After shooting and killing his nephew, a gunman runs wild in a London park. What drives Edward to commit such heinous acts? Who will survive yet another of his moments of madness? The action takes place in Jersey, Cornwall, Manchester, London, and places not of this world. Random Bullets is a crime thriller with a paranormal twist.
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A sunny day in London, June, 2015, the day that Edward will end his, and his nephew Sam's, life. At sixty-something, Edward's time on earth has been filled with pain, disappointment and anger. With an abrasive personality similar to his mother's, they had clashed and she had written him out of her will, favouring instead his half brother, Charlie. So whilst Edward had existed in poverty on disability benefits in the dreary confines of the North of England, Charlie and his flirtatious wife had the comforts and luxury of a prosperous restaurant in Cornwall and an expensive house in sunny Jersey. When Sam, his nephew, disregards an agreement reached by the two brothers before Charlie's death, Edward snapped. His nephew was going to die.
This is not a who-dun-it but much more a what-happened-next thriller. The basic killing is established in the early pages but it is the background which surrounds it that fills the book, background not only to Edward's life but also that of people sitting in the park close to the shooting. So the reader meets a number of characters and those close to them, their hopes, their loves, their lives. It is an interesting book, compelling, if sometimes a little disjointed as focus switches between protagonists, and there is humour as well as pathos and love.
It is, however, hard for this reader to rate the story in this audiobook as the reading by Alexander Doddy dominated the overall atmosphere. His sing song presentation, with wildly changing intonation and up-down speech, gives everything a dismissive and slightly comic feel. With a more conventional narration, the impact could have been very different. As it is, there is a sense of comedic unreality throughout and it is difficult to engage with any of the characters as actual people.
My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me a complimentary copy of Radom Bullets, at my request, via Audiobook Boom. This review is entirely voluntary. Whilst an amusing listen, I think a reader would be better choosing the written version of this book rather than this audio version.
A gunman runs amok in a London park killing apparently random victims. But what could have provoked such monstrous behaviour? Moving through several locations and a myriad of ordinary (and not so ordinary) characters, the story gradually slots the pieces into place to track the series of events that lead to one moment of madness.
Part thriller, part paranormal mystery, this is one of Ms Mutter’s early frays into the world of the paranormal. (Her talent for all things mystical is more pronounced in her later books - most notably, the ‘Hostile’ series.) The characters, as always, are an eclectic bunch and like all good mysteries, the links between them emerge slowly. The plot develops into a complex tale of family feuds, fallings-out and misunderstandings that – as we all know - can so easily lead to murder and mayhem. Narrated by actor and voice artist Alexander Doddy, this is an enjoyable and occasionally laugh-out-loud story, and while I don’t think it’s quite up to the standard of the author’s later works, it is no less entertaining.