Zooloo's Book Tours Presents | The Feud on Dead Lane by Robert W. Kirby

 Hello Everyone

Well, these review thingies are like buses aren't they. There isn't one for ages and then two come at once! Today, something a bit different! I join Zooloo's Book tours again to talk about The Feud on Dead Lane.

Now this is a bit of a departure for me! You all know me as Fantasy Book Nerd, but today I am masquerading as Crime Book Nerd. Well, not really! It's more like Crime Book Amateur (sleuth)

Anyways, let's crack on shall we? I expect you are sick of me blathering on about rubbish aren't you?

S'pose I ought to tell you what the book is about. Well, here goes!

“Two tough families—Two mysterious deaths—One night of brutal violence.”

Nino and Elena dream of sharing a normal life together. They are desperate to escape the shadow of Nino’s domineering and dangerous family, the Bartells.

After a shocking revelation is made, and a family member dies in strange circumstances, Elena urges Nino to take drastic action.

But some outsiders are drawn into the mix. Two best friends who have made a grave mistake, a no-nonsense financial adviser searching for his missing son, and a proud new mum. Soon all of them will be caught up in a deadly world where betrayal, violence and even cold-blooded murder are acceptable methods of settling scores.

Will anybody walk away unscathed?

The Feud on Dead Lane is a gritty, visceral crime drama set in the South of England.

The main focus is on two crime family’s called The Bartell’s and The Chilcotts. Whilst the two families live in an uneasy truce and kind of get along with each other, there are some simmering tensions.

The book immediately starts with the murder of an unknown man.

We immediately cut to another scene in which two young boys, Craig and Nino, who are witness to a brutal event in the well-known family Bartell’s house.

We then cut to two friends in a pub on a night out, Karl, Duncan, and Karl’s girlfriend. Whilst enjoying a quiet drink, Karl’s girlfriend is not very nicely propositioned by a loutish yob, Craig Bartell. A little bit of a verbal sparring match ensues, but even though Karl is informed that Craig Bartell is the local hardman and is well known for his violent behaviour, he fails to hear the warning. What the two boys don’t envision is how much this encounter will alter their lives forever.

After seeing his girlfriend off, Karl and Duncan return to their car, but on doing so they are violently assaulted by an unknown assailant. Duncan subsequently loses consciousness and when he wakes he discovers that their assailant has fallen over a wall and has subsequently been killed in the ensuing fight. What they don’t realise is that their assailant is.

Whoops a daisy!

That little slip up unfortunately lands them in a whole heap of crap, and in the ensuing panic they run from the situation under the guise of visiting Duncan’s brother who lives in Eindhoven.

Let me tell you, this is the tip of the iceberg in this story and a lot more ensues. However, that is best discovered by yourself.

Now, I am not an avid reader of crime fiction. Oh, I have read a few, but I had absolutely no idea what this book was about, and this one was quite different from the ones that I have normally read. The book itself is a slow burner, with lots of different scenes and characters and I must say I had no idea why they were there and it isn’t until about midway through that the story comes together, and then from that point its pace picks up phenomenally.

Like I said, I am to particularly au fait with the various genres and sub genres of crime fiction, but I was very impressed with this story. I don’t think that I have read one that is like this. The families themselves are not the typical kind of crime families. They seem….how do you put it… quite deprived and a bit squalid to be honest. They are the opposite of typical families that you normally read about that are the rich and glamorous type, and I think, for me, it was that particular juxtaposition that made the book interesting. This is set very much around the underbelly of British society, rather than the glamour and glitz of what I am used to seeing.

At times, I really did not know what was happening and how it all connected together and the book has an array of characters, but they are quite disparate and don’t seem to be anything to do with each other. However, as the book progresses all these storylines converge into one explosive finish, which you think you know what is going to happen (because it is in the synopsis), but whilst in one sense it plays out like you expect, but in other ways, it totally doesn’t!

In terms of characters, I cannot say that there are many likeable characters in the book. I think the ones that you like the most are Duncan and Karl, and to be honest Karl is pretty much an annoying waste of space. However, I don’t mind non – likeable characters at all, what I like is for them to be interesting, and I have to say that they certainly are that. All of the main characters are quite nuanced and have layers to them. For instance, the bad guys, whilst being extremely odious, you can understand them and their motives.

Another thing that I liked about the story was the very visual way that the story is told. The book uses different stories and cut scenes, focusing on different aspects of the story. This works really well, and reading the biography of the author, it states that initially he was writing scripts, but moved the focus to novelisation. You can definitely tell these influences in how the story is told and how it moves from storyline to storyline.

As you would expect, the book is violent! But I felt that this was handled really well. The violence in the book is harsh, reactive and earthy, but never given a veneer of excitement that you see in action movies.

When it came to the end, I have to say that I did not see that coming at all, especially when all the storylines fitted together.

I enjoyed this, and it is very moreish! Did I stay up later than I should wanting to see what would happen? Of course I did!

I would highly recommend this one if you want a gritty, violent crime drama.


Author Bio

Robert was born in 1979 and lives in Kent with his wife, children, and bonkers dalmatian, Dexter.

He ran a private investigation agency for over fifteen years, dealing in cases that involved breach of contract claims, commercial debt recovery, and process serving. Robert’s agency also specialised in people tracing; so much of his work revolved around tracking down debtors, dealing in adoption matters, and locating missing persons. At times, he worked on some pretty bizarre cases and dealt with plenty of interesting and sometimes colourful individuals.

Since 2014, Robert has worked self-employed in the pet care industry, and is a keen trail runner, mountain biker and kayaker. Robert has a huge passion for screenwriting for many years and started writing novels during the first lockdown.

His first novel, The Tests, published on Amazon in 2021, was based on a spec screenplay that he originally wrote back in 2009. The Tests was then republished with Inkubator Books in 2022 under the new title – The Wrong Girl. Robert’s second novel, The Feud on Dead Lane, a dark and gritty crime thriller, will also be out soon.


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