I need to start this review by explaining the fact that this is a follow up to the first book featuring the Butlers, entitled The Trap. If you haven’t already read this book then please don’t read this reviews as there will inevitably be spoilers in it. Kimberley Chambers came onto the Crime writing scene back in 2008, and has gone on to become an author which I can confidently place in my top 5. She created the series featuring the family’s the Mitchell’s and O’Hara’s and then last year she created a new series featuring the Butler family. I always felt that the characters in the Mitchell/O’Hara series would take some beating, but the Butlers are just as good. I apologise for the length of this review, but the book warrants a long review as there is so much to say.
We return to the Butlers lives following the death of Vinny and Michael’s brother Roy Butler and their cousin Lenny. Vinny Butler is the most ferocious of the Butlers and unfortunately has made many enemies on his journey to become a feared and well known face. Unfortunately some of his enemies are closer than he thinks. Vinny’s younger brother Michael also makes a return along with his wife Nancy and their kids. Nancy hasn’t been well and life has not been straightforward for Michael either. Nancy is trying to recover both in her health, and with her relationship to Michael. She also has the added pressure of trying to bond with Michael’s son Lee. Joanna is married to Vinny and has her own troubles as she struggles to bond with Vinny’s son (aptly named Little Vinnie) from another relationship. However, when she gives birth to Molly, Vinny changes for the better and Joanna wonders if the birth of his daughter will be the making of him.
As soon as I started this book I was drawn straight back into the crazy world of the Butlers. One thing that seems to be worlds apart from the Mitchell/O’Hara books and this series is the sheer volume of characters in this book. I’m not saying that as a negative, but there are a lot of characters and lots of threads to various storylines from start to finish. As plots go, this one was very detailed as there are so many things going on with various characters. This didn’t deter me, and actually I think if you love the story and characters (which I did from book 1) then it’s easy enough to keep track.
As per usual, there isn’t a moment without drama and the characters that make this book are endless. Thankfully the Butler’s Mum Queenie is back with a vengeance and still ruling her family along with her sister. We also see Vinny and Michael’s sister, Albie, Ahmed, Nancy’s parents and brother and Joanna’s mum and Dad to name a few. As usual, violence goes hand in hand with the Butlers and this book is no different. The story continues from book 1 and many issues from the previous book are brought up, dealt with, and then turned on their head to leave you hanging again (damn you Kim)! What I really loved was the fact that the women married to the Butler’s drive a lot of the storyline in this book and it gave it a different feel to the last one. I am keeping plot details to a bare minimum as to mention any of them would be considered spoilers in my mind. However, what you will find in this book is violence, treachery, drama, and a whole lot of people fitting each other up!
What I will say is this. Kimberley Chambers has grafted her arse off on this book and it shows. Yes, it’s more detailed and longer (I think) than her other offerings, but I can understand why with so much ground and characters to cover. I picked this book up and didn’t want to put it down. I thought I had the answer to my questions about the story by around the last fifth of the book. That changed chapter by chapter until I literally got to the last few pages. Talk about a cliff hanger of an ending. This book, although different from the Mitchell/O’Hara series is absolutely brilliant and one that I think all her fans will love. Not only that, but by the last page, you become desperate for the next instalment. The last quarter of the book made me feel almost breathless with anticipation, and by the end I just felt shock! Shock that I didn’t see the ending coming, shock that I had to wait another whole year for the next part, and shock that ‘fuck it’ I’ve finished it now! The Mitchell’s and the O’Hara’s are still edging it slightly as my favourites but the Butler’s aren’t far behind.
I have a feeling I know where Kim is going with this book and the characters in the future, and whatever happens, if she carries on writing like this she will hit number one with every future book she writes. You lot have a little bit of a wait until this is published, but boy is it worth it! Make sure you get it pre-ordered now, because trust me, this book you won’t want to miss. KC, you’ve produced another amazing book, and I for on will be waiting with baited breath for the next book