GF Newman - Crime and Punishment (3 stars)

GF Newman - Crime and Punishment



This London gangster novel doesn’t aspire to the lofty literary allusions of its Russian namesake. Eschewing Dostoevsky’s musings on the moral dilemma of murder, crime writer and TV producer Gordon Newman (Law and Order, Judge John Deed) goes straight for the jugular with a sex and violence-fuelled four-generation history of a dodgy East End family that spans the early 1950s to the late 1970s. And he spices up the lives of the Bradens – boxer Jack, sister Cath, her hero-worshipping son Brian – with colourful real-life criminals including hard man-turned-actor John Bindon and the Kray twins.

It might be lowbrow stuff, but it’s certainly a page-turner and Newman possesses both a solid feel for time and place and the ‘nouse’ to tie the Bradens’ trials and tribulations into postwar British history, from Clement Attlee’s supposed new age of prosperity to the beginning of Margaret Thatcher’s reign of terror. Cushty.

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