It’s been ages since I read any of Gordon Brown’s novels and I decided to treat myself to a wee purchase from Amazon, opting for 59 Minutes. I was not disappointed!
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
When it comes to revenge – timing is everything.
Enter the world of a Glasgow Criminal as he rises to become one of the most powerful crime lords in the UK, only to have it ripped away from him. Imprisoned, then reduced to a life on the street, he becomes hell bent on vengeance.
’59 Minutes’ is a high pace crime thriller and is Gordon Brown’s second Book, following the success of his first novel, ‘Falling.’
Right from the outset Gordon Brown has created a real sense of urgency in the reader’s mind as the narrator of the book begins his own 59 Minute countdown to his story. It was impossible not to get caught up in the tension. Told in the first person, the name of the narrator is not divulged but somehow this does not seem significant as it is his story we are caught up in and not his identity. The first person POV meant that I was immediately inside the head of the narrator. Combine this with short snappy chapters and the author has created a cracking fast paced read.
The prologue begins with a brutal beating before the story takes us down the dark and dangerous route that led him there.
Set in the dark underbelly of Glasgow in the 70s and 80s this is a tale of a boy whose life has gone wrong. Losing his job at the beginning of the recession he finds himself drawn into a life of crime. He wants more though, he doesn’t want to be someone else’s runner, someone else’s lookout, he wants to be top dog. He takes one job for his own and it changes his life forever. He finds himself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Fast and furious but with enough time to breathe we travel through Glasgow in the 70s and 80s before settling in 2008 with a trip to Spain thrown in. The sense of place is second to none, it was easy to picture myself not only in my hometown of Glasgow but also the sunshine of Spain as we follow his journey seeking his revenge. The characters we meet are relatable if not always the most pleasant and it’s difficult not to feel a little bit of empathy for our protagonist.
Cleverly plotted with some shocking twists it is told in two parts: the first is the 59 minute countdown providing the back story leading up to his incarceration and the second is a diary dictated and transcribed outlining his revenge on those who left him with nothing.
Ripe with some of Glasgow’s trademark black humour 59 Minutes is brilliantly dark and most certainly authentic. Another cracking read from Gordon Brown and one that I’d highly recommend!
59 Minutes is available to purchase from:
About the author:
Gordon has six crime and thriller books published to date, along with a number of short stories. His latest novel, Deepest Wounds, published by Strident Publishing, is the third in the Craig McIntyre series. Gordon also helped found Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival (see http://www.bloodyscotland.com), is a DJ on local radio (www.pulseonair.co.uk) and runs a strategic planning consultancy. He lives in Scotland and is married with two children.
In a former life Gordon delivered pizzas in Toronto, sold non-alcoholic beer in the Middle East, launched a creativity training business, floated a high tech company on the London Stock Exchange, compered the main stage at a two-day music festival and was once booed by 49,000 people while on the pitch at a major football Cup Final.