Don’t Get Involved by F.J. Curlew

Today I hand the blog over to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Don’t Get Involved by F.J. Curlew. A big thank you to the author for inviting us to join the tour and providing an advance copy for review. Here’s what the book is about:

Source: Advance Review Copy

About the Book

Kyiv, Ukraine
A missing shipment of cocaine
Three street-kids fighting for their lives
A Mafia hitman intent on killing them
A naïve expat who gets in their way
Who would you bet on?

Ukraine, 2001, A time of lawlessness and corruption. Three street-kids stumble upon a holdall full of cocaine belonging to the Mafia. Mafia hitman, Leonid, is given the job of retrieving the cocaine and disposing of the street-kids. To do so he is forced to step back into his old life and he doesn’t like it. The children run on their wits. Leonid hunts them down. Nadia, a young woman with her own dark past, arrives in Ukraine looking for a fresh start. She wasn’t expecting this!

“She had no idea of what, or who, she was supposed to be running from. Right now everything was a threat. Definitely militsiya but who else? Everyone. Right now it felt like everyone.”

Available from Amazon

Mandie’s Thoughts

After reading and enjoying a previous book by this author, I jumped at the chance to read her latest publication. Once again we are transported to Eastern Europe, this time however we are in the Ukraine as we follow a group of street kids who find themselves in danger and Nadia who had moved to the Ukraine for a fresh start and in her attempt to help them gets mixed up in something that could actually endanger her life.

The book is told from the points of view of Dima one of the street kids who seems to be the leader of their little gang and Nadia. Moving through different seasons within the year it tells of their lives and slowly brings the action to a head at the end of the book. I will admit that at first, I did find this a little confusing as although there had been brief meetings between the two vastly different characters, I couldn’t quite work out what the real connection was between them. This didn’t stop me from reading or enjoying the book as the author has a way of drawing you in to the story with her descriptive writing that gives you a real sense of the country and the environment the characters find themselves in.

You can’t help but feel for the Dima, Sasha and Alyona who have ended up on the streets through no real fault of their own but found that this existence was preferable to the lives they had before. As they find themselves on the wrong side of the mafia and the militsiya their survival skills are tested too their limits. They use every bit of street smarts they have trying to stay one step ahead of those after them.

Nadia has a secret of her own that has driven her to the Ukraine that has left her untrusting of relationships. As the story progresses though you get to see this distrust slowly get chipped away as she starts to become friends with her Aussie colleague Maggie and Artem, a charming Ukrainian who refuses to let her icy exterior get to him. There are a couple of really touching part in the book where Nadia meets Artem’s grandfather and he describes events from his past and later when he passes away that even tugged at my hardened heart. For me this book is so much more than being about drugs, mafia and street kids. It tells of human nature and compassion that can be found even in the hardest of hearts.

About the Author

Fiona spent fifteen years working as an international school teacher, predominantly in Eastern Europe. Much of her inspiration comes from her travels. Her writing has been described as, “Human experience impacted upon by political situation, interwoven with a love of nature.”

She now lives on the East Coast of Scotland with Brockie the Springer, and
Fingal the rescued Portuguese street-cat. Her days are divided between dog-walking in beautiful places and working on her stories. Not a bad life!  Don’t

Get Involved is her third book.

Author links: Twitter | Facebook

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