Friday, 10 October 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Murray Davies - Welcome To Meantime

"DCI Patsy Chalke. Beautiful, rich, Oxford-educated. Owns a riverside penthouse, drives a red Mercedes convertible.
DS Bobby Leyden. The bruiser from the notorious Ferrier estate. Lives on take-away Chinese and cans of 1664. Drives a Ford.
They are Chalke and Cheese, but when a gruesome string of murders rocks the royal borough of Greenwich, the pair must work together to find out who is killing South London's villains. And why.
Only one thing's certain. In Meantime nothing is what it seems to be."

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it many times again, I’m sure; if a book’s set in Greenwich or the surrounding areas (basically, the areas I know really well), chances are I’ll love it. This book hit the mark in that respect and all other respects too. It follows Greenwich police officers as they attempt to get to the root of a string of murders, including South London’s hard men and celebrities. 

The storyline and plot is incredibly easy to follow, the timeline is well laid out and you don’t feel confused or lost at any point. Each chapter is based on a new day in the case which makes everything feel much more coherent and ‘real time’, I guess. 

When I was about halfway through reading this book, I posted a Facebook status about it:

“Never has a book been so me. Set in Greenwich (live there), the main character used to live on the Ferrier (lived there), not to mention it also features Millwall, cage fighting, and boxing. Oh, and lots of murders. I'm in love.”

I literally told anyone who would listen that it was amazing because that’s honestly what it is. Further down the line, the book mentioned my favourite restaurant too (Tai Won Mein, for those wondering) and I knew it was love, haha. 

The characters are strong. The two main characters are described as Chalke and Cheese and that’s pretty true. Chalke is a very strong-willed woman who seems to come from a different social class as the rest of her colleagues, something she tries to keep from them as much as possible. She lives a different lifestyle but still shares some of the same morals and beliefs as those around her which makes her likeable. Leyden is what I’d imagine I’d be like if I were a guy, given I share a whole load of things in common with him already. He used to live on the Ferrier estate (so did I!), stays true to his roots, and wants to do well at his job. 

The murders are sometimes far-fetched until you remember that you’re reading about South London villains or just villains in general and it becomes a little easier to believe that these things could, and would, happen. They’re all linked together, giving enough away so you want to keep reading but you still don’t know who’s at the heart of the murders for the most part. 

It becomes a little clearer to guess towards the end of the book but I find that to be the case with most thrillers and, personally, I really enjoy that because I feel like I’ve solved the crimes too. Is that sad? Ah, well… 

I can honestly say, hand on heart, this has become one of my favourite books. As soon as I’d finished reading it, I wanted to read it again. When I was taking the DLR to work, I was thinking about all the areas where certain scenes had played out etc. In fact, one thing I will say that surprised (in a good way) me most is the description of Greenwich. It really helped me get a clear image of the scenes, especially some of the murder ones. If you know Greenwich, you’ll love this. If you don’t, you’ll still love it.

Best of all..? Apparently, there’s a second book on the way according to this site: EXCITING!

About the Author: During his career as a national newspaper reporter, Murray Davies has covered most of the major British crime stories and headline court cases of the past thirty years. He lives in London.