality diminishes. In addition, we glimpse into the lives of some peripheral players so that they can then act out memorable and heart-wrenching cameos. In the world of the gangster, you have to be ruthless and without exception, the main participants in this story fit the bill. This is a tale of survival of the fittest; back the vanquished side and you’re literally dicing with death. There are a host of literary devices on display here, all playing their part in bringing this multi-layered, slick plot to its conclusion. We have foreshadowing in abundance and I am particularly impressed with the misdirection that the author slips in, and commend him for his ingenuity. ‘Family’ will appeal to fans of the hard-hitting thriller genre but if you’re of a delicate disposition some of the scenes may be upsetting. For me, it was a great read and I have no hesitation in awarding five stars.

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  • Family secrets are the best

    The Glass family is like no other! Well outside of the South London mob family that is. Don't turn your back on any of them, even if you are part of that family. Luke has served his time and is back in South London with Danny and Nina . No way is he going back to prison and does not really want any part of the underworld. Yet somehow I cheered Luke on. Family has it all, murder, corrupt police, secrets and betrayal. The action is fast , you will cringe, you will cry and you will cheer. I certainly hope there is a Book 2 with the Glass family. Off to check out Owen Mullen's other books.

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  • Fast paced gangland thriller

    Two opposing London gangster families with scores to be settled. Luke Glass, younger son of the powerful Glass family, comes out of prison and wants to change his life, get away from the family business, and go straight. His sister Nina has life and death personal matters to worry about. Luke’s older brother Danny is intent on keeping Team Glass on track and on top. As with all of Owen Mullen’s books this thriller starts with drama. Excitement run high throughout and with plenty of action and tension included everyone’s nerves are stretched from beginning to end (the characters’ and the reader’s!) Twists, turns and police corruption make this an exciting and gripping read. 4*s from me, because I found it a little too gritty for my tastes, but even so a great read. Gangland thrillers probably aren’t really my thing, I prefer at least some of the characters to be the sort of person I might enjoy an evening out with. However this author is so brilliant I may have to review my thoughts about this genre. Rumour has it that a second book in this series in on the way 😊 . I’ve read all of this author’s thrillers, and they are all exciting and great reads.

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  • No family...

    One of the most disturbing crime books l have read. The detail and nuances encourage you to keep reading. Well written and characters believable. Really want to read the author’s next book in this area.

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  • Family

    Readable, but over the top violence, for really no good reason, granted it's about gang warfare, but too much to be plausible.

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