Welcome my first short review here on Always Trust In Books. I know most of you are most likely gutted that I am not going to go in-depth like a I usually do 😉 but brevity is also key in the reviewing so I am giving it a go! Wish me luck 😀
Sent to me by Gollancz in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: 27/07/17
Format: Hardback, 272pp
Summed up in a word: Legendary
A stunning, never before published, supernatural crime novel from the legendary David Gemmell, with a new introduction by Conn Iggulden.
David Gemmell was the UK’s number one fantasy and historical novelist until his death in 2006. A regular Sunday Times bestseller, and international sensation, his legacy lives on through his novels, his influence on the genre, and through the David Gemmell Legend awards.
Rhyming Rings is a never-before-seen Gemmell novel, discovered in his papers by his widow, Stella Gemmell. Merging autobiographical details of Gemmell’s life as a journalist in South London with a serial killer and a tinge of the supernatural, this is perfect for fans of David’s work, as well as readers of gritty crime novels. Set against the backdrop of a London simmering with poverty, change and racial tension, this taut thriller is a fitting legacy for the great writer.
This book includes a brand new introduction from massive Gemmell fan Conn Iggulden, and an afterword by Gemmell’s friend Stan Nicholls.
An ambidextrous killer is murdering women, leaving virtually no evidence behind, and struggling journalist Jeremy Miller wishes he was covering the case. Instead, he’s stuck with heart-warming local stories about paraplegic teenagers and elderly psychic ladies.
So when his stories and the murder case start to converge no one is more surprised than Jeremy.
Or, it turns out, more at risk.
Unfortunately until I picked up Rhyming Rings I have never heard of David Gemmell. I can certainly tell from both the touching introduction from Conn Iggulden and the meaningful, heartfelt afterword by Stan Nichols that he was a deeply appreciated author. Rhyming Rings is an engaging, semi-autobiographical and thrilling hunt for a vicious serial killer.
Journalist Jeremy Miller is an up-and-coming star with an attitude problem. 24 and talented but thinks he is god’s gift to writing. He wants to be covering the news on the recent string of violent murders but he is trapped doing community feel-good pieces. When he meets Ethel, a psychic who can read possessions, the two stories meet and Jeremy is pulled into a high-stakes investigation that puts him in the crosshairs of a serial killer.
I thought Gemmell’s crime writing was brilliant. I enjoyed the fact that it included nods to his life and his fantasy roots. Rhyming Rings was written in the 80’s, the themes and atmosphere are true to that era, it was a turbulent time and Gemmell acknowledges this frequently. With race riots, loss of sense of community, police racism and the rise of technology all included. But saying this, I felt that Gemmell’s writing had a lot of heart. With a cast of characters from all walks of life, connected by lives that span decades. Rhyming Rings is a classic crime story told from an author who focuses on the bigger picture.
Overall I have given Rhyming Rings 5/5 stars as it is a brilliant novel. It provides the reader with a high-stakes plot surrounding a monstrous serial killer. It has complex themes but the writing is concise. Finally I enjoyed the fact that this is somewhat true to life. Nods to Gemmell’s life and his fantasy writing were fascinating.
About David Gemmell
David Andrew Gemmell (1948-2006) was the UK’s number one fantasy author, penning more than 30 novels since his writing career began in 1984. The author of the ground-breaking Legend as well as the Drenai novels, the Rigante series, the Troy sequence and the hit Jon Shannow sequence, he is one of the most influential novelists in the genre.