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    I found this highly entertaining

    ‘Ten Minus Ten’ is the second of Joe Mansour’s books I’ve reviewed. As with the first, (‘Calhoun: Sacrifice’) it is fast-paced from the outset and never lets up. We meet an anti-hero in the shape of Cam who team up with John, an innocent sixteen year old boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right time, for the purposes of the plot. I didn’t understand the significance of the book title or chapter titles until the end but now appreciate their meaning and the relevance of the cover design; all of which are rather clever. The story is split into two threads with Cam and John on the one hand and Chris, whom we believe to be a disciple of Cam, and a teenage prostitute called Maya on the other. The book is written in the third person and whilst we are normally see events from the perspectives of the main players, we sometimes share the thoughts of cameo characters, usually just before they meet a sticky end. The book is mainly set in Britain but I confess to getting confused as to whether the setting is intended to be futuristic or an alternative present. The writing style is distinctly American and as I believe John to be British, I think a bit more British-English in the general narrative would have been appropriate. The strong language is acceptable, given the gritty nature of the story. As to the amount of adult content, I’m fairly ambivalent but if you’re sensitive to such things, then maybe this is not the book for you. If you’re looking for an action-packed read, you’ll enjoy this story. Joe Mansour has a no-nonsense style which cuts to the chase every time. I was unconvinced by the setting but top marks for the plot which I found highly entertaining. I think this story is comparable to his earlier work and award ‘Ten Minus Ten’ four-and-a-half stars.

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