After hearing its premise, I was intrigued and excited about reading Les Wood’s debut novel, Dark Side Of The Moon. This is an entertaining crime story set in Glasgow in which we follow a group of misfits in their attempt to pull off a diamond heist…
‘Without them on board, it would all go to hell. He needed the boys to carry it off, and he needed them to be fully behind him.’
The mastermind behind the aforementioned plot is Boddice, a crime boss who is gradually losing some of the power he holds within his area. Usually content with drug dealing and money laundering he decides to do something no-one would expect him to do – to steal a diamond. Said to be worth millions of pounds, the diamond known as the ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ is heading to Glasgow as part of a jewellery show. All he needs to do, somehow, is to snatch the diamond from its display – with a little help from a gang of incompetent crooks he has assembled. In the early stages of the novel, we are introduced to each gang member in turn, which enables the reader to gain information about their background and their role within the group. These characters, among others, include Prentice, a man who is not afraid to hand out brutal punishments on his boss’s behalf along with perhaps my favourite characters of the lot, the twins, Campbell and John. I enjoyed the relationship between the brothers and their amusing interactions! The twins run a tattoo parlour which for a while has helped to conceal Boddice’s ill gotten gains, but Boddice has bigger plans for the twins as he dishes out the jobs for each of his associates, and the plan gets underway.
‘How in the name of Christ did we end up here, tryin to do this? This isn’t us, this isn’t what we do, is it?’…’Since when did this become our lives?’
I found this to be an entertaining read and there were some humorous moments along the way as Boddice’s men bicker and squabble amongst themselves and I wondered how they would ever be able to carry out this extraordinary task. I enjoyed the use of language and dialect which helped to set the scene and give the characters an authentic voice. As their plot surprisingly progresses, the story builds up to an exciting and action packed conclusion with a few twists and turns along the way as we try to work out just who is playing who. Whilst this was a fun read there were moments that were poignant as the characters question their own actions and assess the path they have taken. Despite their bickering, there is a strong bond between the twins, and whilst Prentice has no issues in hurting, or even killing, on Boddice’s behalf, he is left distressed when his actions have consequences for someone innocent. All in all this was an engaging read with an entertaining plot and sharp dialogue.
‘There was nothing. No easing of the pounding in his temples, no slowing of his heart. The darkness which gripped his mind remained – a heavy, oily dread sunk deep in his soul.’
I enjoyed reading Dark Side Of The Moon, a novel in which Les Wood has crafted the story of an elaborate heist which portrays the dark underbelly of the city, and the fascinating cast of misfits that lurk there.
Dark Side Of The Moon was published in August 2016 by Freight Books. Many thanks to Freight Books for providing a copy for review.