Don’t Get Involved by F.J. Curlew

Don’t Get Involved by F.J. Curlew

A missing shipment of cocaine.
Three street-kids fighting for their lives.
A mafia hit-man intent on killing them.
A naive expat who gets in their way.
Who would you bet on?

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.

Don’t Get Involved tells of the struggle of life for the many street kids living rough on the streets of Kiev. Every day is a struggle to find shelter, warmth, food, safety; the children having to beg, scrounge and steal any little scraps they could to get by. Sometimes these children must submit themselves to unspeakable things to earn a bit of money – just enough for a few morsels of food and drink, not enough to break the vice-like grip the corrupt hold over them.

That is until one girl comes into the possession of a life-changing haul of illicit drugs. The money this could sell for is life changing, but the mafia are on the hunt for their lost haul. Nadia, a Scottish expat, her compassion drawing her to the children, like a moth to flame, does what she can to help them throughout her time in the city. Having fled an abusive relationship at home and having forged new friendships and relationships, finds herself drawn into a situation far bigger than herself. She marks herself out to the mafia hit-man and the corrupt military police as she seeks to dig the children out of a situation.

Don’t Get Involved is dark and gritty, providing an insight into the hidden aspects of society that most of us are fortunate enough to not ever have to experience. F.J. Curlew does a fantastic job of painting a picture of the city. From the perspective of outsiders it seems to be a place of wonder, new experiences to be found around each corner. From the side of the street children Kiev appears stark, inhospitable and corrupt to the core. 

The tales told on both sides of this book are tragic for different reasons. The story offers the slightest of glimmers of hope throughout for all involved, and while I was not too sure about the ending, overall I enjoyed this book for the dark, sorrow-filled atmosphere that permeated from the first to the last page.

My rating:

To Retribution by F J Curlew

To Retribution by F J Curlew

There has been a surge to the far right across Europe, followed by political instability and financial insecurity. In Britain this has led to riots, racial tension, repatriations and clamp downs, culminating in a take over by the military and a coup.

The military is in control. Tight control. Media is censored, movement restricted. There are re-education camps for trouble makers, repatriation camps for non-nationals. Jake, Brian and Suze, three idealistic young journalists, are used to hiding as they try to keep their online news channel open. They publish the truth about the repatriations, the corruption and the deceit.

New Dawn, the feared security force, is closing in yet again. The trio run, yet again. This time, however, they are pursued with a relentlessness, a brutality which seems far too extreme for their ‘crimes.’

A trail of death is left in their wake as they try to escape New Dawn and find out what is really behind this hunt. They are drawn into a web of human trafficking, child abuse and murder. Only it’s closer than they think. Much closer.

Who would you trust?

I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review.

To Retribution is a dark tale set in a dystopian version of the United Kingdom. With a sudden anti-immigration surge sweeping the country, foreigners are being rounded up, placed in internment camps or extradited back to their home nations. The government is plagued by corruption, and it uses its own special forces, New Dawn, to run roughshod over scared, nervous people, herding them to hate those who are different to themselves.
To-RetributionWith current events around the world at the moment, To Retribution struck me as a very relevant, timely novel while also being a dark, terrifying portent of things that may yet be to come. Throughout the story, we follow Jake and Suze as they try to expose corrupt politicians and celebrities and the awful acts they commit through a secretive website.

Constantly on the move, New Dawn seem to be getting closer to them, leading to them fleeing their latest bolt hole, and ultimately leaving London. Their situation becomes dire when someone in a position of power sets out to defame the young pair, and ultimately remove them from the situation, thus ridding themselves of a significant nuisance.

Attempts to silence the pair by killing those closest to them, and forcing their hand fail until a chance accident leads to Suze being captured and interred in a reeducation camp. But before long, she finds herself free, and working to uncover the shady dealings going on. To Retribution brings happiness and heartbreak in equal measure with a pacey, well developed narrative and plenty of twists and turns. Dark revelations, and vengeful acts lead to a fantastic ending that doesn’t fully answer all questions, but at the same time finishes the story nicely.

My rating: