Overall Impression: A good quick read, that gets the reader thinking.
With his father dead, Martyn has a choice. Tell the police what happened – and be suspected of murder. Or get rid of the body and get on with the rest of his life.
Simple, right? Not quite. One story leads to another. Secrets and lies become darker and crazier. And Martyn is faced with twists and turns that leave him reeling.
Life is never easy. But death is even harder.
Martyn Pig (yes, that is the characters full name, poor guy) is 14, and lives with his drunk and violent excuse for a dad. Martyn does the cooking, runs the errands, and just about everything else you can think of. But one day, his dad takes it too far. He throws a punch, misses, and goes reeling into the wall where he cracks his head open, and dies instantly.
With his best friend Alex at his side, they come up with a plan to get rid of the body, frame someone for murder, and run off with his dads money. This is pretty much the whole story, it’s not a big book this one, only 220 pages.
I always expect big things from Kevin Brooks as I’ve read several of his previous books; Being, Lucas, and Killing God and loved them. Unfortunately though, I didn’t think this was as good, and I felt quite underwhelmed. However, I will cut him some slack as this was his first debut novel. It’s obvious while reading the book that he is an excellent writer, however I feel like at this point he hadn’t had enough time to hone his skills.
I like how Kevin Brooks stories are original, and outspoken. He tackles large questions such as “how do you define being bad” which are thought provoking, and will get your mind spinning.
This book comes across as very slow paced, and continues like this throughout the novel. I was interested enough to keep reading it, but I wasn’t exactly jumping to read it either. I felt like their could have been more depth to the characters, and I think it might have helped if the characters were more likeable, as this might help you get behind the story a bit more. The writer added in a twist at the end, but I have to admit, I guessed it far before it happened, so for me, it didn’t have much impact.
I would recommend this book to males or females, although I think Kevin Brooks writing is generally aimed more at males. His books are not for light-hearted reader as his stories often have a very gritty feel to them, however this one is not that bad. I would say this book was best for 12-15 year olds. However I would recommend that you read one of Kevin Brooks other books, especially Being, before reading this one, as Martyn Pig is not his best work.
Writing Style: 4/5
Character Development: 2/5
Would I recommend this book? For a quick read, yes.