Hall of Fame Review: The Wronged by Kimberley Chambers

Thursday, 12 March 2015
Title: The Wronged
Author: Kimberley Chambers
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 12th March 2015
Pages: 480
ISBN: 9780007521746
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
‘Murdered in 1980 she was, bless her. Now I’ll tell you the story of everything that’s happened since…’

No parent should ever have to bury their child, but God knows the Butlers have buried more than their fair share. Now, Vinny and Michael are planning the downfall of all who’ve wronged them. The Butlers don’t forgive or forget, and they take their secrets to the grave.

As yet more tragic events rip the family apart, loyalties are on a knife edge. Times are changing in the East End, and the brothers who have always stuck together are at each other’s throats. As the old saying goes – you keep your friends close, and your enemies closer…

But you keep your family right where you can see them.

I can't actually believe that it is coming up to three years since I read my first Kimberley Chambers book. I had no idea when I decided to read The Feud that I would spend that week barely sleeping, unable to stop reading until I had completed the Mitchell & O'Hara trilogy. Now a number one bestselling author, Kimberley is finally receiving the recognition and success that she absolutely deserves.

Discussing the plot or even the characters without giving away the plot of previous books is impossible, and I would definitely recommend reading The Trap and Payback before The Wronged. Events in The Wronged left me speechless, and the chilling and haunting ending was in my thoughts for weeks afterwards. Picking up following the events of Payback and the years that followed, we learn just what has happened to the Butler family in that time. With the amount of death and heartache the family has suffered in the past, it isn't over yet and it isn't long before the family is once again falling apart. With enemies within and outside the family this is again a story of revenge, and that makes the book all the more exciting because there's characters plotting away but we don't know just whose plans will come to fruition and who will even still be alive by the end of the book. The writing style and back and forth way the story is told might not be for everyone, but I love it. It allows for lots of mini-cliffhangers throughout the book.

Kimberley creates some fantastic characters, but also some extremely hateful ones as well. Vinny Butler and his son, Little Vinny are two evil characters. But, they are also two of the most fascinating and the series wouldn't be the same without them. Is it wrong for me to be looking for positives in these two characters? Queenie and Vivian are just brilliant, two proper East End characters that I just love and who almost had me in tears laughing thanks to Kim's unique brand of humour. Never afraid to say it how it is, or to voice their opinions loud and clear, they say what most other people are afraid to say and Queenie is definitely one of my favourites in the Butler family. I loved the little nods from Kim to things taking place around the time the book is set, watching Brookside and the start of EastEnders being some standout parts thanks to the sisters observations. They certainly aren't afraid to tell people what they think of them, often in the knowledge that the threat of Michael and Vinny will shut most people up.

I love the East End of London, it's one of my favourite areas and despite it being vastly different nowadays, I love reading books that capture that era and Kimberley does that so well. Everything about The Wronged is so vivid because of how authentic the whole thing feels, nods to real life gangsters and places, mentions of music, films, TV shows, news events and of course brilliant descriptions thanks to Kimberley's knowledge of the area all help to form that picture inside your head. I would love to see these books made into a TV show one day.

This genre often has strong female characters, but with Kimberley's books the male characters are often the more dominant and do rule the roost so to speak, but the power of certain female characters is often understated, and well, I was left stunned with the actions of a couple of the female characters during this book... To say more would of course ruin it and there are far too many characters and history for me to relay here, but it was brilliant. Speaking of strong male characters, I was delighted to see Eddie Mitchell played a rather significant role in this book rather than just a couple of fleeting appearances. Fans are crying out for a return to the Mitchell family and I think the story here will satisfy those readers wanting a full story. Also, Facebook fans will be pleased to finally see the latest addition to the Butler family...

Kimberley has really played a blinder with this one. You only have to read my other reviews of her books to see just how much I love this author, but that means that I judge each book more harshly rather than just giving them all five stars. I mean every single word when I say how good this book was, how much I enjoyed it and how much I recommend it. This will surely be another number one for Kimberley Chambers, and here's to many more in the future.

5/5

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