Born Bad is published by Avon on 9 March 2017 and is available to buy here
‘Gritty and gripping’ – Kimberley Chambers, No. 1 Sunday Times Bestseller
‘Fast-paced and enthralling’ – C.L. Taylor, author of THE MISSING
A powerful, darkly comic novel set in the criminal underworld of Manchester from bestselling author Marnie Riches.
The battle is on…
When gang leader Paddy O’Brien is stabbed in his brother’s famous nightclub, Manchester’s criminal underworld is shaken to the core. Tensions are running high, and as the body count begins to grow, the O’Brien family must face a tough decision – sell their side of the city to the infamous Boddlington gang or stick it out and risk losing their king.
But war comes easy to the bad boys, and they won’t go down without a fight. So begins a fierce battle for the South Side, with the leading Manchester gangsters taking the law into their own hands – but only the strongest will survive…
Previous books by Marnie Riches include: The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die which you really should have read by now!
Marnie Riches gained my attention with her rather excellent George McKenzie series. Now she is back with gritty tough Manchester noir. This is the sort of read that will put hairs on your chest. If you thought Manchester was all constant rain, 1990s Madchester music and Coronation Street, you were very wrong. Manchester is so much darker than that.
Born Bad introduces a new side to the northern city. We discover the criminal element, the organised crime and two gangs competing for dominance. On one side we have ageing gangster Paddy O’Brien and his downtrodden wife, Sheila. Paddy is a shady character, who thinks nothing of beating up his wife or engaging in a spot of casual adultery. On the opposing side, Tariq Khan and Jonny Margulies aka The Boddlington Gang rule. Paddy O’Brien plans to retire to Thailand and sell his crooked business to the opposition. Sheila is opposed to this move. This is mostly because of her success at running a crooked cleaning company.
Things do not go to plan, as Paddy has a health scare. Conflict starts to errupt between the two gangs. This leads to death and violence, with innocents caught in the crossfire. The Boddlington lot bring in their one man killing maching, The Fish Man. Ace name. Two gangs with escalating suspicion and tit for tat dealings, sounds like a recipe for disaster. Nothing is what it seems. People are being played. These are not very nice folk, in case you were wondering. You would not want to bump into any of them, in the pub or down Sainsburys. They are involved in drugs, guns and illegal traffiking. Foreign women are used and abused, as forced prostitutes. Anything illegal goes.
Slowly we get to know and understand these Manchester folk, with their strange sense of right and wrong. Plus Marnie Riches presents this subculture in a very accessible, slightly humorous way and twisted way. Dark humour maybe. Definitely maybe! I was particularly fond of Sheila and how she grew and developed. She has me very worried for a while!
Born Bad puts the bad in Manchester, a sort of Badchester. With the kind of ending that makes you sit up and spill your cuppa, I can see a few more adventures might be in store for these criminal classes. Seedy, dark and devilishly twisted. Recommended.