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Deadland - review

What can I tell you? There is a lot I can't because I try not to do spoilers, certainly when there are events and folks should go and meet authors and then read and come to their own decisions on plot and descriptions etc!

So, simply put, this book is brilliant, it has some seriously superb scenes, it flies along and yet, you are intrinsically drawn into the lives of all of the characters and they are very different, you really feel that William has a sensitive side as well as a razor sharp keenness for the gripping stuff too.

There are some very interesting sub plots about social class, crypto-currency and the Art world and also a dip into relationships under pressure.
I've not read the other books with DS Alex Cupidi and that doesn't matter, because the small nods backwards are just that, small nods and all you need is to read this and be gripped and drawn into the plot.

The whole layering of families dealing with so many different things on so many levels is brilliantly done, too often we only really get one view and William really gives us a whole world view and handles it all superbly.

It's set in Kent and around Dungeness which bird watchers and weather watchers will know, also it touches on Brexit and immigration in a clever and simple way, it's just part of lives in reality, so it's part of lives inside this reality.

We get a fascinating glimpse into relationships within the police and especially interesting is the use of Art to underpin the visual storytelling, it's very good and the constant switching of views from all perspectives is like walking around a sculpture in a gallery, you see things from all angles and the use of light and dark is a real metaphor for seeing or not.

The balance between families and how they act and react to the reality of life in the plot is excellent, there is much humanity here and yet, we still are here for a thrill and a chilling dip... By taking us with so many characters views we do very cleverly and subtly see little things that are important from very differing perspectives.

The sensitivity of the way William deals with the situation for Tap and Sloth is both fabulous in it's portrayal of the disconnection of youth with the brutality of being in a low life situation and it's choices... alongside their unbelievable togetherness and resourcefulness. Their banter is both of the street but also of the world. They perhaps don't realise where they are going and finding out where that is really is such an important message within the book.

The relationships here are the key to this book working so well, they are multi dimensional and have all the flaws of conscience and beauty of observation that any accomplished writer can weave. William really does see everything so well from all angles.

All I can say about the plot is this.... You need to know where you, the fact it's pretty much all in a simple area of established connection is a key factor in it working. William's way of describing scenes is both precise but involving, he blends the need for speed of narration with keen and subtle hues of lyrical description. We have the elegance of art clashing with social deprivation and desperation on all levels.  If you read or liked Scott Smith -'Simple Plan' or maybe TA Cotterell - 'What Alice Knew', you maybe near to knowing you'll love this, it also will appeal to any fans of close bonded crime double acts like those created by Gerritsen, Cleeves or McDermid, ones where both parties are equally important.

So we have deception and deals, clever technology on a simple level, that helps a lot!
A totally thrilling hide and seek and so much depth of feeling you are there every page of the way.

A real page turner and one name that I hope you seek out more and are there for in the future, William is with us at Bolton Central Library
on Thursday 6th June at 6pm always see their Eventbrite page and come along when you can. As always, order if you want a book, this new one is £11.99 from us and we will have his backlist available too...