“Murder. Money. Revenge. Outwardly, Ben Stephens appears to be a normal, hard-working family man. In reality, his life has been in turmoil since the murder of his wife, Alice, seven years ago. The killer was never caught. Now re-married – to the woman he was having an affair with while still married to Alice – Ben’s life is once again spiralling out of control, and he’s become heavily indebted to an unscrupulous criminal who is baying for Ben’s blood. When Ben’s estranged twin sister, a police detective, unexpectedly returns to his life, asking too many questions for comfort, it becomes clear that without action, Ben’s life will soon reach a crisis point from which there will be no return. In order to avoid falling further into the mire, Ben must examine the past if he is to survive the present – but just how much pressure can one man take before he breaks?”
This is the first book of Rob Sinclair’s I have read, but it sure as hell won’t be the last! Ben’s life starts to go wrong when his first wife, the love of his life Alice, cheats on him with another man. Her indiscretion leads to him to getting mixed up with the local gangster. When Alice is tragically murdered, Ben thought he would never get over it, but he did. Fast forward seven years and Ben is now happily married again to Gemma and has two kids. Unfortunately for Ben he is still in debt to a man who makes the Kray Twins look like puppies, and he wants his money back. As Ben’s behaviour starts to spiral out of control you are taken to the darkest recesses of his mind, and shown the lengths he will go to keep his family together.
The story is told from Ben’s point of view, with intermittent chapters of him talking to someone, the reader assumes to be his therapist. Well after everything that Ben has been through he certainly needs one, right? The more Ben’s story carries on the more the reader can see how distorted his point of view actually is as his behaviour becomes more and more erratic. The interspersed chapters with Ben talking to his therapist are an effective way of breaking the story up, and keeping the reader viewing things objectively.
This is a fast paced book that flows well. Once I got into it was hard to put down and I found I finished it quickly. There is a lot of violence in the book which is relevant to the story, becoming more and more extreme till we hit the climatic ending! I would not recommend this book if you are a bit squeamish, but I secretly LOVED the blood.
Ben’s character really got under my skin, I felt sorry for him at first, having gone through so much pain. Then I couldn’t understand his stupidity, as he started making more than questionable decisions. Then? Then the ending! I won’t spoil it, but this is one of these books that you have to sit down after finishing, and think it through again. Digest all your feelings and get your head around the shock.
If you love a dark and gritty crime book then this one is for you, not for the faint hearted! Overall rating four stars 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 Thanks to Rob Sinclair and everyone over at Bloodhound Books for the advanced reader copy and the chance to take part in my first blog tour. 💖
About the Author
Rob’s first novel, Dance with the Enemy, was published in June 2014 and is the first in the Enemy Series following embattled intelligence agent Carl Logan. Rise of the Enemy, the second book in the series, was released in April 2015, with the third book, Hunt for the Enemy, being released in February 2016. The Enemy series has received widespread critical acclaim with many reviewers and readers having likened Rob’s work to authors at the very top of the genre, including Lee Child and Vince Flynn.
Rob’s latest novel, the pulsating psychological thriller Dark Fragments, released by Bloodhound Books in November 2016, has been described as ‘clever’ and ‘chilling’ and an ‘expertly crafted’ story.
Rob worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. He now writes full time.
Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.