The Silent Brother by Simon Van der Velde #BookReview #BlogTour #NorthodoxPress #5*

The Past Never Dies

When his beloved little brother is stolen away, five-year-old Tommy Farrier is left alone with his alcoholic mam, his violent step-dad and his guilt. Too young to understand what has really happened, Tommy is sure of only one thing. He is to blame.

Tommy tries to be good, to live-up to his brother’s increasingly hazy memory, but trapped in a world of shame and degradation he grows up with just two options; poverty or crime. And crime pays.

Or so he thinks.

A teenage drug-dealer for the vicious Burns gang, Tommy’s life is headed for disaster, until, in the place he least expects, Tommy sees a familiar face…

And then things get a whole lot worse.

Immensely Prestigious!

Prepare for a heartbreaking, unparalleled read which will tear your soul apart – and yet you’ll love it!!

Five year old Tommy Farrier lives with his alcoholic mam, her abusive boyfriend and his younger brother – adored by Tommy who does his very best to protect him from the awful life they have. When they take his brother away, Tommy doesn’t really understand why, but knows that it has to be his fault. He never forgets his sibling, spending the passing years dreaming of them being reunited but without any idea of how that could possibly come about. Reaching his teenage years, there are two opportunities open to Tommy: crime or poverty – and as crime pays there really isn’t a choice to make. As a drug dealer for a vicious gang, Tommy realises, too late, where his life is heading – and then things get so much worse . . .

Having read – and loved – Simon Van der Velde’s ‘Backstories’ I was keen to read this next novel – and, while so very different, it is another astonishingly good read. If your heart doesn’t break – just a bit – for young Tommy then I would check your pulse! This is writing which will put you inside a young boy’s head and make you understand life from the mind of a five year old and it is completely heart-wrenching. His bravery and coping mechanisms are just terrible to contemplate in one so young and yet he survives. Totally original, this is a real eye-opener for me as a reader who hasn’t encountered any of the issues involved. Written with great clarity and sensitivity, this is a real tribute to Simon’s considerable writing skills. I had no idea where it was going and, not being one for spoilers, all I will say is that the ending was everything I would have wanted. I was impressed by Backstories which was original and gripping and so very entertaining that I wasn’t sure how it would be followed but, trust me, The Silent Brother is an absolute triumph and has all the makings of a prize-winning novel; it is one which will stay with me for a long time to come. Immensely prestigious, very highly recommended and so very deserving of all five sparkling, glowing stars.

My thanks to the author for my copy of his novel; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: literary thriller

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