Stolen Souls – Stuart Neville

Stolen Souls

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (26 Jan 2012)
  • Having thoroughly enjoyed Collusion, Stuart Neville’s second novel, I was thrilled to be offered the chance to review a proof copy of his third and latest novel, Stolen Souls and what a page-turner it is!

    Galya hoped for a new life in Ireland, a better life than her old existence in the Ukraine but she soon finds herself enmeshed in the grimy underworld of Belfast, on the run from Lithuanian gangsters.   The man she thinks might save her has other plans for her “salvation” but she won’t give up without a fight.  Meanwhile, Detective Inspector Jack Lennon (who featured in Neville’s first two books) hopes for a peaceful Christmas with his daughter but he too becomes caught up in a deadly race to save Galya from her predators.

    Stolen Souls is one of the most gripping reads I have ever read, I had to stay up until the wee hours of the morning to discover Galya and Lennon’s fate.  Stuart Neville has the knack of drawing you in from the very first lines and keeping you in a headlock until the final pages.  Like his other novels, the chapters are short and snappy, sweeping you like a whirlwind through the streets of Belfast – a Belfast not designed to appeal to tourists! 

    Yes, it’s an extremely fast-paced narrative but the characters still stand out with the author somehow showing the human qualities of even the most grotesque and psychotic individuals.  I particularly liked the back stories to the Lithuanian mobsters and Galya’s story – if they expected Belfast’s streets to be paved with gold, then they were sorely disappointed.  Even our “hero”, Jack Lennon, has his flaws and recognises his double standards but you have to fight dirty in a police force mired in corruption. 

    This is certainly not a novel for the faint-hearted – there’s blood, gore, mindless thuggery and violence with morality  thin on the ground but if you can cope with all that you’re in for a treat with this unputdownable story.  I certainly feel different walking along the streets of Belfast now!

    PS.  In the New Year, I will hopefully be hosting a giveaway for several signed copies of the hardback edition.  So watch out for it on the blog in January 2012.

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    1. [...] sees the publication of Stuart Neville’s third novel Stolen Souls which I reviewed here in December 2011.  To celebrate, the lovely folk at Harvill Secker have kindly offered a bountiful [...]

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