Review – Dirty Tricks by Dreda Say Mitchell
Note spoilers ahead (without a spoiler box 😱) as this review can’t be written without them.
March’s Amazon First Read selection was particularly poor and took me a while to decide to even bother downloading one of them.
What has that got to do with Dirty Tricks? Well the author’s latest book was part of the roster.
Having never heard of Dreda Say Mitchell ( I rarely watch terrestrial TV or listen to the radio) but seeing the many five star rating for this book and others, I thought choosing ‘Dirty Tricks’ would be the best of a bad bunch.
I haven’t read East End gangland types of fiction since Martina Cole many moons ago. In fairness, I’ve probably never been that interested in the sub genre and a read of a couple of those books tied it off nicely.
I’ve lived in the East End briefly which means nothing in the big scheme of things but gives some context to my thoughts. I don’t get this mock Cockney stereotype that is on display, who speaks like that – rhyming slang 24/7.
Perhaps I wasn’t hanging out with the right crowd: all these faux hard men and predictable gritty women.
That and the Caribbean theme cheesed me right off. More about that later.
Another gangland tale you say
It’s all shades of ridiculous and sorry for the spoilers but how is it even possible that Big Mo never knew who her father was, when it seems so many people knew. Or does that explain the reach of a big time gangster?
And what does it say about Mo’s father’s family who are only interested in her now that he’s dead and there’s a vacancy in the family business? They’ve always know who and where Mo was, but never claimed their place in her life or welcomed her into theirs.
What was most disappointing was Mo’s motivation to be someone so she could have something, status or money to show off to her unknown father. All this talk of destiny, being good at being a wrong’un wasn’t to live well, rather instead a two fingered salute to a father who wasn’t around.
All it displayed was a longing to belong; to know this absent figure and to be important in a world that sees her as insignificant
Being biracial added another element to this gangster trope, yet that raised more questions that I don’t want to bother my brains with. Characters overblown, others underutilised and Dell’s inclusion and backstory was a joke.
Two stars because my personal objections aside it wasn’t terrible. Not my cuppa but could easily be someone else’s.
2 Stars - It Was Okay