Book Review: An Eye For An Eye by Paul Heatley

AN EYE FOR AN EYE

Author: Paul Heatley

Publisher: Near To The Knuckle

Release Date: July 2016

an-eye-for-an-eye-paul-heatley

When a grisly bar-room accident leaves Geordie party girl Jasmine Doyle permanently disfigured, her father Neil – a notorious local crime lord – sends his stooges on the warpath to track down the culprit, so that he can enact his own biblical form of revenge. The quest sees Neil and his men go head-to-head with the equally fearsome Moore family, and the mobster doesn’t care who gets in his way, or what he has to do to them, to get his hands on the man responsible for blinding his daughter. As the assignment threatens to spiral out of control, aging hard-man Graeme Taylor and his associate ‘Tracksuit’ Tony Gordon – a man with plenty of reasons of his own to hate the Doyle family – are entrusted with the job, and the true horror of what is unfolding slowly dawns on them.

Paul Heatley is one of the most compelling short story writers currently working in the UK, and An Eye For An Eye is a novella-length follow-up to his terrific story The Straightener (as published by Near To The Knuckle). Set in Heatley’s native North East, this is a grim, gripping thriller that oozes nastiness throughout. The narrative is enjoyably queasy, and splattered with regular doses of brutal, bloody violence. The circumspect Graeme Taylor is a great lead character – unflashy yet fully rounded – and I, for one, hope that Heatley seeks to explore this blasted, blighted environment again, as these characters have plenty more mileage left in them. British crime fiction doesn’t get much more vital – or more visceral – than this. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Tom Leins

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