The Race Is OnThere S No Such Thing As A Quiet Life For Frankie James With His Brother Out Of Jail And His Debts Cleared, Frankie S Thinking About His Future Until A Postcard Arrives From Mallorca It Reminds Frankie Of Something His Mother Said To Him, And Is Signed Off With A Kiss But His Mother S Been Missing For Six Years, Everyone Thought She Was DeadWhen The Niece Of London S Fiercest Gang Lord, Tommy Riley, Goes Missing From Her Boarding School, Tommy Knows There S One Man For The Job That Man Is Frankie James It S Now Up To Frankie To Find Her And It S A Race Against TimeFrankie Must Decide Is He S Willing To Enter The Criminal Underworld He S Tried So Hard To Escape From Everything S At Stake His Family, His Career, His Life He Can T Afford To Lose This Time, But What Does Winning Mean For Him With Temptation At Every Turn, Old Habits Die Hard Double Kiss Is The Fast Paced, Thrilling Sequel To Framed, By Snooker Champion Ronnie O Sullivan Well, this was unexpected Double Kiss by snooker legend Ronnie O Sullivan may well be one of the best commercial crime novels I ve read this year It is original, page turning with well developed characters and a good sense of setting, and is also written withnuance than you might expect It s 1996 and Frankie James is a young man in his twenties who owns a snooker club obvs in the heart of Soho His parents are absent Dad s in prison and mother fled many years before so Frankie has been left to manage himself, the club, and to keep an eye on his younger brother who is always in and out of trouble And that s hard to do when you live and work in Soho, though Frankie does his best to keep the gangsters around him at arm s distance, as well as the corrupt police But sometimes that isn t always possible In Framed, the previous book where we first introduced to Frankie and this world, Frankie had to cut a deal with big local gangsters to keep his brother from prison, and in Double Kiss, the gangsters are calling in that favour One of Frankie s old school friends, Tanya, happens to the niece of one of Soho s biggest mobsters and she has gone missing in Ibiza That gangster wants Frankie to go and find her and bring her back.But what seems a relatively safe, if complicated, request, turns out to be anything but when Frankie finds himself caught up in intergang warfare and huge criminal undertakings Suddenly, he is a young man out of his league and in a whole lot of trouble I read Framed last year when it was published, and I did find it quite frustrating so much potential in a crime book loosely set on Ronnie O Sullivan s life and personality there s plenty of material in both and I was excited for a crime novel set in Soho in the Nineties, an extraordinary microcosm in the middle of London with its own rules and characters, which I felt hadn t been properly explored as a setting before but there were issues in that one Well, one book on and so many of those issues have fallen away.Frankie James is now a farcomplicated character His jack the lad exterior has been partnered with a heart that falls in love too easily and, here, his weakness for drinks and drugs has a clear impact on the book s plot and his ability to execute what he is required to do The impact of the absence of his parents is alsonoted.And there are improvements elsewhere too The gangsters of Soho are fewer but farwell defined There s real life in these characters and I have a terrible sense they may well be based on men Ronnie has met before but they are believable There s a big plus in the addition of gay characters where their sexuality is just a given and not a plot point, and the various love interests in the book arethan just pretty faces and, at times, there s an interesting switch in power play between themselves and Frankie.So, lots to recommend about here Yes, I know Ronnie was assisted with the writing of this book by Emlyn Rees but, nevertheless, this is an impressive achievement, especially considering this is a celebrity penned novel Double Kiss is the second book in the trilogy, Soho Nights, so, ideally, you will have read Framed before reading this However, it is possible to read this as a stand alone story There are long running plots that clearly run across the two soon to be three books around the incarceration of Frankie James s dad and his absent mother but these are pretty easy to pick up if you read Double Kiss first.But, whichever way you cut it, Double Kiss is one of the finest commercial crime novels this year And who would have expected that Impressive. I must admit when I spotted this in the library I didn t have much faith that Ronnie had written it himself But having read it I m ready to give him the credit It s OK, a bit rough around the edges maybe Really frustrating ending I read this pretty much straight after Framed, the first in series One thing I did notice between the two books is that this one is a lot lighter on the language so if that did put you off reading on with this series then maybe this information will put your mind at rest If you haven t yet read Framed and can stomach a bit of bad language then I would recommend reading that first, normal series rules re character background and development applying So, Frankie is ticking along quite nicely these days The club is doing well, assisted by England also doing well in the football, thus helping his takings when showing matches All this well being is thrown into disarray when he receives a postcard that he thinks might be from his mother The mother who abandoned the family years ago Then he gets another spanner thrown his way, the favour that was done for him in book one needs repaid Gang lord Tommy Riley s niece has gone missing, presumed run away and Tommy wants Frankie to go find her and bring her back Problem is, Frankie has worked hard to escape that world But then he has no choice Fortunately, word on the street is that the place the niece is rumoured to be in is not a million miles away from where the postcard came from Can Frankie kill two birds with one stone Andimportantly, stay alive whilst trying to do it Well, I raced through this book just like I did the first The couple of misgivings I had left over from Framed were addressed very well in this sequel The language has already been mentioned and the other thing is the level of Frankie s actions and expertise I found him to be a muchcredible character in this book Other characters are also equally well described, again,than for Framed as the author relies less on the language element to define them and so has to find other ways to get their demeanours across Plotting was also well worked out, especially the story of Frankie s mother I won t go into anydetail here as it would include spoilers The other main story regarding the missing niece was also credible but, to me, was secondary I think the reasoning behind this was that I was able to connect better emotionally with the mother story These two main story lines were complete within this book to my satisfaction, but there were a few loose threads left at the end that are obviously going to be picked up in book three and beyond Not cliffhangers I hasted to add and nothing to feel cheated over Just a few things that you know aren t quite resolved yet Personally I am really looking forward to book three and finding out.My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
Ronnie O Sullivan is widely regarded as the most gifted snooker player ever In May 2012 he won the World Championship and announced his retirement He then returned in May 2013, having not played for a year, to win the World Championship for a fifth time.
- 352 pages
- Double Kiss (Soho Nights, #2)
- Ronnie O'Sullivan
- 12 October 2019 Ronnie O'Sullivan