Another East End hit for Kimberley

THE hits just keep coming for writer Kimberley Chambers. And her fifth work of fiction is another East End cracker!

The Traitor holds the attention from start to finish, continuing from where her powerful fourth novel, The Fued, ended.

The Mitchell and the O’Hara families have hated each other for generations. In The Feud that exploded with the killing of Eddie Mitchell’s wife and his adored daughter Frankie falling in love with Jed O’Hara.

The Traitor begins with Eddie in prison awaiting trial for murder and Frankie pregnant and forced to live with Jed in a trailer.

She is soon bullied and overwhelmed by Jed’s mother, who is intent on taking over the baby and Frankie’s life. It’s easy to lump Kimberley’s work with that of Martina Cole. And despite her rapid output in such a short time, the East London former DJ, street trader and cabbie is still a young author.

But she brings more much to the world of fiction than that. Yes, the world she paints can be crude and shocking, but we all know the places she talks of in East Ham, Plaistow, Canning Town, Stratford, Upney, Rush Green, Romford and Essex.

They ring true and also she deals with the bonds that families accept and bring to the table and illustrates wonderfully the mannerisms of “our manor.”

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There is also something you don’t see too much of in such shocking stories…humour.

A lot of it is black, but all of it is true, from the overbearing relatives and their ways of talking –being proud of their gay nephew “coming out” – and the pigeon-keeping uncle.

Jed is not the man he pretends to be, is violent, dangerous and drives Frankie to the brink, forcing her to plan the ultimate revenge.

He is a real traitor, and there are quite a few of them in this book. For the fifth time, we see local life on the printed page in all its graphic detail.

Three quarters of the way into this book, you find yourself sympathising with and on the side of Eddie. That takes some doing.

You find yourself loving other characters you thought you had no time for. Excellent.

There’s evil, betrayal and plenty of scope to spot the places in Newham, Barking and Romford we have all frequented.

The book also tackles, subtly, the way that generations from various parts of Newham have aspired to move a few miles to Romford and Essex once their circumstances improve.

It is so much more that a crime and sex novel. It deals with traditional and Travelling communities and Kimberley is also not afraid to tackle the issues of prison life and all it brings...treachery, violence and family ties.

When I met Kimberley she said she was proud of her latest work and all those who helped her create it. She has every right to be. It is another marvellous effort, dedicated to the memory of Alf Roberts, a true gent and legend.

The Traitor is published by Preface Publishing, �12.99. See and