Kirsty Gets Her Kicks gets the review treatment over at the fantastic Mystery People.
‘How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks’ by Jennifer Lee Thomson
Published by Shotgun Honey,
13 June 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-6439-6005-0 (PB)
'Wow. You took out one of McPhee’s boys with one bloody leg. Awesome.'
Kirsty explodes onto the opening page of this outrageous thriller as a thug makes the mistake of getting too fresh with her. She’s not the sort of woman who takes kindly to such behaviour. She is the sort of woman who deals out her own justice. Kirsty may be a below-knee amputee, but whatever anger she feels about her disability, she channels into her overwhelming desire to succeed in a life that has dealt her some cruel blows. Having stopped the would-be attacker in his tracks, she allows herself a moment of self-congratulation. Then, as she considers her next move, Kirsty makes the unwelcome discovery that Jamie, another member of the bar staff, saw everything. The annoying voyeur reveals that the guy she just flattened is an “enforcer” employed by their boss, Jimmy McPhee.
McPhee is a career criminal who controls much of the illegal activity in this area of Glasgow. He has friends in high places, including the local constabulary, and enough dirt on the city’s bigwigs to ensure that his nefarious endeavours are kept well below the law’s radar. As if Jamie’s presence at the scene of her crime was not enough, it then turns out that the hapless-looking witness seems to want to join forces. This is the first of many conundrums that our anti-heroine faces in the novel but, rest assured, she’s rarely out of ideas to deal with the most impossible of situations.
The pace of the narrative is fast and gets faster as Kirsty uses her quick mind and laudable resilience to face and overcome countless challenges that confront her as the story progresses. Her true north may be slightly off when compared with that of the average citizen, but Kirsty’s backstory is harrowing, and she can be forgiven the odd offence. Her proclivity to inflict grievous bodily harm is restricted to those who have done far, far worse. Kirsty does have a softer side which, when it shows, elicits empathy. The writing has humour too, but it’s never cosy.
How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks is a tongue-in-cheek thriller with an unbreakable and unstoppable hard-boiled protagonist taking a rip-roaring ride in a wild and wind-blown tide. If you like tough and gritty this is for you. Expect the unexpected in this adults-only novel and you’ll still be shocked. Enjoy it, I did!
Reviewer: Dot Marshall-Gent