Review: Seven Daze by Charlie Wade (4/5)

Friday 13 June 2014
Released from prison, and hacked off with a life of petty crime, Jim takes a new job: contract killing. But, what happens when your first hit fails? When the target has a heart attack before you can pull the trigger Charlotte, a keen city worker, jumps to the victim's aid in South London's busy streets. Should Jim carry out the contract and also kill Charlotte? What he shouldn't do is help her save his life. The man saved, Jim has a problem; not only does his boss want his advance back, he also expects compensation. Immediately. With seven days to make ten grand, Jim starts a one-man crime spree in the heart of London. But will his budding relationship with Charlotte prove to be a help or a hindrance as he struggles to stay alive?

Out of all the Caffeine Nights books I had to read I would say that this was the one I was most excited to read! As a huge fan of London I am always looking for books where the city is as much a character in the book as the actual characters themselves and that was definitely the case here. I also really loved plot of the book from the blurb and was so eager to get started with it that I began reading at 1am and was still reading at 3am when I should've been asleep! But the book opens brilliantly and had me hooked from the off.

Charlie is a brilliant writer, this is one of the best written books I've read in a while and it's baffling how it took him so long to get published. I would say that this book is perfect for Caffeine Nights given their ethos and aims when it comes to publishing quality British fiction. It's a very British book in every way. Writing, dialogue, description and the book's characters. It's also a very unique and original read which is always refreshing to see in such a crowded genre as crime fiction.

Jim has recently been released from prison and after being given the idea by his former cellmate Harry, becomes a contract killer. Unfortunately his first hit doesn't go to plan and he ends up owing money for the failed hit and finding himself lumbered with a tag along in the form of Charlotte. To say too much about the plot would of course ruin the book but Jim ends up taking money from people who you would say probably don't need it anyway and it's a bit of a Dexter situation. You know Jim is in the wrong but he's actually a very likeable character that you want to see succeed. I did feel sorry for him in some of the situations he got himself in.

I very much enjoyed his adventures across London, could easily see this book as a film or TV show. The city was just brought to life for me and I really loved it. Jim is a fairly crap thief though and throughout the book I was just waiting for him to get caught. Charlotte is also an intriguing character and you are left wondering throughout the book just what she has planned and how the relationship between her and Jim will develop.

A very enjoyable read that I highly recommend to crime fans. The only thing I would say is it was probably a bit longer than I would've liked but still a really great book that I stormed through.

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