Sweet Gum

Sweet Gum

3.22 (18 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Eugene Burnside joined the Firm before he left school, running drugs. Clever and ambitious, he's now twenty-eight and going places: he's come to the attention of the Faron Brothers and, as everyone knows, the brothers are the Firm. Promotion couldn't come too soon for Eugene - it means he no longer has to deal with middleman Mal Shifter and his two old aunts. Or those dogs. The lot of them give him the creeps.
But if Eugene's gangland career is going well, things are not so sweet on the domestic front. He still lives at home with his mum, Gladys, and his sister Simone, the star of SweetHearts lap-dancing club. He's devoted to them both but wished he felt the same about Simone's son, Nero. He's not a nice child - 'disturbed' isn't the half of it.
Then a SweetHearts girl goes missing. Evil has come to haunt the alleys and archways of North London - a killer the press have dubbed 'the Meatman' begins his grisly work and Eugene's world is turned on its head...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 416 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 26mm | 276g
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • None
  • 0552773735
  • 9780552773737
  • 1,271,594

Review quote

"Jo-Ann Goodwin's Sweet Gum...combines a gripping contemporary crime story with literary symbolism. Hers is a fresh, sometimes comic and profoundly moral new voice." -- JENNI MURRAY * MAIL ON SUNDAY * "Brilliant, sparkling and unforgiveably nasty" -- DEBORAH ORR "A writer who refuses to glamorise the violence of the underworld...underpinning the tension with a cracking dry wit...Her skill at characterisation is equal to Zadie Smith's...Like a good, old-fashioned storyteller she is also a mistress at pacing, mischievously lacing her novel with red herrings...a compelling, thoughtful read" * SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY * "Terrifyingly intense and disturbing...her utter fearlessness as a writer gives this novel both its power and ultimately its glory" -- SUSANNA MOORE "A modern parable...a nightmare vision...it's bloodcurdling stuff. " * INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY *
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About Jo-Ann Goodwin

Jo-Ann Goodwin grew up in Sheffield and studied English at Hull University. She followed this with an M.Phil on Dickens at York University. She works as a full-time journalist and is particularly known for her investigations into organized crime and miscarriages of justice. Jo-Ann is married and lives in north London. Her fist novel, Danny Boy, was widely acclaimed. Sweet Gum was shortlisted for the 2006 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.
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Review Text

"A modern parable...a nightmare vision...it's bloodcurdling stuff. "
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Back cover copy

Evil haunts the alleys and archways of North London: the Meatman is about to begin his grisly work.

But for now things are looking up for the firm's young fixer Eugene Burnside. The Faron Brothers have earmarked Eugene for bigger and better things - and everyone knows the Farons are 'the Firm'.

On the domestic front, things are not so sweet. Little sister Simone is a star turn at Sweethearts lap-dancing club - not a great career choice in Eugene's view. While she shimmies and grinds nights, mum Gladys is left in charge of Simone's six year-old son. Eugene's worried: he's not a nice child - disturbed isn't the half of it.

Then a Sweethearts girl goes missing. The Meatman's murderous odyssey has begun...

'A modern parable...a nightmare vision...it's bloodcurdling stuff' INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

'Terrifyingly intense and disturbing...her utter fearlessness as a writer gives this novel both its power and ultimately its glory' SUSANNA MOORE

'Oozes gore and throbs with the stench of decay...Goodwin has first-hand knowledge of the underworld. She is also a fine writer' DAILY TELEGRAPH

'Far more profound than your average mortuary slab read... her skill at characterization is equal to Zadie Smith's'SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY
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Rating details

18 ratings
3.22 out of 5 stars
5 11% (2)
4 28% (5)
3 39% (7)
2 17% (3)
1 6% (1)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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