The Sting

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Tommy Boyle meets Scratch during their time in a children's care home called the Maylands. Making a pact, to fight their way out of the gutter and always be friends, for Tommy and Scrath, life outside of Maylands isn't quite as easy as they had hoped it would be. Going their separate ways, Tommy has joined the notorious Darling family for a life of crime but they also give him the family home he has never known. Scratch who is now called Kim, has reinvented herself and is now a policewoman.  Kim is part of Operation Sting, a police operation that has been set up to pip the heart out of the Darlings. What will happen when she sees Tommy? Will this by chance meeting mess with her head and her heartstrings?

What I loved about this book was reading it from different viewpoints, the language is as you would expect from Kimberley Chambers, very East End and the descriptive nature of the surroundings puts you back in the 70's where you almost feel as though you are there.

I am a huge fan of Kimberley Chambers books and this one did not disappoint.
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First book i have read by kimberley chambers. This book isnt my usual type of book i read but was a good story i liked the characters and the storyline flowed. They was some good twists i wasn't expecting.
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I will be honest and say I was a little torn about this book. I think with her previous books being so great I guess I had really high expectations. No this book was far from bad but for me it felt too similar to stuff she has previously written. I wrestled over the rating but in all truth I still loved the writing and story, so couldn’t rate it less than 4/5 but in truth there were a few things I didn’t like about it.

In one respect this was a classic Chambers books with plenty of skullduggery and characters that fit perfectly into this storyline. However, I know this may sound silly, but there were a few repeats in terms of names in this book. I am pretty sure we have had some overlap with other books and it just annoyed me a little bit. That aside the book still pulled me in as I read about Tommy Boyle.

For me although the book covers many years of Tommys life, the opening chapters and the earlier years were the best for me. Sometimes when authors become really popular very quickly some of the readers just rate all their books 5 star when in reality it may not be the best they have written. Personally as much as I loved the Butlers I was glad when the books were wrapped up because I think it had run its course. I was so looking forward to this latest release but upon reading all the reviews for some reason it just didn’t get further up my to read list. I was hoping this may be a little different from her previous books but I could’t help feeling it could have been a bit further removed.

This niggles aside it’s still a great read wand one which I enjoyed. I think Chambers is a cracking author and have never felt let down by a book (this one included) I guess I would just like to see something a little different.

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I haven't read a bad book from Kimberley Chambers so I knew I was in for a great book.
Tommy was happy at home until his mother was killed in a car accident and then his life changed completely and not for the better. His father worked away most of the time and his gran was looking after his sister but he was sent away to live with his uncle. This was not a happy home and he was and the Darling family took him under their wing but that didn't stop him from ending up in a childrens home. When he met Scratch in the home they had plans for when they got older and could leave but it didn't happen how they had expected and Scratch ended up on her own. Tommy went totally down the opposite path to Scratch as she went into the police and when their paths crossed again it was disastrous. 
This was a great read and I found myself changing alliances several times give this a read youwill not be disappointed.A healthy 5stars from me.
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Loved it! First time reading one of Kimberley Chambers books and I absolutely love her writing, I will be reading more of her work.
The Sting is a gripping and outstanding read and one I highly recommend.
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I only discovered this author a few months ago and she's already one of my favourites! this is another fantastic read, set well, with a gripping storyline, amazing characters and none of the terrible cliches found in some of the books in this genre, I could NOT put this down and the twists and turns just kept on coming. I couldn't have guessed the ending and I'm crossing my fingers for a follow up.
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This book just gets better and better with every page. It starts in a very demanding way,testing the willingness of readers to understand broken childhoods. The balance between gentle staff if the home they go to and the harsh realities of abusers is very well handled- but it is testing for readers. Thereafter,there are constant surprises as the plot develops. The ending is superb and probably unpredictable. The story is very well written and the characters drawn with unusual empathy and knowledge of another lifestyle. The book is all about the story with no unnecessary description. It is a winner!
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THE STING  Kimberley Chambers

This is my first, but certainly not my last, Kimberley Chambers book.

The Sting is a glorious read for everybody, but especially for people who had their teenage years in the 1970’s. 

The story follows the life of a young lad Tommy Boyle and picks him up as a 12 year old. To say he has a hard upbringing is an understatement. His father is a bullying wife beater who works on the oil rigs and makes family life a misery when he’s at home.

As the story progresses Tom ends up in a children’s home for reasons beyond his control. 

The friendships he forms there should last for life, but again life takes a cruel twist.

