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Before the Storm by Jack Byrne - Review and Blog Tour

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Hello and welcome to my blog for my stop on the tour for Before the Storm by Jack Byrne. It is a pleasure to welcome you here today - please do have a click round and have a read of some of my other reviews. I also joined in the tour for Jack Byrne's first book, Under the Bridge. You can read my review here

This book is the third in the series. I haven't read the second but I didn't think it mattered really. I had also forgotten the characters in the first book so I just met these ones head on and found them as they were, and then went back later and read my review and was like, ohhh, that's where Vinny comes in. He's the main character in this - there are brief points of view from other people but mostly it's Vinny's story.

In 2016 Vinny is a university professor. He is married to Helen and they have a teenaged son, Charlie. He's about fourteen, I think. The couple split up for a while - this is when Vinny was with Anne and they visited Ireland - but they're back together now. Helen is run off the road by a black SUV and ends up in hospital. When checking her phone, VInny finds out that she's had two messages warning her to stay away, so they are sure that the accident was in fact not an accident at all. 

Then Vinny's friend Sammo dies. He was a heroin user but everyone agrees that he wasn't using and was doing better, so it seems a bit unlikely that he would have overdosed. Helen mentions that she had seen him recently and that she had been warned off by "Macca". This is an old friend of Vinny's who is now pretending to be respectable and is a local councillor. However, his son is a bit of a heavy... 

Meanwhile the narrative also tells us about Vinny, Sammo, and Macca when they were kids, on a day when they broke into an old man's house and stole a valuable gold watch. They had meant to only take money from his electricity meter. Sammo was keeping watch outside. All three boys were thrilled with their treasure, but things quickly unravelled. The actions of that day have repercussions in the men's lives even thirty five years later. 

Again, the book is a love letter to Liverpool - I could picture the neighbourhoods and rows of houses perfectly. I really liked the mystery behind what had happened and how Vinny worked it all out. 

Thank you for having me on the tour!

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