A potential problem with 'slice-of-life' fiction, set in urban decay and social deprivation, is that it features a rather predictable list of nasty events and stereotypical characters, not least around the issues of race and drugs. This novel avoids such a trap by immersing the reader in the minds of the three first-person characters in their desperate search to escape from home circumstances. A powerful book of vivid convincing voices.
I'm about to try and stop her, but I feel too pissed and instead just stand there, rooted to the spot, as she empties the bottle of vodka over the body. She's in hysterics, jumping round and shrieking, and my head's now thumping, like someone's proper smacking me over and over again in the side of the face and won't fucking stop. I try to focus on the body, come to my senses, but Brooker and Digger just keep egging her on, goading her to set it on fire.