WHEN IT COMES TO VENGEANCE, AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Gloria Jones has had enough. She’s sixty-five, approaching retirement, and nearing the end of her tether. If she gets abused in the street by another toerag, someone’s going to swing.
When Gloria collects a gun she saw being thrown into her local park, her decision to turn it in is quickly scuppered after she’s attacked on her way to the police station. Using the gun to make her attackers back off, she accidentally pulls the trigger, and ends up killing them both. In that moment, her life changes forever.
As she struggles to come to terms with what she’s done, Gloria begins to realise there is injustice all around and finds herself transforming from a shy, peaceful woman into a confident and ruthless vigilante, determined to help victims of crime unable to defend themselves. And so begins a three-month campaign, taking revenge against violent criminals up and down the country, helping those who can’t help themselves.
After all, who’s going to question a little old lady just going about her business? Turns out, quite a few people, on both sides of the law, and one in particular seems to know exactly what she’s been up to.
Gloria is 65 years old and approaching her retirement, she is a widow whose son died after becoming an addict. Life is pretty good Gloria works for the DSS (it’s set in the 90’s), has some good friends, a daughter and her family up in Newcastle and she’s a volunteer in her local community.
She lives in Central London it’s a lovely, amazingly quiet area given how close to the hustle and bustle she is – or at least it was! For sometime now the area has become a place where drugs are traded and with that has seen crimes, such as muggings, increase. Increasingly it is feeling less safe, Gloria sees the area becoming more run down, sees crimes being committed and is even attacked herself. It shakes her up, she’s angry and fed up. Then later from her flat window she sees a man, being chased by police, throw something away in close by gardens.
Wondering what it was Gloria goes to check it out and finds a gun! She’s on her way to the police station to hand it in when she is confronted by the two addicts who tried to mug her earlier, she feels threatened and reaching into her bag she brings out the gun. She hopes to frighten them off but to no avail and Gloria snaps! She shoots them both!
And so begins Gloria’s vigilante days.
Gloria is troubled how could she have done it? She expects the Police to come for her. She is mortified. Then she realises that the Police investigation is getting nowhere.
Over the coming weeks Gloria takes the law into her owns hands when she hears of those criminals threatening and committing violence in similar circumstances. All over the country. Whilst the Police seem to be barking up the wrong tree Gloria realises someone knows what she has done.
What a great idea! Even though murder is nothing to laugh at or support whoever the victims are there’s a little part of you that thinks otherwise, that sympathises with those communities being affected and can see why Gloria has taken this path.
There may be times when you’re baffled by the ineptitude of the Police. There may even be the odd suspension of belief because Gloria does seem to be more than lucky in keeping suspicion at bay.
There is one thing I think can be agreed on and that’s what a good job Evan Baldock has done in bringing us the ultimate antihero in Gloria. You can’t help liking her even if you don’t like what she does! She’s a terrific character.
There is suspense, fear and a grittiness to this story. It’s an unbelievable yet believable story, a story with a dark side to it and which, sadly, reflects what does often happen in today’s society with regards to drugs and drug related crime. It’s quite a debut novel. I very much enjoyed it.
Do check out the rest of the Bang Bang, You’re Dead BlogTour.
Many thanks to Red Dog Press for the invite to this BlogTour and an eCopy of Bang Bang, You’re Dead by Evan Baldock. All thoughts are my own and I have not received any payment for this review.
Well there you have it I’ve completed all 20 as this is my 20th and final book in the #20BooksofSummer20! I’ll be posting a round up in the next few days. You can find out more about this challenge by popping over to Cathy’s blog – you’ll find lot’s of other wonderful book stuff there, too!
Evan was born in Pembury, Kent in 1956 and attended grammar school in Tunbridge Wells.
He left the Metropolitan Police after 30 years service in 2011, serving as one of the countries first Football Intelligence Officers until 1996, then transferring to West End Central, where for 15 years he worked in Soho.
For several years Evan helped run the Soho Unit, specialising in combating drug dealing in the West End. During his career he frequently ran test purchase and buy-bust operations against drug dealers, resulting in the seizure of large amounts of drugs, and the successful prosecution of over 200 dealers, many of whom received lengthy prison sentences.
After retiring from the Metropolitan police, Evan opened ‘Sweet Expectations’ in Rochester, Kent, the UK’s first vegetarian sweet shop.
In 2016 he sold the shop business and retired, before taking up writing in January 2019.
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