Published 18th August 2020 by Red Dog Press.
Read August 2020.
From the cover of the book:
WHEN IT COMES TO VENGEANCE, AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
Gloria Jones has had enough. She’s sixty-five, approaching retirement, and nearing the end of her tether. If she gets abused in the street by another toerag, someone’s going to swing.
When Gloria collects a gun she saw being thrown into her local park, her decision to turn it in is quickly scuppered after she’s attacked on her way to the police station. Using the gun to make her attackers back off, she accidentally pulls the trigger, and ends up killing them both. In that moment, her life changes forever.
As she struggles to come to terms with what she’s done, Gloria begins to realise there is injustice all around and finds herself transforming from a shy, peaceful woman into a confident and ruthless vigilante, determined to help victims of crime unable to defend themselves. And so begins a three-month campaign, taking revenge against violent criminals up and down the country, helping those who can’t help themselves.
After all, who’s going to question a little old lady just going about her business? Turns out, quite a few people, on both sides of the law, and one in particular seems to know exactly what she’s been up to...
Gloria Jones is nearing retirement and looking forward to taking things easy, but she is fed up with the violent, drug addicted low-lives who seem to ever more prevalent of the streets around her London flat. She has always been a law abiding citizen, but it seems that the police are unable to tackle the problem, and she has to bear daily witness to the misery being caused to ordinary people going about their daily lives.
When Gloria is threatened and assaulted on her own doorstep, she knows she is close to breaking point. Some thing has to be done! And that something turns out to be the actions of Gloria herself when she comes across a discarded gun in a local park. It may happen by accident, but Gloria actually makes makes a rather good, if unlikely, vigilante, drawing on an inner strength and a set of skills that she didn't know she possessed.
Gloria is all set to take the fight right to the scumbags and, boy, does she get good at it. In fact her success gets her the attention of, not only the police, but some very unpleasant characters along the way - but no spoilers now.
I really enjoyed Evan Baldock's portrayal of Gloria as a gun-toting saviour on the streets. She comes across well as a normal grandmother, driven to extraordinary lengths by what she sees going on around her, and it was very refreshing to read about an older woman, with intelligence and skills, for a change - and she is not the only strong female character here either. Bravo, Evan!
Interestingly, this book also asks some very thought provoking questions in the telling, about modern policing; the problem of persistent low-level crime (especially drug related crime); the rise in gun-related violence; and the opinions of the general public in relation to people who find themselves taking the law into their own hands.
There is plenty of suspense, a sprinkling of dark humour, and the ending goes with a suitably big bang. Or is it a bang bang? There is scope here for more of Gloria Jones in the future, and I really hope Evan finds himself wanting to write more about her, because I am certainly up for reading it.
Bang Bang, You're Dead is available to buy now from your favourite book retailer, or direct from Red Dog Press HERE.
For several years Evan helped run the Soho Unit, specialising in combating drug dealing in the West End. During his career he frequently ran test purchase and buy-bust operations against drug dealers, resulting in the seizure of large amounts of drugs, and the successful prosecution of over 200 dealers, many of whom received lengthy prison sentences.
After retiring from the Metropolitan police, Evan opened 'Sweet Expectations' in Rochester, Kent, the UK's first vegetarian sweet shop.
In 2016 he sold the shop business and retired, before taking up writing in January 2019.