Alfreton writer Charlie Wade’s debut novel Seven Daze immediately throws you straight into an unusual situation and never lets up during the course of its entertaining journey.
Seven Daze follows the progress of Jim, who, having left prison, moves into the more lucrative field of contract killing.
The only problem is that Jim’s first ‘hit’ has a heart attack before he can even pull the trigger.
This sets off a series of events which lead to Jim helping save the man’s life and introducing him to financial worker Charlotte. The only problem now is that Jim owes a mob boss £10,000 and has only seven days to find it before he starts a new fashion trend of wearing cement shoes and living on the bed of the River Thames.
From this unusual premise, Charlie Wade (pictured) spins a nippy yarn full of snappy prose as Jim sets off on a one-man crime spree, while all the time trying to deal with the fact that he is very much smitten with Charlotte.
But neither are quite what they seem and the twists and the turns in Seven Daze keep the interest levels high throughout.
Charlie Wade successfully portrays some of London’s seamier quarters, as well as its more rarified areas too in the passages set in the heart of the financial sector.
Jim is not someone you should really warm to. He is a habitual criminal but he has his standards - and his reasons - and Wade successfully makes you care about the predicament of someone who wouldn’t normally elicit sympathy.
Charlotte too is an interestingly drawn character and the twist that arrives three quarters of the way through is well handled.
There is a nicely open-ended conclusion to the book and if the mark of a good writer is that they leave you wanting to read more of their work, then Charlie Wade has passed the test with flying colours here.
Seven Daze is published by Caffeine Night Publishing. For more, go to www.caffeine-nights.com
n Review by Steve Eyley