Book Review: Kimberley Chambers – The Victim (Mitchells & O’Haras book 3)

The first three books I’ve read from Kimberley Chambers are the Mitchells and O’Haras trilogy; ‘The Victim’ is the thrilling conclusion. It is certainly a worthy finish to the saga, and the feud which lasted for over thirty years.

It should be warned that this review does contain spoilers. The order of the series is as follows:
1. The Feud
2. The Traitor
3. The Victim

‘The Victim’ opens up a few weeks after the conclusion of ‘The Traitor’. Frankie has had herself placed in the hospital unit of Holloway Prison, awaiting trial for attempted murder. Eddie is working to get her out, however this was complicated by Ronny and Paulie’s accidental killing of Jed’s son Luke at the end of book 2.

As thrilling and complex as the previous two instalments, this is a very fitting conclusion. The ending itself is exceptionally interesting: the fact that it turned out to be Joey to finish Jed and Jimmy was a big surprise twist. The trilogy comes full circle in a way: Joey is the same age as Eddie at the beginning of ‘The Feud’; and he finally gains acceptance from his father. Their relationship is extremely interesting: after originally being opposed to his son’s homosexuality, in ‘The Traitor’ they became more united, and then, especially in the eight year time jump near the end, Joey began to show character traits similar to Eddie. This surprised everyone involved, especially Joey – it makes sense, but god, what good character development.

Speaking of that, Eddie’s progression from villain in book 1 to antihero in book 3 is excellent growth. You can tell that he’s still haunted by the death of his wife Jessica; and even though he’s now got Gina and baby Brett, you are truly happy for him by the end.

I like the use of minor characters. Stuart, Eddie’s old flatmate in prison, becomes a loyal member and it is assumed at the end that him and Frankie become a couple. Frankie also makes a friend in Babs, whom she meets in Holloway, and she resolves to sort things out with Katie and Kerry too. Although her children, Georgie and Harry, are both wild upon their return home, I’m happy that she’s been left in a happier place after everything that she’s been through.

The introduction of Terry Baldwin as a more important character was an interesting added element. Sally’s father had appeared in book 2, wanting to beat up Jed for getting his daughter pregnant and breaking her heart. After Luke’s death, he grows distant from Sally, and Terry becomes concerned. When she commits suicide at Christmas following a miscarriage, he becomes hellbent on revenge for her death; and the interesting alliance between him and the Mitchells that ensues adds a new dimension.

The only part of the book I struggled through was the Christmas scenes in 1993. It felt like a classic Eastenders Christmas, and I enjoyed the soap-style inclusion of Christmas drama, which was a common theme through the trilogy. However, these sections were misery after more misery. I didn’t mind it in the end, as it set up the second half of the book really well, however. There were lighter moments too, albeit there wasn’t quite as many as before: Stanley realising that life with Pat the Pigeon was not all it was cracked up to be, before moving back with Joyce was very entertaining.

I respected the style of the ending greatly too. It finished with action – the final showdown – and the exits of the minor characters was part of the suspense which built up to the finale. I’m happy it finished with three, as I’m not sure how it could have spun any longer. The only character I will miss is Joey 😦 but I’ll get over it very soon. Apparently, ‘Backstabber’ features the Mitchells in some way too, so I might get another chance to see him 🙂

All in all, an excellent trilogy, and one which has made me join Kimberley Chambers’ loyal fanbase. If you enjoy crime with plot twists and deep characterisation, this is a series for you. I can’t wait to read more 🙂

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Kimberley Chambers – The Victim (Mitchells & O’Haras book 3)

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