Gallowstree Lane: 'An authentic depiction of gang life and police politics' From the author of ITV's The Tower

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Gallowstree Lane: 'An authentic depiction of gang life and police politics' From the author of ITV's The Tower

Gallowstree Lane: 'An authentic depiction of gang life and police politics' From the author of ITV's The Tower

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DI Kieran Shaw is adamant that the undercover operation must not be disrupted whilst DI Sarah Collins is anxious to catch the killer of a fifteen year old boy. This was a good read especially on today’s time with knife crime and gang culture but I think because I hadn’t read the previous ones I struggled with the characters. With knife crime and gang warfare on the up, especially in London, this book does reflect that culture very well. He is surrounded by adults who are all claiming to know what’s best for him, what is the right thing to do. The author is brave to challenge our perceptions of the characters by clearly stating that the main narrators just don’t like each other.

Neighbours, Mark and Deb Berman, have been so supportive as she moves on in life: teaching at the local school and even dating. London's coppers come over as real people, as do the members of the gangs they are trying so hard to get off the street. As the conflict continues between the various sections of the force, personalities clash and voices are raised. All are well painted, but it is Ryan’s story and character which really makes this special; I found the picture of him, his circumstances and his actions completely convincing and in many ways sympathetic. It happens way too often, is morally unacceptable and these children are being preyed upon and used until they ultimately it is too late.I think the main reason was because whilst the recurring characters who are the police do feature much of the novel concerns Ryan, a young teen who is a drug runner for a local gang. Also, the fact that her and Kieran clashed so strongly in terms of ideals and ethics makes the last chapter in the book ring very falsely in my opinion. I thoroughly enjoyed Gallowstree Lane which examines the aftermath and ramifications of a straightforward crime, if murder can be regarded as straightforward. Fifteen year old Spencer has been stabbed in the leg and bleeds out on the street while an off duty paramedic tries to assist. The majority of pages are undamaged with some creasing or tearing, and pencil underlining of text, but this is minimal.

I just flowed with this and plan to read them so that I can understand their backgrounds as well as reading two more excellent police procedurals from Kate London. Given the series title, I assumed (Sarah) Collins and (Lizzie) Griffiths were a team but in fact it turns out their paths have crossed only briefly in the course of previous cases.The pressures of her job were evident, but having been on the receiving end of having to deal with ill children in childcare, some of it didn’t ring true.

Gallowstree Lane follows a web of people involved in a gang in London, and a team of police who are planning a bust to take down the leaders of the gang who are moving weapons. Undoubtedly the procedures described are realistic and describe accurately how investigations in the 21st Century are run.So when a low-level Bluds member is stabbed to death on Gallowstree Lane, Shaw’s priority is to protect his operation. Yes, the slang, used in everyday communication between London’s youth, that was what hooked me on this book. Who knew that the death of one boy could bring out and test so much of the good sides, the bad sides, the vengeful sides and even the ambitious sides of the people that got involved in his case? I found myself sympathising completely with Ryan, the victim’s best mate as you could really feel how little the authorities cared for the situation. Sydney Morning Herald: “A realistic, tense and multi-layered story containing a two-sided moral question, all crowned by a thoughtful and compassionate ending tinged with a little sadness.

We start with a stabbing which turns out fatal and then, as more and more layers of this crime is uncovered, we see that actually, this incident is the very small tip of a very big iceberg with multiple interconnected crimes and perpetrators. To begin, a disclaimer that I didn't realise this was part of a series before I started reading it, so I was slightly thrown off by some of the backstory that didn't make sense, but ultimately it can really be read as a stand-alone story. Although Gallowstree Lane is the third book in this series, at no point did I feel I was missing out on anything, as, for me, all back stories were sufficiently dealt with. And although it deals with the same main characters as the previous book I found myself not really caring about them now.In her English procedural debut Post Mortem, Kate London showed a deep understanding of not only the London Metropolitan Police but the milieu in which they worked. I won’t say more but he and others caught up in this life come across as very real and complex characters rather than one dimensional stereotypes. Lizzie has problems of her own: recovered from a stabbing she received in Death Message, she now has a toddler following an affair with fellow police officer DI Keiran Shaw who has since gone back to his wife and family. The author analyses very important topics in this book, such as teenage criminals, knife crime, gangs and their war for territory, prostitution, drug addictions, childcare issues for working single mothers etc. Rival London gangs and casual fatal knifings is very much a story of today, but it doesn’t mean that I want to read a fictional account of it as well as listen to it on news items.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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