The Friend by Charlie Gallagher

Thanks to Avon UK Publicity Team for sending me an E-ARC in exchange of a honest review. All views are my own.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What would you do if a stranger would present you with the opportunity to get revenge on the one person that ruined your life with no repercussion? Would you take the opportunity or would you question, why a stranger would give you this opportunity?

The Friend is a thrilling read, the start of a new series, in which themes of trust and the extent a person would go to obtain justice for their family collide. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but honestly the cover is something that let me down when I first saw it. Usually the cover is the first thing that captures the attention of a reader. This cover didn’t capture my attention at all. It felt generic and found myself wondering after reading the book why wouldn’t something more pragmatic from the story wouldn’t be featured on the cover. I know that cover design isn’t in the control of the author but I think that the cover would have fitted the genre and the story more if something more simplistic (a good example would be the black folder that is prominent at each scene) would have been incorporated on the cover. I can’t help but feel that the cover was a miss.

Charlie Gallagher is a name everyone should remember; The Friend is an exciting start to a new series that feels both fresh and already well established.

The story line is linear in the story, which can very easily slip into the boring side especially in this day and age when everyone is looking for something new. However what Gallagher managed to do is hide the linear story line behind strong characters which step to the forefront of the story. The multiple POV’s which weren’t usually the standard protagonist POV’s allows the readers to experience the events of a twisted game played by a stranger through a new lens.

I mentioned that the characterization is strong in The Friend. And I stand by that. Gallagher manages to breathe a breath of fresh air into them by making them unexpected. DI Joel Norris is the perfect example for this. As a crime series reader, I got so used of seeing ‘the-broken-detective’ trope that when Gallagher actually brings to the forefront a DI that is married and has a somewhat functional relationship with his wife, it feels totally unexpected and enjoyable, giving room for the flawed characters to sit into the normal people that actually go through the horrendous experience of meeting and playing the revenge game.

What is the revenge game you ask? Well it’s actually such a simple idea but so effective. You get yourself a stranger that promises you justice with no repercussion what-so-ever. Then you get a choice. Will you take justice into your own two hands or will you let justice take it’s own course? I don’t want to give away to much of the plot in this review because the excellence of this novel sits in the plot.

Charlie Gallagher is a name everyone should remember; The Friend is an exciting start to a new start to a series that feels both fresh but also already well established. I haven’t gotten yet the chance to read the Maddie Ives series or the Langthorne series but if they are anything close to The Friend then I can’t wait to dive into them when I start to feel my Gallagher withdrawal kick in.

Best of February 2021

Although February has long been and gone I wanted to still make a post about the best books that I’ve managed to read in February. However please bear in mind that although some full reviews might still be pending and will shortly appear on the blog, the criteria for me to include books in a “Best of” is that the books have been read in that particular month.

Without further ado, here are the top 3 books I’ve read in February.

3rd Place – Good Samaritans by Will Carver

Will Carver is one of the best Noir writers (if not the best Noir writers in the UK) and it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of him and his writing.

Good Samaritans by Will Carver is plotted to perfection, the pacing is marvelous and the twists are at every corner. I gasped out loud when I read this book because it swallowed me whole and by the time I came out on the other side, I didn’t know what to do with myself.

Good Samaritans came out in 2018 published by Orenda Books and is really really worth checking out. This can be ordered wherever you shop for books.

Carver has also a new novel coming out this year with Orenda Books called The Beresford which I can’t wait to read before I get Will Carver Withdrawal.

2nd Place – The Friend by Charlie Gallagher

The Friend was the first book I read by Charlie Gallagher. Shame on me as he is a brilliant author who managed to grip me with this novel.

I’m not going to go into many details about the plot and characters because the novel is coming out very very soon and I can’t wait to be able to speak with people about the brilliance of this novel.

Gallagher will definitely be one of the authors I’m going to follow when it comes to Police Procedural novels.

The Friend comes out on 01/04/2021 from Avon Books and can be pre-ordered everywhere good books are sold.

1st Place – The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward

Gosh, I loved this book. The way Catriona Ward writes just so enthralling and refreshing. The Last House on Needless Street is the type of book that you have to cancel your plans for the day and prepare yourself for a ride.

The multi-layered plot is brilliantly executed because there are red herrings peppered through it. Ward plays a fair game, giving you enough hints for you to be able to figure out the mystery at it’s heart but because her descriptions are so vivid I wasn’t able to guess in advance the plot twist.

I wouldn’t be surprised if The Last House on Needless Street will be considered the epitome of gothic and even psychological thrillers of this decade.

The Last House on Needless Street is out today, 18/03/2021 from Viper Books and can be bought everywhere good books are sold.

March has been as amazing as February so far and I have a few other highly anticipated reads lined up for this month which I know will give me trouble to make the Best of March. Nonetheless, keep on reading <3.