Author: Kerena Swan
Publication Date: December 13th 2019
Publisher: Kerena Swan
Format: ARC e-copy
Arnold Eastwood is thrilled when social services allocate him a flat all of his own. Independence hasn’t come easily to a young man with Downs Syndrome but now he has the chance to live free from his mum’s nagging, find a girlfriend, watch endless movies and make new friends.
Meanwhile a London drug gang is setting up a supply line in Arnold’s town. They’re looking for someone to deliver drugs for them and somewhere to set up a base of operations.
Soon Arnold and his flat are in the drug gang’s sights. Drawn into the dark underworld of crack cocaine and modern slavery, Arnold soon discovers that friends can in fact be deadly enemies.
The question is: can he break free?
Thank you to Sarah for my spot on the blog tour. All thoughts are my own and unbiased.
How many times did our parents tell us never to talk to strangers? If your parents were anything like mine, it was too many times to count. This is the main theme at play in Who’s There? This is just easier said and done for a character like Arnold Eastwood, a naturally trusting young man with Downs Syndrome. He dreams of having his own independence after years living and relying on his mother. He knows he can do it. He wants to do it. The time has come, he has been offered his first flat. How hard can it be, right?
Just how dangerous can trusting anyone be? The author expertly weaves Arnold’s trusting nature with the worst vestiges of human behaviour. Manipulation, lies and deceit has the reader feeling heart wrenching emotion for Arnold. He doesn’t deserve the treatment he receives. He is a kind-hearted young man that doesn’t have the need to deceive people. What you see is what you get. I only wish that more people were like him. He truly wears his heart on his sleeve. I really enjoyed Arnold’s interaction with his boss and family. A true gentle soul.
Drug running and a young man with Down’s Syndrome…the two are just not compatible. Arnold lives next door to local drug addict, Saskia. She is a troubled soul with immense amounts of baggage. Something happened to her daughter that inevitably triggered her destructive relationship with heroin. As expected Arnold is naïve and has designs on her being his girlfriend. He’s adorably sweet to her but she’s just looking for her next fix. I feel for her, I really do. We meet Chip a runner for a much bigger and deadlier dealer called Poker. Chip is branching out and starting his own drug business under Poker. It doesn’t all go to plan. The waters getting muddier and Arnold is sandwiched in-between with no immediate way out due to his amazing character.
It isn’t straightforward, and everything isn’t as it seems. Arthur’s own family is dripping in flaws. His mother seems outrageously overprotective of him. This is to the detriment of her own physical health. I can understand fully what she thinks and feels as I am also a mother of a child of a rare genetic condition. My son was born with a segment of gene data missing from chromosome 15. This book really struck a chord with me and the author did a stellar job of pinpointing the mannerisms, the speech, the need to love and please and it made my heart warm that the author brought some much-needed awareness.
A horribly accurate telling of how naivety and manipulation come hand in hand. Terrifying and chilling. A slow burn of imminent disaster.
Kerena Swan trained as a Social Worker and worked for Social Services for over 25 years. For the past 14 years she has owned and managed an ‘outstanding’ rated agency for children with disabilities. Following serious illnesses she decided to fulfil her long-held ambition of writing a book and getting it published. ‘Dying to See You’, published by Bloodhound Books, was her debut novel.
After many years of writing professionally in the course of her work, Kerena has discovered the exhilaration and deep joy of writing fiction and can be found at all hours in front of her computer. Her second novel ‘Scared to Breathe’ is now available and her third book, ‘Who’s There?’, will be released on December 13th 2019.
Kerena lives with her family in a small village in Bedfordshire, UK and her books are set in the surrounding areas.
Drawing on her extensive knowledge and experience of the problematic world of social work and social studies, Kerena adds a unique angle to the domestic noir and crime genre.
If you would like to hear more about new releases, read Kerena’s blogs and download a free short-story – the prequel to Dying to See You – then visit kerenaswan.co.uk and join her mailing list.