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Hard Change

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Hard Change

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    Available in PDF Format | Hard Change.pdf | English
    Dawn Reeves(Author)
When a girl's body is dumped in a bin, a city is forced to explore the boundaries of private interest and public good. Hard Change is a contemporary town hall thriller set in a Midlands city with an alcohol problem. The girl's discarded body forces a council officer, a policewoman and an NHS trust manager to get out from behind their desks and make choices. Personal or political, public or private, professional or pragmatic, they must make those choices alone - but can they act collectively to do the right thing and prevent another murder?
2.4 (2957)
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Book details

  • PDF | 342 pages
  • Dawn Reeves(Author)
  • Shared Press (12 Dec. 2012)
  • English
  • 9
  • Crime, Thrillers & Mystery
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Review Text

  • By nigel p bird on 17 December 2013

    Hard Change is a very good title for the novel; I'm not sure I'd ever really thought about local politics working at such depths.What is clear here is that the author has a strong grasp on processes that may often be invisible to those living and working outside the world of policy makers. Given the importance of what happens in this world, I suspect it's time I paid a little more attention.It took me a little while to get into the swing of the book. In part, this is due to the 'political thriller' tag it carries. I'm not sure 'thriller' is the right categorisation. To me, it's more of a literary novel.As the plot unfolds and the authorities try to come to terms with a serious alcohol problem, the book reveals the complexities of meetings and human interactions and the role of ambition and passion and how, when all the ingredients are put into the mix, making decisions is far from being a simple process.Dawn Reeves is a fine writer. The prose is clear and clean and flows nicely. Her characters are very well-drawn and the detail of her characterisations suggest that she must be a fine observer.Of all things in the story, I think I particularly enjoyed the humour - it ranges from gentle to dark to observational to cutting and it's very well played.This is a very good debut and I think there will be some great Dawn Reeves books to look forward to in the future; I certainly hope so.

  • By Sue H on 7 June 2013

    A wonderful first book that takes on the difficult challenge of writing a crime novel set within a local authority context in a Middle England city. The setting may be ordinary and mundane but there is nothing ordinary or mundane about the genre or the style. Reeves intelligently interweaves the lives of a number of disparate central characters whose lives are suddenly impacted by the discovery of a body in a council waste bin. She depicts each of her characters with great empathy and warmth and cleverly avoids having the reader identify with one over another: they are all human, inevitably flawed, and each has their individual story to tell. It's a tale in which each character attempts to balance their ownperceived survival needs with the collective needs of the community in which they live; an age-old dilemma of individual 'ego' versus 'the greater good'.The novel significantly increases in pace towards the final denouement, in which the spirit of 'the greater good' unexpectedly triumphs with several unpredictable twists and turns along the way. Whilst the book is described as a 'political thriller', there is nothing didactic in Reeves' tone, and the reader is left to draw their own conclusions. A very modern novel, encapsulating timeless themes - a real accomplishment for an original upcoming novelist!

  • By Simon Hallion on 5 June 2013

    I found Hard Change to be both absorbing and a really easy read. As I quickly got into the characters, their relationships and the different themes running through the story I found it really difficult to put down.Initially, I particularly enjoyed the roundedness of the characters: their dilemmas, flaws, warmth and frustrations are all developed with compassion and wit, providing compelling human drama set within the context of `Austerity Britain'. Moreover, the final third of the book especially kicks in as the web of connections combine to provide a nail biting finale!Hard Change felt more ambitious than the usual run-of-the mill `cops & killer' type thriller. The plot cleverly embraces not just an individual crime, but also its wider impact on individuals (apparently) unconnected to the major events and the political fallout of their actions. In this way I think it would appeal to people who like recent TV series like Borgen and The KillingFor me, Hard Change tells a tough and compelling story with warmth, insight and ... hope. Well worth a punt!

  • By Sarah Dale on 15 February 2013

    Hard Change demonstrates the author's deep understanding of the complexity of the issues facing just about every town and city centre - alcohol, drugs, crime, and the financial drivers behind local decisions. Change is - well - hard, and in the twists and turns told from several different key points of view, these challenges come alive in a very human way. A great read.

  • By jaymanc on 9 June 2013

    This is an intriguing first novel and illustrates perfectly the cold heart of the business model in public services. The author gives a real time view of a series of events, which is insightful and thought provoking. I was particularly impressed with the strong characters within the novel. The Davina character is very dark and handled well I thought. The strong female characters throughout are well defined and believable. These are dark days for public services and it was reassuring to hear a strong dissenting voice shedding light on the murky goings on. An author to watch.

  • By Smars on 22 June 2013

    I really enjoyed this book with its thoughtful and well observed commentary of work and life in the public and private sectors. Very true to life and the authors experience and values shine through. I though it was a slow start, building up the picture through careful observation, and becomes a real page turner in the final third. Very clever twists at the end. It is a sharp reminder of what the pursuit of profit and growth can do for society if we are not all vigilant and gives a good reality check. Everyone who is interested in a better society should read it.

  • By Dawn Stephens-Joseph on 4 July 2013

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The build-up was slow, somewhat careful but once you got to the middle, the story really came to life. A refreshing book, the chapters were just the right length. I really engaged with the characters and at times it was pretty real. I loved the end and how all the characters and plots tied together. For me, the overall story brought this statement to mind "with power comes responsibility". A fantastic read - buy it now!

  • By Claire D on 5 June 2013

    I thought this was a brilliantly written book that shone a light on the workings of local government and unblinkingly dealt with some of the tough social issues inherent in our towns today. The clever plot and very real voices of the protagonists kept the story alive throughout and made for a compelling read. Well done - a very important book!

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