I had so many problems with this novel, but mostly it stems from the vivid and realistic violence that is ritualistically doled out (hear it comes, I said to myself: the torture scene) by an all-but-mustache-twirling bad guy and the superhuman (he can keep fighting with a broken wrist!) Cole. Brother Ruben witnesses all this telepathically, and then meditates briefly on the "dance of violence." The murder is "solved" quickly -- not much investigation occurred, just a lot of atmosphere absorbed -- and the remainder of the novel is devoted to the Ford brothers' revenge (assisted by the dog owner, a beautiful gypsy girl). Really, the whole thing just seemed like such a cliche.
Recorded Books repackaged a English audiobook from W.F. Howes Ltd. without changing anything but the cover. The book starts out with "W.F. Howes present ..." and everything. The narrator, Paul Thornley, is excellent. He can rattle off those various class and regional British accents with ease, he reads with a varied pace and knows how to ratchet up the tension in those torture scenes. He just couldn't save the book for me, which ultimately, just seemed too adult: Ruben was just a bystander in a story of brutish adults slugging it out over a piece of land.
And so's you know: I like Kevin Brooks' books (well, I didn't like Candy), so I'm not dissing this lightly.
Careful readers know that I think Recorded Books pretty much screws up their audiobook covers, but in this case, the US publisher also did this book a disservice. The first cover is the US book. Then, there's the British book, and then the British audiobook. (Can't figure out how to make Blogger let me wrap a paragraph around each of these images.) Of course, Recorded Books doesn't put their cover on their website, so I'll attempt to describe it: It features a young man with his fingers spread and covering his face. (Dull, dull, dull.)
No doubt the US publisher thought the British cover was too extreme, but I think it's great! Doesn't the boy look too young in the US version?