The best book I will read this year. I first discovered Kimberley Chambers last year when I read [b:The Feud|7748741|The Feud (Mitchell's & O'Hara's #1)|Kimberley Chambers|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320515193s/7748741.jpg|10583167], the first in a trilogy. I then read the following two books over the course of a week finishing the last book at 6 in the morning as I couldn't go to sleep until I had reached the end. I have read her other books and I really enjoyed them however the trilogy was just fantastic. The Schemer was the next book Kimberley wrote after completing the trilogy and after the move to a new publisher and whilst that book was fantastic I thought the trilogy was still her best work. Then last week I was introduced to the Butlers, and that all changed. I could easily have read this book in one sitting however I have dragged it out over the last week and I have to say I think that made me enjoy it more because it's like when you watch a TV show which ends on a cliffhanger, if you watch all the episodes at once there's none of the excitement of waiting for the next one.
The families created in the Mitchell and O'Hara trilogy were fantastic however the Butlers were something else. Before the release of the book Kimberley's publisher created videos and teasers which were then posted on her Facebook fan page, this was actually such a great idea and really made fans want the book even more. It also meant that we felt like we knew the characters before starting the book. Kimberley has created such a fantastic cast of characters here all of whom felt incredibly realistic and believable. Queenie and Vivian were just amazing, two typical East End women, hard as nails and not a pair you would want to mess with. Vinny and Roy are the two eldest brothers running a club and dabbling in crime. Vinny was an absolutely evil character and the best character in the book. He is such a complex character who I really enjoyed reading about. Just when you think he can't get any worse something else happens in the book leaving you gobsmacked. Even though the book had so many characters they were all really easy to follow unlike with some books where you can't keep track of all the characters. However it was Donald I hated the most, no actually it was his son Christopher. An absolutely spineless moron.
Kimberley really captured the setting as well and the whole thing felt incredibly realistic. The pubs, the locations, Whitechapel, the mentions of music etc you really felt as if you were inside the story with the characters. Kimberley's books also have lots of humour in them and there were plenty of funny moments in this book. She definitely has a way with words and that really helped bring the characters to life.
The book read like a TV show or a movie and I didn't want it to end. I found myself nearing the end of the book and dreading it as I have read a few chapters each day trying to prolong my enjoyment of reading the book and I am devastated at having to wait till January 2014 to continue the story! Kimberley definitely knows how to leave readers wanting more with the endings to her books! And this one was no different. I can't wait to read about the Butlers again and for the inevitable time jump where we will be introduced to all the children that were born or conceived in this book. I honestly didn't think the Mitchell and O'Hara trilogy could be beaten but it has, and by miles. Of all the gangland novels out there by the likes of Martina, Jessie Keane etc this is one of, if not the best of the lot. Kimberley just keeps getting better with each book she writes, and she just so happens to be a lovely lady too. I bought a copy of the book for someone I knew who loves Martina as I constantly tell them to read Kimberley's books but they never get round to it. Well they read The Trap and can't wait to read the rest of Kimberley's books. Kimberley deserves to be top of the bestsellers list as this book is miles ahead in quality than some of the crap at the top of these charts. Roll on 2014 is all I can say... I just wish I lived closer so I could get my book signed, a trip to Romford in 2014 methinks.