Hello, Sunshines, I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; A Numbers Game by RJ Dark. This is the first book in the brand new; Mal and Jackie series, I can’t wait to share my review for this book with you all.
Firstly, thank you to Zoe at Zooloos Book Tours for the invite.
About the Book
A Numbers Game by RJ Dark.
Series: Mal and Jackie Series #1
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Mystery
One dead man and a missing lottery ticket.
Two family members who need that money to get away from the rundown Blades Edge estate.
Three local gangsters who want that money for themselves.
Meet Malachite Jones – the foremost (and only) psychic medium on the gritty Blades Edge estate. All he wants are two things: a name that isn’t ‘Malachite’, and a quiet life. And maybe some real psychic powers, but he’s making a living without them.
Janine Stanbeck wants to find her dead husband Larry’s winning ticket and escape Blades Edge with her son. And she thinks Mal can help her.
But Larry’s dad is the crime lord of the estate, and he wants that ticket for himself, and worse for Mal, he’s not the only criminal with his eyes on it. Add in two coppers desperate to nick Mal’s best, only, and admittedly quite dangerous, friend, Jackie Singh Kattar, and Blades Edge is getting pretty crowded.
Malachite Jones might not really be able to talk to the dead, but if he and his friend Jackie Singh Kattar can’t find that money and a solution that pleases everyone they’re likely to be in need of a psychic medium themselves.
The first Mal Jones and Jackie Singh Kattar adventure: a chaotic rollercoaster ride through a Yorkshire landscape full of double crossing friends, dogged police, psychotic gangster and voices from the other side.
I was interested in this book mainly based on the fact it’s based in my home country; Yorkshire – yes, I am that fickle, I do love reading novels which are set in my beautiful part of the country. I liked the hint of Yorkshire dry wit, some very funny, quite darkly humorous scenes made me chuckle a fair few times.
A Numbers Game is the first instalment in the new; Mal and Jackie series and judging by this entertaining and engaging book I know that this series is going to be a real winner, effect for anyone who loves an edgier, darkly witty and exciting mystery and I a looking forward to seeing where this series goes and what comes next.
A Numbers Game is predominately a crime mystery; a missing lottery ticket the hold of the ticket dies and his widow goes to Mal for help. What happened to the ticket? Will Jackie and Mal help the widow and her son escape the estate? I enjoyed the premise of the mystery, but I did think that A Numbers Game is far more about the characters and their interactions, I enjoyed seeing how Mal and Jackie and the secondary characters entwined together to create an intelligent and very entertaining story.
I liked the characters, Mal and Jackie are a great double-act in a weird way these two and the overall book itself remind me of With Nail and I (which is – in my opinion – one of the greatest British films, if you haven’t seen it then why not?) They are such different people and yet they do work well together, I liked how each of their different traits and personalities brings out the best (or worse) in the other.
Mal is a complex creature, he is a con artist and in any other scenario I probably wouldn’t like him at all but he uses his abilities and his charm to help people when they are at their lowest – so I can’t say anything about that, if the people who hand over their money to him gain comfort from his words and he doesn’t exploit them in any way then that’s OK. His friend Jackie is a bit of a gangster, he seems to have a really good heart and genuinely cares as long as they don’t mess with him or his friends, he is in the ‘protection‘ business where he looks after the local population – what you make of that is up to you, and all I will say is don’t judge these two until you have properly met them because they will surprise you and charm their way in.
I liked that A Numbers Game is pretty much set in a poorer more realistic part of Yorkshire than most other novels I’ve read, it’s set around the little town of Blades Edge which is a run-down, poor, council estate where crime and poverty are rife. The realism and the way it’s written stirs your emotions, it’s thought-provoking and I liked the mix of varying opinions with culminate with having such different personalities in one place.
Overall, A Number’s Game is a highly enjoyable and interesting book that places itself into a multitude of genres, it’s part crime noir, part cosy mystery, part thriller, part black comedy.
About the Author
Spending his youth as an underground musician and occasional club promoter, he then moved on to stints as an advertising copywriter, trainer, playwright, music reviewer, amateur historian, TV cameraman, anarchist, contrarian, engineer and fraud investigator.
After a long battle with chronic illness, RJ finally settled on a career in writing.
He lives in a crumbling ancient mansion somewhere in Yorkshire and is surrounded by books, music, animals and his family.
Follow him at: Twitter: https://twitter.com/RJDarker