“After the war we came home.
Sixty-five thousand battle shocked, trained killers came home to no jobs, no food and the plague. What the fuck did Her Majesty think was going to happen?”
After the vicious and bloody war ended, an army priest – Tomas Piety – finally comes back home. But everything is not exactly how he left it. His little empire of crime, that was supposed to be guarded by his aunt, has been stolen. And now he needs to take it back.
It’s easy to see that Peter McLean is a very talented writer. But the intentional errors paired with annoying repetitions of sentences that really didn’t need to be repeated, made this book significantly harder to read.
Also, this novel is apparently a diary or a journal written by the main character… but it didn’t became obvious until I was halfway through the book.
I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters (maybe simply because these is not the kind of people you would want to connect with), but, surprisingly, that didn’t make me enjoy this book any less.
The main character, Thomas Piety, is very interesting. He’s a gangster and a murderer, but he’s also very honorable and almost… noble. In the opening scene of this book, Thomas kills the man he served in the army with, for trying to rape a girl. I think it shows his character perfectly. Thomas is twisted and brutal, but he also has a strict set of rules and he does everything he can to follow them.
Peter McLean is a great storyteller. Nothing about this story is particularily unique, but for some reason I just couldn’t stop reading it.
The pacing is amazing. There is enough things happening to constantly keep you interested, but it never feels too rushed.
I have to admit, I enjoyed this book a lot. It has a very interesting cast of characters, a pretty predictable, but enjoyable plot and skillfull writing (though it has some flaws).
However, I feel the need to note that this is definitely a grimdark novel. That means that it’s filled with violence, murder and gore. If you are not a fan of those things I am pretty sure this book is not for you. But my fellow lovers of dark novels definitely should check this one out. It’s definitely worth your time.
CONTENT WARNINGS: sexual assault, abuse (verbal, physical, sexual), pedophilia, graphic violence/death/torture, alcohol abuse, child prostitution
I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review