Tuesday 7 February 2023

How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks gets the review treatment over at the fantastic Mystery People

 Kirsty Gets Her Kicks gets the review treatment over at the fantastic Mystery People. 

Here's what Dot Marshall-Gent had to say - 

‘How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks’ by Jennifer Lee Thomson

Published by Shotgun Honey,
13 June 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-6439-6005-0

'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

Note - review is copyright (c) of Mystery People.

click on cover to find out more:)

What's it about then?

A tale of skullduggery that plays out on the mean streets of Glasgow…

One-legged barmaid Kirsty is in a shit-load of trouble after she kills one of gangster Jimmy McPhee’s enforcers with a stiletto heel to the head after he gets a bit too handsie.

Now she’s on the run from the gang boss who loves to torture his victims before he kills them, with a safe-load of cash she stole from him and a hot gun. And she has company—a choirboy barman Jamie who just happens to be the only witness.

She needs to survive long enough to spend the cash.

How difficult can it be to catch a “daft wee lassie with one leg?” Glasgow hardman Jimmy McPhee is about to find out. Kirsty’s made a laughing stock out of him and he doesn’t like that one wee bit.

Bring together a one-legged barmaid who’s legged it with a safe load of dirty cash, a spurned gangster’s wife who wants a walking womb for her mail order sperm, a giant birthday cake and a mad chase to the end, and you’ve got 
How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks: one freaking minute at a time.


“A high-kicking, double-barrelled, blast of grindhouse pulp.” —Paul D. Brazill, author of 
Last Year’s Man

How Kirsty Gets Her Kicks hits the ground running and does not let up for a single breathless second. I tore through this in one sitting, and it’s a hell of a ride filled with colourful characters and casual violence—everything I look for in crime fiction—not to mention a lead character that takes everything thrown at her and just keeps on coming. This is a great story, and Jennifer Lee Thomson is a great story-teller.” —Paul Heatley, author of FatboyGuillotine, and the Eye for an Eye series


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