Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘All Down the Line’ by Andrew Field organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
MANCHESTER: Cain Bell thought he had closure over the hit and run death of his daughter. Ted Blake had confessed he was the behind the wheel just before he died.
Twenty years on and Cain’s world is thrown upside down when his fiancé claims the driver was lying. Before she says more, a savage attack leaves her in a coma fighting for her life.
To find out why Cain must uncover why four friends swore blind to never tell the truth about his daughter’s death.
Now, he must persuade Manchester’s most terrifying gangster to reveal the secrets that kept hidden for two decades.
And Billy McGinty is in no mood to break his own wall of silence.
Unless Cain can persuade him to talk, even if it means putting his own life on the line.
This was a stark, gritty exploration of loss, the search for truth, revenge and the lengths that people can be driven by in the hunt or the latter two. Set against the backdrop of Manchester and filled with Manchurian landmarks and personality that solidly grounded the narrative and characters in reality and gave an added sense of character to the entire book.
All Down the Line is tightly plotted and very well written, and you can’t help but be pulled into the narrative from the very beginning because Field knows just how to catch your attention and pull you not just into the pages, but into the very lives of a cast of very real characters. For me, the characters were what really sold me on this book, especially Cain, as Field did an excellent job of bringing emotion to this character, and we felt his loss – old and renewed, his pain and confusion and the growing need for answers and worse, and in such a way that you can’t help but root for him. The cast of characters around him were all varied and well-developed, and while many of them weren’t likeable, they were wonderfully real and added to the very real sense of danger and suspense that permeated through the book.
There were plenty of twists and turns to keep me on my toes, and often they caught me by surprise which was fantastic, and it was a real rollercoaster of a read that didn’t shy away from either the violence or the more emotional side of what the characters were going through. I also particularly liked that the ending didn’t tie up all the ends, or completely redeem the situation, because it perfectly matched the nature of the book, and felt so much more realistic, especially after following a character like Cain whose decisions were coloured by everything that had happened, and by being on the edge of having little to lose. It was a natural, realistic finale with a solid and highly satisfying emotional impact.
An excellent new crime novel, perfect for anyone who loves crime fiction, has a connection to Manchester as the city lives and breathes through this book, and certainly an author I will be keeping an eye on.
About the Author:
Andrew Field has spent most of his working life as a PR consultant raising the profiles of others. Now the roles are reversed as he steps into the spotlight with All Down The Line (published in 2020).
He handled Boddingtons Bitter during its “Cream of Manchester” heyday, developing innovative sports and cultural partnerships with TV and media platforms. Clients have also included a convicted armed bank robber and another who did eighteen months prison time for blackmail, although he didn’t know about their colourful backstories at the time. “I’d quizzed them more about their experiences. After all, hard-boiled grimness all adds to the mix, even if it is anecdotal.”
“Authors are by definition are relatively introverted. They work in isolation and inhabit imaginary world of their own creation. They can spend years staring at a computer screen bringing their characters to life. Then they have to become a different person to promote their work and market themselves.”
“Fiction is a great way to write about how you feel personally about this great thing we do called living. We disguise it by calling it crime fiction, but behind the genre there is a world view being expressed. In my eyes, the memorable books, films and music, good or bad, are the ones you’re still thinking about 24 or 48 hours after you finished reading, watching or listening.”
What can readers expect from Andrew’s work? “If you’re into noir from the likes of James Lee Burke, James Cain, James Ellroy, Dennis Lehane, Elmore Leonard, Ted Lewis, Ed McBain and Jim Thompson, you’ll see where I am coming from.”
Andrew lives, works and plays in Northumberland, England, Europe, with his wife Catherine. A novella, Wicked Games was published in 2014. Without Rules in 2018 by Boomslang. All Down The Line will be published in December 2020.
Social Media for Boomslang Books:
All Down the Field – Andrew Field – **** (4/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.