Monday, 28 January 2013

Knock Down by Chris Ould

Series: Street Duty, Case One
Publisher: Usborne
Format: ARC
Published: 1st October 2012
Number of Pages: 320
Book: For Review*
Genre: Crime Fiction, Realistic-Fiction, Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Contemporary, Gritty Realism, YA, YA-Adult Crossover
Recommended Age: 14+
Contains: Violence, Swearing, Smoking, Alcohol and Drug References
Author's Blog: Chris Ould's Profile

Victim: teenage female, 14 years old.
Unconscious.  Head injury.  Laceration to arm.  Struck by lorry.

Why was Ashleigh Jarvis running so fast that she didn’t see the lorry?  Why was she so scared?  And why was she barefoot on a cold winter’s evening?
It’s Holly Blades’ first case and she wants to know the truth.  But how much is she willing to risk to get at the real facts…?

Gritty, electrifying drama from BAFTA award-winning writer, Chris Ould: the freshest blood in YA crime fiction.

“Ashleigh Jarvis was lying bleeding and unconscious in the gutter behind him. 
“She was no longer hugging herself though, and perhaps that's why she looked as if she had finally fallen apart...”
The police service has just set up a pilot scheme called the Trainee Police Officer program.  It lets exceptional young people join the force at the age of sixteen and fast track them those with the ability to be amazing officers through the ranks...
Holly Blades is one if those people. Her first serious case is that of Ashleigh Jarvis.  The fourteen year old girl ran shoeless and terrified through the streets before running into the road and into the path of an oncoming lorry...
Holy knows she shouldn't allow herself to become emotionally involved in cases, but she can't help it.  She is determined to solve the case for Ashleigh. 
Even if she puts her future as a TPO in danger...
Oh, how I love crime fiction!  There seriously isn't enough YA stuff around and Knock Down was such a gem!  Gritty, addictive, thrilling and unique, it had me hooked from start to finish.  I even missed my favourite shows to finish gobbling it up!  Now that's a sign of a good, good, good book if ever there was one!  Knock Down was amazing and Ould is definitely a YA author to look out for!  I loved this book to pieces – all sixteen-year-old must read this!
The characters felt so real to me.  Even if I didn't know much about them, they all really jumped off the page.  None of them felt like they were stereotypes or just walking props.  All of them had a personality, all of them had secrets and hidden agendas.  I loved that.  How they were all so complex.  Take Holly for example: she was caring and devoted, and knew how to stand up for herself – which was important as people didn’t always take her seriously, since she was only sixteen.  I felt like I really knew Holly’s personality and character but not much about her past – what made her her, if that makes sense.  But I didn’t care: she was such a good person and such an amazing copper and I can’t wait to see where she goes.  Plus, she’s really relatable, even though she’s a policewoman (girl?).  I also really liked her fellow TPO Sam: I don’t really know why but I found Sam really, really cute!  He was funny and protective and dedicated: I can’t wait to see more of him!  Plus, I just really loved all the cops – they were all awesome.  And while I didn't really like them, I loved getting to know all the gang people - they were all really complex. 
I found myself addicted to the gritty realism in Ould's writing.  It was so realistic and authentic.  The writing was very detailed yet simple, a real pleasure to read.  Plus, I just loved all the cop stuff – and how real it made it all.  And I was just as intrigued as Holly was about the events behind Ashleigh’s accident.  The pace was non-stop and action-packed, full of suspense and thrills.  And I did not see anything in the whole darn plot coming!  On top of that, the chapters were so short – a danger! danger! alert on that front, I'm afraid!  But as well as the police stuff, I was thrilled and intrigued by all the gang related chapters and trying to figure out what was going on on that front.  And all the unanswered questions - well, I just can't wait to get them answered!  I need a new book, a new case - ASAP!
I loved how real all the police stuff was.  I loved all the cop talk and cop procedures.  It was awesome!  You could tell that Ould had a background in the genre – his The Bill experience definitely came across in his gritty, realistic writing style.  Loved it!  And I loved even more that Ould doesn't talk down to you – he shied from nothing and sugar-coated nothing.  Loved that!
Speaking of the awesomeness of crime fiction and gritty realistic, anyone else notice that crime thrillers are sneaking and coming into YA fiction?  Gotta say, can't wait for it to explode!  Teens love CSI and whatnot and there's nothing more gripping than a good crime thriller - especially if we wanna get teens back into reading!  And it's even better when our leads are people teens can relate to - say, teen cops!  Plus, all the issues tackled were just so relevant, so current, which is just the cherry on the cake of crime awesomeness!
A totally kickbutt crime drama, the first in a series I just know I'm going to love to bits and never want to end!  Twisty, gritty, action packed and just plain awesome, Knock Down has just left me desperate for more, more, more!  I'm always saying we need more crime fiction in YA lit and I so wish there are more now I've read how freaking AMAZING Knock Down was!  I can't tell you how bad I want - no, need - a sequel!
Crime loving people, young or old, you all have to read this!  It's so awesome, awesome, awesome, AWESOME!!  I can't wait for Case número Two!

Star Rating:
4¾ Out of 5

Read this book if you liked:
Cherub by Robert Muchamore
Dark Eyes by William Richter
Empty Coffin by Gregg Olsen
Crusher by Niall Leonard

Challenges It's Taking Part In:

Happy Reading
* This book was received from Usborne in exchange for an honest review

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