The Third Rule by Andrew Barrett

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Book Description:

“You’re still alive until you meet The Third Rule.”

New Rules. Old Corruption.
In an England where a new government comes to power on a wave of atrocities, truth and justice are executed as freely as the criminals, using a strict code of punishment designed to combat crime, called The Rules. But with their foundation based on corruption, it’s not only the criminals who fear their introduction; The Rules push boundaries too far, and though described as infallible, they are far from perfect.
A Rule Three conviction earns you a trip to the ‘slaughterhouse’ and a bullet in the head. And sometimes, you don’t even need to be guilty.

The government’s stance on crime endangers innocent people too. One of those innocent people is Christian Ledger, a burglar but also a talented artist, who is robbed and beaten. He survives only to be arrested and charged with a fatal stabbing. Christian is heading for the slaughterhouse because no one will listen; certainly not the police who just scored another hit. But he carries a secret. Is it enough to save his life?

Violent CSI Eddie Collins, a reluctant hero who tried to kill himself, suddenly wants to live when the police hunt him for shooting a colleague. What he and his friend, reporter Mick Lyndon find out puts them in danger, but they’ll never make it to the slaughterhouse because a government killer is right behind them. Can they survive long enough to expose the shocking truth?

“If you want to kill serious crime, you have to kill serious criminals.”
Sir George Deacon, Minster of Justice.

My Thoughts:

The Third Rule I believe was originally a trilogy which has now been combined into one novel.

At 626 pages for the kindle edition, it certainly isn’t a quick read.

I have to be totally honest as to start with I really struggled with the book. The story is all over the place, swapping back and forth quite quickly between different characters and I was finding it hard to keep up. Even the characters just didn’t appeal to me and reading of grown men getting so drunk that they weren’t capable of controlling their own bodily functions, I really didn’t think this was going to be a book for me. BUT I stuck with it and by the end I’m glad I had.

The story is nearly all set in Leeds, which living in Leeds myself, I could easily visualise the names of the areas that were often mentioned throughout the novel.

Eddie Collins I very much had a love hate relationship with. Don’t get me wrong this guy truly gets put through the mill. One particular incident that happens to Eddie and his family was quite literally heartbreaking. The chapters to do with it, I found to be really raw in the way it had been written and quite often I would find tears streaming down my face.

It is obvious that Eddie is quite a drinker and to be fair I couldn’t blame him for wanting to blot out certain parts of his life and that is why I think it took me awhile to take to Eddie as well as his friend Mick. Both have serious drinking issues and it’s very obvious that they are both set to go down a path of self destruction in their working lives as well as their personal ones.

The actual third rule storyline I thought was a really clever idea and through Eddie, Mick and Ros, we see why even though it seems a great idea, in practice it’s anything but.

Eddie and Mick actually grew on me the further I got into the story. Theirs is far from the perfect friendship and to be honest I don’t think they are good for each other but by the end they had me won over.

The Third Rule may have taken me a while to get into but overall it is a hard hitting crime thriller that I enjoyed.

Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.

The Third Rule is available to purchase from Amazon.

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