Monday, 15 August 2016

** BLOG TOUR ** Blood Sister by Dreda Say Mitchell


Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 11 August 2016. My thanks to the publisher for my review copy and inviting me on the blog tour.

There are two ways out of Essex Lane Estate, better known as The Devil. You make good, or you turn bad.
Jen Miller is determined not to make the same mistakes her mother did. She's waiting to find herself a good job and a decent man.
Her younger sister Tiff is running errands for a gangster and looking for any opportunity for fun and profit. But she might just be in over her head...
The choices you make and the plans you have don't always turn out like you expect. Especially if you live on The Devil's Estate. When their paths cross with the unstoppable Dee - a woman with her own agenda - Jen and Tiff will learn that lesson the hard way.
At least they can rely on each other.
Can't they?

My Thoughts:

I have read and reviewed one of Dreda's previous novels, Vendetta in 2014. If you follow the link you can see my review for that one. 

Blood Sister is the first in a new and exciting trilogy called 'Flesh and Blood'. The trilogy will follow one family over forty years. I was excited to read this book as I enjoyed Vendetta so much. This book did not disappoint. A gripping and gritty thriller set on a housing estate in East London, it left me on the edge of my seat. 

It is about the lengths people will go to, to escape the lives that they have and it is about having a dream of something better. The London Underworld comes to life as people make the wrong choices and mix with the wrong people. 

This author has an ability to write tight plot lines that are exhilarating, whilst having a cast of characters that are all individual and that feel as if they are people you might know. I love the way that most of the central characters are strong, feisty, independent women that are not without their flaws. This makes the story shine with a certain harshness and realism. 

The three main characters are Jen, Tiff and Dee. Jen is trying to improve herself by the normal routes, college and the like. Tiff is a bit of a live wire and does things before she engages her brain, usually with disastrous consequences. Dee is well, Dee, she knows what she wants and she knows how to get it and god forbid anybody that tries to stand in her way!

I loved the fact that when I picked up this book up I was immediately transported to 1970's London. Pure escapism from the outset written with real grit and occasional violence but also with a giant beating heart. Full of suspense and twists, that left me surprised at the end. I can't ask for any more from this style of book. 

I know that I totally loved a book when as soon as I close the cover I look to see when the next one is out. A tense wait until February 2017. Dreda is a tremendous writer and her love and knowledge of London shines through, she is a writer that I will turn to time and time again. 

I can't recommend this enough and Dreda Say Mitchell is quickly becoming my Queen of Crime. 

                                                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am absolutely thrilled that Dreda was able to answer some of my questions, it was a real treat for me to be able to ask them. My thanks to her for taking the time. 

1) What made you decide to become a writer and more specifically, a writer of crime fiction?
As a child I loved listening to my dad and his friends tells stories and I was introduced to a world of books when my mum made sure I went off to Whitechapel Library. But it wasn’t until much later on in my life that I decided to write and the reason was I had a story to tell. My first book – Running Hot – I thought was a social commentary piece about redemption, (which it was), but it wasn’t until a well-known crime writer said it was a chase thriller; my lead character has got seven days to get out of the London underworld that I started thinking. After it received the CWA’s John Creasey Dagger for best first British crime novel I thought I’m in the crime world to stay.
2) I notice that you are from London yourself, how important is it as a setting and why did you choose it?
London! Just hearing the word makes me sigh with pleasure. I’m a London girl and so putting the city in my books was important. It’s a thrilling place, but at the same time dangerous, filled with people getting along but also rubbing each other up the wrong way. It’s those clashes and the many different faces of London that make it such a great place to set a crime book. 
3) Who do you look up to in the literary world and what books would you recommend to others?
Alice Walker’s The Colour Purple is a standout book for me. It made me laugh, cry, get angry, feel joy. Love Lee Child and Martina Cole because they introduced me to two very different types of crime/thriller genres. Lee’s Killing Floor, his first Jack Reacher book, is just brilliant.
Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects blew me away with its beautiful writing and intense story.
4) I have noticed that throughout your books you have created strong, feisty, female and independent characters, is this intentional?
Yes. A big thing for me is writing about strong, feisty working class women. I think that in real life they can be talked down to or not talked about at all. My women demand to have their voice heard. They’re women who have dreams like anyone else, but often it’s their flaws and other people who hold them back.
5) What can we look forward to in the future from you and your writing?
Blood Sister is the first in the Flesh and Blood Trilogy. The second book is Blood Mother, which takes the story right back to 1972. Oh, did I have a ball writing it. It’s out in February 2017 followed by the final book, Blood Daughter, which is released later that year.
About the Author:
Dreda Say Mitchell grew up on a housing estate in East London. She is an award winning novelist, broadcaster, journalist and freelance education consultant. She was named one Britain's 50 Remarkable Women by Lady Geek. She is the author of five novels, with her first book having been awarded The CWA's John Creasey Dagger for the best debut crime novel. 
She has appeared on Newsnight, Daybreak and Canadian television's Sun New Live. She has presented BBC Radio 4's Open Book, and is a frequent guest of Radio 4's The Review Show, Front Row and Saturday Review. She is the founder of the creative writing programme 'Write-On', which she has run in both YOIs and prison.
She has worked in education for over twenty years, including positions as a primary school deputy head teacher and local authority consultant. Dreda has an African history degree and an MA in Education Studies. She is also a patron of The National Youth Arts Trust.

http://www.dredamitchell.co.uk/

Please do have a look at the other stops on the tour.




1 comment:

  1. Leah cheers hun for taking the time to read. Queen of Crime....wowie! Xx

    ReplyDelete