Life is about choices, those already made and those yet to come.
For John Cooper, more than most, this is especially true. Lost, hopeless and alone, he drifts through the Brighton underworld, a slave to his heroin habit and all but forgetting the man he used to be as he succumbs, dose by dose, to the drug that is both sustaining and killing him.
The only people of import in his life are Mandy, a 16 year old prostitute who he cares for like a daughter, and Phil, mid-thirties and suffering from autism, a fact that many of the local drug dealers use to their advantage as they get him to ferry drugs all over the city.
When Phil dies of a suspected overdose, however, John’s long-buried instincts begin to rise to the surface. Knowing that his friend would never use drugs, he begins to investigate what he knows is a murder when the police fail to show any interest.
Unwittingly, John plunges himself and everyone around him into a murky world of drugs, violence and betrayal, all the while struggling against the addiction that consumes him.
What a dark horse this book is. I have to admit I only know about it and the author due to a couple of blogger friends who have raved about it and having read it, I now know why.
John is definitely not your typical main character in a crime book. For one he is on leave from the police due to an addiction to drugs. Obviously I was intrigued straight away. For someone to have such a good job and to be addicted to drugs and living like he is, I wanted to know the how’s and why’s and I wasn’t disappointed.
It is certainly interesting to see someone who has to have a daily fix, what their life is like. I certainly wasn’t envious and I hope it would put many a person off ever trying them. I couldn’t help instantly liking John though. I don’t know why, but there was just some sort of compassion about him that even though he is pretty much in hell, he still looks out for others.
This is a very dark read that had me hooked throughout. Even though it tackles a tough and tragic subject it was a surprisingly easy read that I flew through. Apart from your usual baddies who you are going to love to hate, there is so much to really like about this book. I loved the characterisation which gives the story an added appeal and I really hope there are more books that will feature John as there is bags of potential with his character.
A great read and if you only try one new author this year, then make sure it’s this one.
But For The Grace of God is available to purchase from Amazon. (Please note that link used is an affiliate link)
3 thoughts on “But For The Grace Of God by Paul Grzegorzek @PaulGlaznost”
Great review. If it wasn’t for bloggers, I wouldn’t know about some of the great British authors out there. I will have to check this book out.
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Thank you and yes i agree. If it wasnt for some of the bloggers shouting about it i would more than likely ever have come across it which would have been a real shame as it’s a great book. x
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