Sunday 16 September 2018

The Rave (Valley Park #2) - Nicky Black

It’s 1989, the second Summer of Love, and Tommy Collins is doing what he does best: organising all-night raves on a shoestring, and playing a game of cat and mouse with the police. But Detective Chief Inspector Peach is closing in on him, and his dreams of a better life are beginning to slip through his fingers.

DCI Peach finds it all a nuisance, a waste of his force's time, until he finds his teenage daughter unconscious at one of Tommy's raves. Then the chase becomes personal, and his need to make Tommy pay becomes an obsession.

The Rave is a fast-paced, gritty portrayal of life on the edges of society at the end of a decade that changed Britain forever.

What did I think?

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to read The Rave, the follow up to Nicky Black's debut and one of my favourite books, The Prodigal.  I thought I loved The Prodigal but I think The Rave is even better as Nicky Black perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the North East in the late 80's.  Jobs and money were scarce but we sure knew how to party!  You don't have to read The Prodigal before The Rave as they both read well as standalones but you really don't want to miss either of these Geordie gems.  

Tommy Collins likes to push the boundaries of the law; he organises raves but he draws the line at selling drugs until local thug Paul Smart tries to get in on the scene.  Paul Smart is Tommy's wife's uncle but Smart is the type of guy who would sell his granny, so Tommy can't expect any favours for being part of the family.  When Tommy gets drawn into Paul Smart's web, my heart rate increased as the tension was ramped up to almost unbearable levels.  DCI Peach has more reason than most to want to put an end to Tommy Collins' rave scene but Tommy isn't the real enemy with Paul Smart pulling strings behind the scene.  Will any of them get out of this alive to tell the tale?

As much as this is the type of gritty crime drama we have come to know and love from Nicky Black, what you can't prepare yourself for is the amount of humour that has been woven into this dark and serious storyline.  I went from almost having palpitations as the police closed in to laughing my socks off within a few pages; I won't ever be able to look at a coathanger without laughing ever again. Nicky Black's writing is so colourful and multi-dimensional that you can almost hear each character speaking and you begin to recognise their individual traits...the characters' character, if you will.  It really brings the book to life and I love that feeling of being immersed in the story.

The Rave is an absolutely superb crime thriller that has it all: tension, drama, grit and outstanding Geordie humour.  Without doubt a 5 star read and worthy of every single star.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

The pen name Nicky Black is a combination of two writers - Nicky Doherty and Julie Blackie. Julie was a script writer for many years, and Nicky has created two novels based on Julie's TV and film scripts. Both are stories set on the fictional estate of Valley Park in Newcastle, and the criminal world that inhabits it. 

The Prodigal was a bestseller in 2015 and The Rave was published on 14th August 2018.

Nicky is a proud eighties throwback and cat lady and lives in North Tyneside.

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