I am indebted to Philippa Ward at Titan Books for an advanced reader copy of ‘Cracked’ by Barbra Leslie in return for an honest review. It is published in ebook and paperback by Titan on 24th November 2015 and is available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com as well as from Titan. ‘Cracked’ is the first in the Danny Cleary series by Barbra Leslie.
When crack addicted Danny (Danielle) Cleary’s twin sister Ginger is found dead it initially looks as if she’s committed suicide. But Danny doesn’t believe it and so begins a frenetic race to find out just what happened and to prevent further deaths.
‘Cracked’ is, if you’ll forgive the pun, a cracking read. It has a fast paced adrenaline fueled plot that twists and turns adding layer after layer of surprise from the first word to the last. I found myself thinking about the story in the middle of the night, wondering what was going to happen next. Without giving the plot away, there is skilful resolution with enough potential for the next book and I can’t wait to read the next Danny Cleary book ‘Cracked:Rehab Run’.
The title is very clever, referring as it does to the crack cocaine the protagonist Danny uses, but also to the disturbed mental state of some of the characters, the fragmented nature of Danny’s family as the story progresses and to the range of emotions she experiences. I think there is a cracked and fragmented nature to society too as we see the polarisation of the very wealthy and those in less salubrious circumstances.
Each character is so well created and many are not who or what they seem so that the reader is taken by surprise several times. I found myself beginning to think like Danny as she uncovers who she can trust and who is really the enemy, such is the quality of Barbra Leslie’s writing. The first person conversational style is perfect. The whole tone of the book is sharp, witty and thrilling.
Even though I abhor drugs and would never normally have chosen to read a book where they feature so heavily I have to be honest and say ‘Cracked’ by Barbra Leslie is the most exciting and engaging crime fiction I have read since beginning my blog. I thought it was absolutely brilliant and I can’t recommend it highly enough.