The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 5

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#Bookvent – Celebrating my top reads of 2019

My fifth choice is a book which many have hailed as being one of the author’s best ever pieces of work. It is certainly a piece that will play with your emotions and if you can walk away from the story untouched or unscathed, you have a far harder heart than me. Highlighting the stark contrast between the haves and the have-nots in Edinburgh, my day five #bookvent choice is:

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Breakers by Doug Johnstone

A toxic family … a fight for survival…

Seventeen-year-old Tyler lives in one of Edinburgh’s most deprived areas. Coerced into robbing rich people’s homes by his bullying older siblings, he’s also trying to care for his little sister and his drug-addict mum.

On a job, his brother Barry stabs a homeowner and leaves her for dead, but that’s just the beginning of their nightmare, because the woman is the wife of Edinburgh’s biggest crime lord, Deke Holt.

With the police and the Holts closing in, and his shattered family in devastating danger, Tyler meets posh girl Flick in another stranger’s house, and he thinks she may just be his salvation … unless he drags her down too.

A pulsatingly tense psychological thriller, Breakers is also a breathtakingly brutal, beautiful and deeply moving story of a good kid in the wrong family, from one of Scotland’s finest crime writers.

Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
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I think this opening paragraph from my review really sums this book up.

“Sometimes you come across a book that when you read it you are not just seeing words and sentences, you are absorbing them. You are feeling them, experiencing a kind of visceral reaction to what is being laid out in front of you. It’s safe to say that Breakers, the latest offering from Doug Johnstone, is one of those books. This is more than just a story or a moralistic tale of the divide between the affluent and the impoverished residents of Edinburgh. This is a story of survival, of love and of strength which stays with you long after you’ve turned that last page.”

This book, the story of Tyler who is the main carer for his younger sister, Bean, given his mother’s existence in a near permanent state of unconsciousness, and who is forced into working for his half-brother and sister in a series of robberies. You feel conflicting emotions regarding Tyler – he is, after all is said and done, a thief – but he is also trying his hardest to do the right thing in spite of a family and a society which are both set against him. Both heartbreaking and disturbing, this book will hollow you out, leaving you feeling raw, if maybe just a little hopeful by it’s dramatic and emotional ending. It is a story of survival. Of fighting for family, and of how far a young man, barely more than a child himself, will go to protect the ones he loves. Tyler displays immense strength and is a character it is going to take a while to forget. An emotionally charged, beautifully written and evocative book that you’d be a fool to ignore.

You can read my full review of Breakers here.

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Happy #bookvent reading all

Jen

6 thoughts on “The Bookvent Calendar 2019: Day 5

    1. Ah he’s excellent. Has a new series out in January too starting with A Dark Matter. About a family who run a funeral parlour and a private investigation business:

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