Review: Payback by Kimberley Chambers

paybackTitle: Payback

Author: Kimberley Chambers

Series: The Trap #2

Genre: Crime Thriller

Sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads)

Family. They’re supposed to watch your back. Not stab you in it

When the enemy is one of your own, the payback is twice as hard.

The Butler brothers are the Kings of the East End, and their motto is ‘what goes around, comes around’.

In their world, family counts; so when the truth about Vinny’s nephew’s death comes to light, it rocks the Butlers to the core. One by one, Vinny’s friends and family are turning against him…

Then, the unimaginable happens – Vinny’s little daughter Molly goes missing. She’s the one chink of light in all their lives, and the one they’d commit murders to bring back.

But is it already too late for that?

Is this PAYBACK?


Crime Thriller is not a genre I’m familiar with. When I agreed to review this, I figured it was on the ‘police procedural’ end of the ‘crime’ spectrum, rather than a portrait of a criminal gang family. But, I love to try new things and dived into this with an open mind.

Aaaand I think I’m going to have to call ‘not my thing’ on this one. It’s not that it wasn’t well written, plotted or researched – it certainly wasn’t hard work to get through, and even though I haven’t read The Trap, the first book in the series, I was able to pick things up as I went along with relative ease. But did I enjoy it? Not really.

And that’s not a criticism of the author or anything that she was doing in this book. It’s just not my genre.

The plot interwove a number of characters skilfully, and though I did feel it took a while to get going, when Molly was kidnapped, things really kicked up a gear and would, had I not lacked investment in the characters, have made the final few chapters real page turners.

But therein lay the problem for me – I just couldn’t get behind any of the characters. At first I thought it was because the plot flitted between them a la an episode of Eastenders – staying with people for only a few paragraphs before skipping on to someone else. But even as I started to get to know them better and fill in the gaps left by not reading the previous book, I just found them pretty much all reprehensible. Everyone was doing terrible things to each other, and trying to get payback on someone through horrible means. I just couldn’t see a redeeming feature in most of them. Love of their family, I suppose, but even that was a bit thin at times.

But this is a Crime Thriller, and that’s sort of the point.

So, I tried something new, didn’t get along with it too well. But I really think that if I was going to enjoy a Crime Thriller, Kimberley Chambers would be the one to start with. Based on the other reviews on Goodreads, she delivers what her fans are looking for. Myself, I’ve learned that ultimately I need a character I actually like and root for to truly enjoy a novel.

Rating: 3/5


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