Introducing Harry Brett – an exciting new name in British seaside noir in the tradition of Graham Greene and Ted Lewis.
Today is my stop on the tour with Time To Win, the first of a new crime series by writer Harry Brett (a.k.a. Henry Sutton ), author of nine previous novels.
Published by Corsair Books, an imprint of Little Brown Book Group, Time to Win is now available in ebook and Hardback editions with the paperback edition due for release next year.
I would like to thank the publishers for my review copy and have for you today my as ever unbiased and honest review.
When local crime boss Richard Goodwin is pulled from the river by his office it looks like suicide. But as his widow Tatiana feared, Rich collected enemies like poker chips, and half of Great Yarmouth’s criminal fraternity would have had reason to kill him.
Realising how little she knows about the man she married, Tatty seeks to uncover the truth about Rich’s death and take over the reins of the family business, overseeing a waterfront casino deal Rich hoped would put Yarmouth on the map.
Out of the shadows at last, it is Tatty’s time now, and she isn’t going to let Rich’s brother, or anyone else, stand in her way. But an American has been in town asking the right people the wrong questions, more bodies turn up, along with a brutal new gang. The stakes have never been higher.
With her family to protect, and a business to run, Tatty soon learns that power comes with a price .
Time to Win is a very different novel in crime fiction from what I have been currently reading. And why? you may ask. Well this is a book where it’s the woman who steps up into a predominantly male world and takes the reins.
Richard Goodwin, was a tough figure in the crime world. A man, who appeared to show no fear and was almost invincible in his own eyes, finds death in the bottom of the river. His car is pulled out from the docks behind his offices with his body locked inside.
An initial investigation presumes suicide but as all those close to him know, Richard Goodwin loved himself way too much to take his own life.
With his brother Simon left behind to run the business, Tatania Goodwin decides it is now up to her to find out what really happened. The police, seemingly accepting of the initial theory of suicide, leave Tatania, with the assistance of Frank, Richards right hand man, to uncover the truth.
Tatania has three grown up children, all with lives of their own to lead. It is quite unclear in reading the book the full extent of their knowledge of exactly what their father was involved with and I expect this will be expanded as the series moves forward.
Tatania Goodwin is a formidable lady. With a history that remains very much in the shadows of this book, she quickly slots into the role of her husband and looks to continue his rather shady enterprises but with her own stamp on it.
As she attempts to establish the reason for her husband’s unexpected demise, she is soon exposed to some of the more unsavory sides to his character and his business, Unfazed by what she discovers, Tatania starts to establish herself fast in a vacuum that is left open in the local crime scene. Her personality develops more as the novel progresses and it’s not long before a much harder Tatania begins to appear.
The death of Richard Goodwin does not seem to draw too much sympathy from too many people and as Tatania soon discovers there is no love lost between Richard and many of his associates.
With deals to be concluded and individuals to be ‘dealt’ with, Tatania, with the assistance of Frank, soon establishes herself as a woman on a mission, a woman without fear and most importantly a mother who will not see her children’s future destroyed.
In reading Time To Win I was reminded of the TV hip-hop based drama Empire. Empire is, as it’s name suggests, about a family with a business empire and it’s struggle for survival. Tatania Goodwin reminds me of Cookie Lyon, the mother in Empire who will stop at nothing to protect her kids.
In Time To Win, Harry Brett has laid down the roots for plenty more to come. Not a recommendation for Great Yarmouth mind you but a fast read with all the hallmarks of a great series in the making. Characters definitely need to be fleshed out more as the background stories need to be developed but I have no doubt that that is why book one is left so open…….
Possibly made for a TV series dare I say……
Purchase Link ~ Time To Win
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harry Brett is a pseudonym for Henry Sutton, who is the author of nine previous novels including My Criminal World and Get Me Out of Here.
He also co-authored the DS Jack Frost novel, First Frost, under the pseudonym James Henry. His work has been translated into many languages and he has judged numerous literary prizes, including the John Lewellyn Rhys Prize and the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
He is the co-founder of the Noirwich crime festival and has been the Literary Editor of Esquire magazine and the Daily Mirror. He teaches Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia, where he is a Senior Lecturer and the co-director of the MA Prose Fiction course. He is also the director of the new Creative Writing MA Crime Fiction.
He lives in Norwich with his family and is available for interview and to write features.
Website : http://www.henrysutton.co.uk/
Twitter : @hesutton