So I’ve finally popped my Nicky Black cherry. I’ve had The Prodigal on my kindle for far too long I’m ashamed to say so when I got a copy of The Rave, I felt I needed to do the deed and read it!
Many thanks to Nicky Black for my copy of The Rave.
It’s 1989, the second Summer of Love, and Tommy Collins is doing what he does best: organising all-night raves on a shoestring, and playing a game of cat and mouse with the police. But Detective Chief Inspector Peach is closing in on him, and his dreams of a better life are beginning to slip through his fingers.
DCI Peach finds it all a nuisance, a waste of his force’s time, until he finds his teenage daughter unconscious at one of Tommy’s raves. Then the chase becomes personal, and his need to make Tommy pay becomes an obsession.
The Rave is a fast-paced, gritty portrayal of life on the edges of society at the end of a decade that changed Britain forever.
What Did I Think?
I remember the rave scene but I was a little too young for that and I have to admit I wasn’t in to the early (acid) house scene that was a-typical for raves. At the time I was a rock and pop gal with my taste for dance only developing in the late 90s with trance, house and some old skool disco.
The Rave isn’t just a step back in the music scene. It’s a step back in time in respect of attitudes, policing and technology. No mobile phones (well not as we know them now), no internet, no social media – organising a rave in the late 80s was all flyers and word of mouth! It’s at the in-between stage of policing – not quite the ‘clean cut’ style we know now but not the brutality of beating a confession out of someone from the 70s and before. Peach’s hand are tied and has to rely on his detection skills rather than his fists!
And then there is the distressing death of Mrs Peach showing the dramatic difference of the awareness of eating disorders between then and now.
The author has crammed a multitude of characters into The Rave bringing a very interesting cast into the story. DCI Peach is a man on a mission. Not only does he want to shut raves down from a policing point of view but he’s on a personal crusade. Paul Smart – the school playground bully but the school playground just went adult and serious! Tommy’s family life is messed up, the relationships he has with his wife’s family – all he wants is to get him, his wife and their daughter out of Valley Park. And then there is DS Murphy transferred from Manchester and he’s not quite managed to win Peach’s approval – he’s treading a fine line. There were so many strands to the story that the more I read the closer and more interwoven they became grabbed my attention and I really didn’t know who I rooting for!
There is a slight undertone of the author’s humour in the narrative. I got a feel of northern hardness, a rawness of how the north was in the late 80s as the metropolis of London developed the yuppie. The struggle to make money to survive.
The whole story takes place over a week but as Saturday comes, the book hits its climax with the police bearing down on Tommy who has other pressures keeping him looking over his shoulder. Nicky Black has written a fast paced gritty book that really gave me the feel of life in the late 80s.
Who Is Nicky Black?
The pen name Nicky Black is a combination of two writers – Nicky Doherty and Julie Blackie. Julie was a script writer for many years, and Nicky has created two novels based on Julie’s TV and film scripts. Both are stories set on the fictional estate of Valley Park in Newcastle, and the criminal world that inhabits it.
The Prodigal was a bestseller in 2015 and The Rave was published on 14th August 2018.
Nicky is a proud eighties throwback and cat lady and lives in North Tyneside.