Monday 16 March 2015

Review: Blood Relatives by Stevan Alcock

Blood Relatives by Stevan Alcock
4th Estate
Release date: 26 March 2015
Rating: *** and a half
Back cover blurb: 'The milkman found her. On Prince Philip Playing Fields. He crossed the dew-soaked grass toward what he took to be a bundle of clothes, but then he came across a discarded shoe, and then t’ mutilated body. her name wor Wilma McCann.' Leeds, late 1975 and a body has been found on Prince Philip Playing Fields. Ricky, teenage delivery van boy for Corona pop, will be late for The Matterhorn Man. In the years that follow until his capture, the Yorkshire Ripper and Rick’s own life draw ever closer with unforeseen consequences. Set in a time in England's history of upheaval and change – both personal and social – this is a story told in an unforgettable voice. 
If you are looking for something a little bit different to read this year, then this novel is definitely the one for you! 
Written in what can only be described as a broad yorkshire dialect, for a southerner like me it did take some getting used to the narrative, but it makes the novel even more real.

Set against the backdrop of the 'Yorkshire Ripper' murders, Blood Relatives is a brilliantly woven coming of age tale.

Ricky Thorpe is a delivery boy for Corona, but he would much rather be famous. 
Still living at home with his Mum, Step-dad and Sister, Ricky yearns for another life, and he soon finds it. But happiness comes at a cost, as Ricky is about to find out and life is never quite as simple as it seems. 
Ricky's first lesson comes with his first real foray into a gay relationship. The Matterhorn Man is everything to Ricky, but Ricky soon realises that he is not everything to the Mattherhorn Man.
Disillusioned, Ricky turns to the gay club scene and meets with a few characters with whom he will make relationships that will shape the rest of his life.

Although I suspected that Ricky's lives and the Ripper's would cross, I didn't quite expect the surprise delivered at the end of the novel by the author.

Well, you will have to give Blood Relatives a real to discover what happens. But Ricky's won't be a voice I'll be forgetting in a hurry.
Blood Relatives is released on 26th March and available to pre-order now from 4th Estate.

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Thanks to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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