The story follows him through his family life, through to his life in care, and sees him change from an innocent lad to the fearsome teenager, and ultimately into a violent man.

When his time in care comes to an end on his 16th birthday Tom has already been spotted by a criminal family and they soon take him into their inner circle.

Tom has had a hard time, but the new family mean everything to him, and so begins a life in organised crime.

Lurking in the shadows throughout the story are secrets. Secrets that will inevitably come to the surface and lead the book to a fantastic end.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. My usual read is crime fiction, which this falls well and truly into, but it’s from a completely different perspective to what I’m used to.

This is all about a boy gone bad, a boy whose transition to manhood is guided by the actions of the people who should have loved and protected him.

Having grown up on a council estate in Birmingham in the 70’s I can recognise so many of the characters in this book. The nostalgia for that era is reflected in the music that is mentioned throughout the book and which had me calling out to “Alexa” on numerous occasions.

A cracking read.

Pages: 448
Publishers: Harper Collins
Available now
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This is a very sad story where children are let down by the people who should be protecting them. Sometimes the background is difficult to leave behind and continues to affect the rest of the childs' life. Very detailed story so that you are almost living it. I loved the Epilogue.
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I really hate to say this because I adore every other book by Kim Chambers but... The Sting felt really rushed and didn't meet my usual expectations :( 

I'm sure this is just a blip and it won't deter me from being in front of the queue for her next book.

Thanks to HarperCollins UK for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A highly enjoyable novel with wonderful storytelling. Enjoyed it very much. Excellent narrative and wonderful depiction of the characters. Highly recommended!
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Kimberley Chambers' novels always deliver. She is a great storyteller who does an excellent job of illuminating England's underbelly. Chambers consistently creates characters who are often likeable and relatable, even when their actions are unpalatable. "The Sting" is yet another grippingly good tale. Impossible to put down, I was up all night reading it.
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I just love this authors books. I read it way too quick. Must admit I did cry at one or two points. Tommy Boyle went through so much as did his family or what he thought were his family.  What a life he led, pushed from pillar to post,to do what he did in the end took me by surprise. I really didn't think he would have gone through with it. Keep the books coming please.
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Another great read from Kimberley. You follow the life of Tommy Boyle. His life is turned upside down when his Mum dies. Tommy’s life is an emotional rollercoaster after leaving Maylands children’s home he thinks he’s finally made it and got a new life and family when he’s taken into the Darling family. When bad things happen in life it’s very hard to get over it and start again as Tommy finds out. A must read.
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An enjoyable read that draws you in with the tales of Slash and Tommy. A large proportion of it is back story which then feeds into the current day. While it was absorbing I didn’t feel the tension that I generally get from thrillers. A great cast of characters but some were described better than others - some with very little in the way of details... 

All in all a gripping read
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This is the second book I have read by Kimberley Chambers, and it was better than the first one, which I also loved. Great plotting through ten years or so of life for the key characters, going through gang, crime and police struggles. Characters well drawn, pace good, plot great. Recommended.
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I was engrossed in this book. Well plotted and realistic, with gritty characters and all the symptoms of the development of displaced individuals in our society and the laps into criminality for many young people.  As the book meandered around London it was easy to visualise the context of the narrative.
I liked the way that Snatch flowered and blossomed  against the odds.

I can heartily recommend this book
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Brilliant as expected from this very talented author.  A well written story with twist that are  heartbreaking as well as exciting. This book brought me to tears.
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The Sting is typical of Kimberley Chambers' work, a East End gangland tale slightly less chilling than those written by the likes of Martina Cole.

Considering the storyline I felt the colourful language used to be necessary but not overdone. Everything about Tommy's past shows you how he will end up but having witnessed what he has been through you can't help but like him and believe him to be a loveable rogue, but of course he isn't, not really.

The ending was unexpected but maybe Tommy wasn't all bad and he did have a conscience after all.
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Tommy has an awful childhood, brought up in a chaotic and impoverished household he looses his mother in a car accident and is abandoned by the man who thought was his father. He initially goes to stay with his uncle but this does not work out and he is sent to a children’s home where he manages to make friends and develop a close relationship with a young skinhead. At sixteen Tommy leaves the home and  forges close links with a family who have long term criminal links. Tommy abandons his  childhood friends for his new life, he has been deeply flawed by his past and this is to be his downfall.
I didn’t particularly enjoy this book, I felt too much time was spent on Tommy,s early years and whilst I sympathised with events that affected him deeply he was not a particularly nice character. He was weak and made some poor decisions. I didn’t enjoy the prose or bad langauage used - but that maybe just me.
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