Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Review: Long Reach - Peter Cocks

"We found him face down in the mud at Long Reach.  Near the Dartford Bridge.  Looks like he might have jumped off."

Eddie Savage makes two shocking discoveries in quick succession.

One: his brother, Steve, has been working undercover.
Two: Steve is dead.

Eddie refuses to believe that his hero elder brother killed himself, and there's only one way to find out the truth: follow in his footsteps.

There's a job: to infiltrate the notoriously violent Kelly family.
There's a girl: the boss's daughter - beautiful, sexy, dangerous.

Before long, Eddie is up to his neck in Kelly business and sinking fast.

Long Reach is the first book in a new series about main character Eddie Savage and was released in the UK on January the 3rd.  I don't have any information about future books in the series at this time.

Check out Peter Cocks' website for more information

Review:
When Eddie finds out that his brother Steve is dead he also discovers that Steve has been working undercover for a government agency.  Eddie is convinced that his brother wouldn't have killed himself but the only way he can prove that is if he accepts the offer to take Steve's place.  His first assignment is to befriend Sophie Kelly the daughter of crime lord Tommy Kelly and try to find out as much as he can about the family's illegal businesses.  As Eddie gets to know Sophie and starts working for her father he discovers that being a spy isn't as easy as he thought it would be and he may need to use questionable means if he is going to survive his mission.

Long Reach is the first book starring Eddie Savage as the main character and is an exciting start to what promises to be a popular new series.  The world Eddie enters is gritty and frightening, definitely not one he will survive in one piece if he doesn't keep his wits about him.  Although this is a young adult series it doesn't hold back on the gritty side of the criminal underworld and includes some quite violent scenes.  Long Reach is an exciting and pacy read that I'm sure will be very popular with older teens and adults.

The story has a similar feel to Martina Cole's adult books and doesn't feel dumbed down for it's younger target audience.  As I read a lot of books by American authors I found the British slang made a refreshing change and it made the book feel more real to me.  I loved the fact that it is set in and around places I know and have visited (even my home town gets a brief mention) and thought that Peter Cocks has done a great job describing these areas and the people who live there.  Each of the characters feel as if they could walk out of the pages and you could bump into them walking down the high street.

Eddie may be only 17 but his training when he joins the agency is brutal and punishing.  He has to be prepared both mentally and physically for the job he is going to undertake and you are left with no doubts that he is putting his life at risk.  Some of the team are worried about having someone so young involved but they need him to find a way into the Kelly family, something they have been trying to do for a long time.  I did find I had to suspend belief a little to accept that someone of his age would be employed for this particular job but the story is so good that you soon stop worrying about that fact.

When Eddie agrees to work for the agency he is doing it mainly to learn more about his brother's life and to find out what happened to him.  The new skills he is taught and the gadgets that go along with them made me think of a young James Bond but I found him a much more believable character.  As Eddie goes deeply undercover it is interesting to watch his attitude shift as he realises that the criminals aren't all bad and that even the good guys do questionable things for the sake of their long term goals.  Nothing is black and white and it's the shades of grey that make the story so interesting to read.

Most of the story is told from Eddie's point of view but I also really enjoyed the sections that were from Donnie's perspective.  Donnie is a muscle man for the Kelly family who does whatever Tommy Kelly asks him to and reading about his daily life really helped give an insight into what Tommy was capable of.  The Tommy that Donnie sees is totally different to the family man that Eddie sees in the Kelly household.  Eddie knows about Tommy's criminal activities via the agency but it isn't long before Tommy takes him under his wing and starts to draw him into his world.  This is when things start to get complicated and Eddie finds himself questioning everything.  But what will happen if Tommy discovers who Eddie is really working for?

Long Reach is a great start to a new series and I'm really looking forward to reading more of these books in the future.  I think this series will be popular with teenage boys but it is something that girls will enjoy reading too and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a fast paced thrilling read.  I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more by Peter Cocks in the future.

Source: Received from Walker in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
Carole's Book Corner
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

4 comments:

  1. Hi, I've recently published my thoughts about this book on my blog.
    http://carolesbooks.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-review-long-reach-by-peter-cocks.html
    Carole

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great review Sarah! We've got the trailer up on www.undercoverreads.com and over the coming weeks we'll be posting up extra behind the scenes content about the book too...

    Coming soon: the Eddie Savage playlist, created by Peter Cocks.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Excellent review, Sarah. It sounds like the kind of book I'd enjoy.
    Mike Draper

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Carole - I'm glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did :o) I've added a link to your review

    @ Undercover - I'm looking forward to seeing the extra content you have coming soon. It will be interesting to see what songs are on the playlist!

    @ Mike - I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try, it's a great, fast paced story :o)

    ReplyDelete

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