Review: We Still Kill the Old Way by Nick Oldham

Wednesday 4 March 2015
Title: We Still Kill the Old Way
Author: Nick Oldham
Publisher: Caffeine Nights
Publication Date: 21st December 2014
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9781907565847
Rating: 4.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
When a retired East End villain is murdered by a feral street gang, his brother Ritchie Archer returns to London from Spain to investigate. With the police thwarted at every turn, Ritchie decides to take the law into his own hands and bring old school justice back to the streets of East London. Rounding up his old firm, he leads a vigilante crusade against the vicious young criminals, using every grisly method at his disposal to find and punish his brother’s killers. A vicious street war follows, with no prisoners taken on either side, leading to a dramatic conclusion as the feral youths lay siege to a hospital Ritchie’s firm is holed up in.

They’re outgunned and outnumbered, but this firm has never been outclassed yet.

Jonathan Sothcott continued his run of brilliant films with the release of We Still Kill the Old Way at the end of 2014. As with Vendetta, Nick Oldham has penned the novelisation and once again I found it to be a really enjoyable read with a couple of differences compared to the film that make it definitely worth a read even if you have watched the film. The book has pictures in of the cast to help build a picture in the mind of the reader, and the book was a lot more vivid in my mind being able to picture the actors.

With a fascination with gangsters and the London underworld from a young age, I loved the idea for We Still Kill the Old Way which is essentially about a group of old school villains coming out of retirement when Ritchie Archer's brother is murdered by the 'E2 gang'. Fed up with the uselessness of the police and wanting to exact revenge, they dispense justice the only way they know how, the old way... The film is brutal, violent and well, fantastic and the book is no less violent, as with Vendetta in fact, I'd say in places the book is more brutal given that, despite its 18 rating, it does go into a little bit more detail than the film does.

One thing I enjoyed about the book versus the film was the little flashbacks to Archer's mob back in the 60s and the years in between. It was a nice little touch, but I would have liked more of them and for them to have been a bit more detailed. Also, despite most scenes remaining the same there are a couple of subtle differences throughout, as well as some noticeable ones and we also get inside the heads of the characters a lot more, things that were insinuated in the film perhaps being given a little bit more detail than in the film because the author can explain things further. There are also scenes not in the film, which again helps us to understand the characters a lot more, and as I said in the beginning, makes this well worth the read if you've watched the film already.

Having read two books from Nick Oldham now, despite them being novelisations, I really enjoy his writing and hopefully I will be able to read one of his other books soon. The book addict in my name is quite literal though, and I do have a staggering TBR... Watch this space. Hopefully though Nick Oldham continues to write these novelisations for some of Sothcott's future films, as for me they are really enjoyable reads and nice companions to some of the best British films of the past ten years.


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