It’s my turn on the BlogTour Bad Blood by Heather Atkinson.
About the Author
Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre. Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Her new gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow began with Blood Brothers in December 2020.
About the book
If you can’t trust your family, who can you trust…? Glasgow gangster Jamie Gray and his fellow Blood Brothers rule the Gallowburn Estate with an iron fist. No one messes around on their turf without consequences.
But when Jamie’s erstwhile dad, Jason Gray, reappears after many years away – some of them spent behind bars – the Blood Brothers are drawn into the murky and dangerous world of the toughest gangster of them all – The Queen of Glasgow, Toni McVay.
Toni is the head of the most powerful organised crime family in Scotland and, as the psychotic leader enjoys scooping out the eyeballs of those who displease her, Jamie has no option but to do her bidding.
With the love of his life Allegra still missing, his enemies closing in, and his family’s safety at risk, Jamie Gray faces the battle of his life. But with his father’s bad blood running through his veins, and the bravery and brains he has inherited from his mother Jackie, Jamie has all the tools he needs to survive.
This is the second book in the Gallowburn series, both of which can be read as standalone novels. Jamie is still shaken from his experiences with his girlfriend and her father, and the last thing he needs is his deadbeat Dad turning up to stir things up.
Think estate hooligans morphing slowly into more serious criminals. Low-level crime builds up until the crimes become more serious, even if they fall under the self-titled umbrella and idea of Robin Hood. Jamie and his boys say they are keeping the neighbourhood, family and friends safe by making a violent stand in regards to other vandals or criminals in their area.
It’s a gritty urban crime read with a small estate feel to it. The main character is one who conjures up understanding and empathy, but in equal measures the feeling that he is a powder keg waiting to explode. It’s as if he walks a thin line between law abiding and way beyond the law.
Atkinson straddles different subgenres and demographics in my opinion. I can see this being a series that NA and YA readers are drawn to, and also just in general adult readers. Being inside Jamie’s head and emotional turmoil, but also the young delinquent vibe is probably what will attract a younger readership.
As the series progresses will Jamie and his friends move beyond all of the above and begin to wander even further into a life of crime and prison or will he, much like many young offenders. be able to pull his life on a straighter path? Will Atkinson go full gangland or not – it will be interesting to see where it goes.