My latest offering as part of theteam
Publisher – CreateSpace
Pages – 222
Release Date – 19th October 2016
ISBN-13 – 978-1537181059
Format – ebook, paperback
I received a free copy of this book
Getting it is easy, keeping it is hard Cam, a woman versed in the rules of the criminal underworld and equipped to deal with it. John, a naïve teenager with an unwise crush but the fortitude to see it through.
Straddling both their worlds is Marshall, the criminal overlord who will spare no depravity to retrieve what is his. Drop into this Maya, a young street girl struggling to survive and the outcome is an explosive mix of love, loss, betrayal and revenge.
‘Ten Minus Ten’ is the second of Joe Mansour’s books I’ve reviewed. As with the first, (‘Calhoun: Sacrifice’) it is fast-paced from the outset and never lets up. We meet an anti-hero in the shape of Cam who team up with John, an innocent sixteen year old boy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time or the right place at the right time, for the purposes of the plot.
I didn’t understand the significance of the book title or chapter titles until the end but now appreciate their meaning and the relevance of the cover design; all of which are rather clever.
The story is split into two threads with Cam and John on the one hand and Chris, whom we believe to be a disciple of Cam, and a teenage prostitute called Maya on the other. The book is written in the third person and whilst we are normally see events from the perspectives of the main players, we sometimes share the thoughts of cameo characters, usually just before they meet a sticky end.
The book is mainly set in Britain but I confess to getting confused as to whether the setting is intended to be futuristic or an alternative present. The writing style is distinctly American and as I believe John to be British, I think a bit more British-English in the general narrative would have been appropriate.
The strong language is acceptable, given the gritty nature of the story. As to the amount of adult content, I’m fairly ambivalent but if you’re sensitive to such things, then maybe this is not the book for you.
If you’re looking for an action-packed read, you’ll enjoy this story. Joe Mansour has a no-nonsense style which cuts to the chase every time. I was unconvinced by the setting but top marks for the plot which I found highly entertaining. I think this story is comparable to his earlier work and award ‘Ten Minus Ten’ four-and-a-half stars.
Joe Mansour always wanted to be a writer, but found that life got in the way. OK, fair enough, being a Jack of all trades but a Master of procrastination prevented him from doing much about it. A change in circumstances gave him the opportunity (and the resolve) to actually knuckle down and write a book – the first of what he hopes are many.
A modest man (he has much to be modest about – Churchill), he finds self promotion to be, while not physically painful, moderately uncomfortable. However he does feel that his book(s*) are worthy of merit (he felt a bit dizzy then at such self-aggrandizement). His book(s) are good, his mum has said so and she can’t even read!**
*More to come soon.
**She can read.