There are several stories in Hood Rat, each revolving around the activities of gangs and those who try to stop them, in Manchester, London and Glasgow. It is a challenging read, as chronological order isn’t always followed and there are no obvious links between the events in the various cities. The author vividly shows a world where drugs hook young boys into gangs, where posturing and 'respect' is all, so one gang murder escalates into revenge killings on both sides. Among the gang murders, real killings are referred to, blurring the line between fact and fiction. Many of the law enforcement characters have a bleak view of the world, which makes the ending a real surprise.
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Review by Sinead Fitzgibbon