Heather Burnside Born Bad Blog Tour!

Born Bad - Heather Burnside

About the book

Book 1 in this new, gritty Manchester crime trilogy. When your enemies get close, family loyalty is all you can trust.

Brother and sister Peter and Adele Robinson never stood a chance. Dragged up by an alcoholic, violent father, and a weak, beaten mother, their childhood in Manchester only prepared them for a life of crime and struggle. But Adele is determined to break the mould. She studies hard at school and, inspired by her beloved grandmother Joyce, she finally makes a successful life for herself on her own.

Peter is not so lucky. Getting more and more immersed in the murky world of crime and gangs, his close bonds with Adele gradually loosen until they look set to break altogether.

But old habits die hard, and one devastating night, Adele is forced to confront her violent past. Dragged back into her worst nightmares, there’s only one person she can turn to when her life is on the line – her brother Peter. After all, blood is thicker than water…

I’m thrilled to review Heather Burnside’s latest book, and the first of a new series no less, as she is an author that holds a special place in my book blogging heart. I have been a fan of hers since nearly the beginning and have reviewed every book she has ever written.

So it was with high expectations I started reading Born Bad, the first of a gritty new series from Burnside. I knew Burnside’s style, her way of exploring characters and writing dialogue, and the way the narrative develops. Would this all carry over to a brand new story and set of characters?

First, the settings and premises of the books are identical to the Slur series. Each of Burnside’s books is set in the poorest of Manchester’s streets with the characters struggling against poverty and judgements from society and authority figures. This isn’t surprising given Burnside’s background working with Manchester’s poorest families, she clearly frequently writes what she knows. Luckily, that’s not where the similarities in her books end.

Once again, the characters are well explored, deep, and three dimensional. The worst and lowest of characters aren’t just cardboard cutout monsters and still feel human. The characters that we like and root for aren’t just saints, but have fundamental flaws. The writing has improved even since I started reading her, and I’m sure it will continue to.

Although thankfully I have never ever experienced an abusive relationship personally, I have read a lot about abusive people as part of my interest in social psychology. Even from my narrow knowledge the way the abuse and the atmosphere of fear and frustration is portrayed feels claustrophobically real.

My only complaint is that it feels like the story stops as soon as it feels like it gets going. The book does cover a lot of ground, and sets up the characters and background really well. But it is most definitely the introduction to a series rather than a book in its own right, and can’t be read in isolation. To be fair, this isn’t really a criticism as all it boils down to is that it leaves me absolutely begging for the next book in the series!

If you have read Burnside’s other books and enjoyed them, or just relish reading gritty British based dramas, I recommend investing your attention in this latest series which promises to be a real gripping ride!

About Heather Burnside

Heather Burnside is a Manchester-based author who, after taking a career break to raise a family, swapped credit control for writing and decided to study for a writing diploma. Heather had articles featured in several popular UK magazines before publishing her first Manchester-based crime thriller in 2014.

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Facebook: @HeatherBurnsideAuthor

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Website: www.heatherburnside.com

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