Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Review of 'The King of Sunday Morning' by J.B. McCauley

The King of Sunday Morning is a geezer. Not in the traditional sense of the word as in old man. This geezer is a face, a wannabe, a top notch bloke. He is the greatest DJ that never was. He should have been. Could have been. Would have been. Now becoming a has-been.

Tray McCarthy was born into privilege but with the genetic coding of London’s violent East End. Having broken the underworld’s sacred honour code, it is only his family’s gangland connections that save him. But in return for his life, he must deny that which he has ever known or ever will be and runs to Australia where he is forced to live an inconsequential life.

But trouble never strays far from Tray McCarthy and eventually his past and present collide to put everyone he has ever loved in danger. He must now make a stand and fight against those that are set to destroy him and play their game according to his rules.

Set against the subterfuge and violence of the international drugs trade, The King of Sunday Morning is the tale of what can go wrong when you make bad decisions. Tray McCarthy has made some of the worst. He must now save those he holds dear but in the process gets trapped deeper and deeper into a world where he doesn’t belong.

“I want three pump-action shotguns, about twelve sticks of dynamite and a blowtorch”


**My thoughts**

My head was spinning through the first several pages, as the plot jumped back and forth between different decades, setting up the history of the Tray's family and the rest of the drug underground. I had a hard time keeping everyone straight. Who belonged to whom and who betrayed whom and why? I kept on reading, and characters became familiar and organized in a way that made sense as the present storyline emerged. I even started to kind of like the main character!

Past decisions and greed dictate a significant amount of Tray's life. He has a helluva lot of fun, but at the same time has to give up so much and ruins so many lives with his decisions, while also trying to save others. Despite his criminal dealings and family, he seems deep inside like a pretty good guy. You get caught up in his story as the book goes on, becoming more drawn into it. It's more than just sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll (or DJ house music, as the case may be). There's also a bit of a love story in there. A lot is packed into those pages.

This is a book made for people who love dark stories of the underworld, fraught with mobsters and deception. It's the kind of story that you can see playing out on the big screen or even a series. Those who are sensitive to swearing, violence, and explicit sex should not even attempt to read this. You have to have a strong stomach for all of that, plus an appreciation for the darker side of life. 

I gave it 3 1/2 stars, because of the rocky beginning, but still recommend this book to those who like this genre. It's worth a shot.

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