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Life of Crime

by Kimberley Chambers

Relationship Stories Crime and Mystery Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Family Drama Thriller and Suspense eBooks of the Month

LoveReading Expert Review of Life of Crime

January 2018 Book of the Month 

A thoroughly entertaining, raw, and fast-paced read, stuffed full of tension and drama. Jason Rampling didn’t have the best start in life, he is determined that with his charm, intelligence and good looks, he can create a better life, even if that means living a life of crime. The story starts in 1994 and swaggers through the years with style, finishing in 2010 with an almighty wallop. Kimberley Chambers creates a storyline to rival a soap, with punchy characters and a vibrant setting. I almost felt as though I was watching the television as the colourful story came to life. Life of Crime is easy to read, yet feels weighty, there is real bite here, which creates an entirely captivating tale.

Liz Robinson

Life of Crime Synopsis

Some people are made for a life of crime.

Dragged up on a council estate, Jason Rampling was determined to change his lot. Jason's a chancer, shameless with his good looks and his gift for earning a few quid. Life is easy when the money rolls in.

Some people are ruined by it Melissa thought she'd struck gold marrying Jason. Being on his arm meant she was finally a someone. But there's no glamour in waiting for your husband to come home, or waiting for a knock on the door.

Melissa made her bed the day she made her vows - will she lie in it without a fight? Some would kill for it After a stretch inside Jason wants to pull off just one last job, the biggest of all, it could solve all of their problems. But this is a game that could cost them everything . .

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008144760
Publication date: 20th August 2018
Author: Kimberley Chambers
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 576 pages
Primary Genre Crime and Mystery
Other Genres:
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What To Read After Life of Crime

The Bird Tribunal
Where the Crawdads Sing
A Song of Isolation
The Big Chill

Life of Crime Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

What an amazing, gripping story. Such a brilliant author. Look forward to more of her work.

This book is based on two people, Jason and Melissa. They are an item. Jason is a bad boy and Melissa is always waiting for the knock on the door saying somethings happened. After spending time in prison Jason decides to do one more “job” but this job could cost him everything.....

Sophia Ufton

She is the queen of crime fiction. End of. She simply owns the genre and has captivated it so well. It's no doubt that her books just get better and better and ‘Life of Crime’ is probably her best yet.

I feel like there isn't much to be said about Kimberly Chambers that hasn't already been said. She is the queen of crime fiction. End of. She simply owns the genre and has captivated it so well. It's no doubt that her books just get better and better and ‘Life of Crime’ is probably her best yet.

Humaira Kauser

Written with pace and vitality, this is a story that keeps one's interest until the end and finishes in a totally unexpected way. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and have no problem in recommending "Life of Crime" without any reservations.

Jason and Melissa live "on the edge!" The edge of London and Essex; the edge of society and the edge of success. Meeting in a Mel at a street market, Jason sees her as a way out of his past; but he cannot fully walk away from his roots in a "sink estate". Through their stormy relationship, Mel and Jason try hard to make sense of all that happens to them. Petty theft, drug dealing and violence follow them throughout their life, alongside a stormy relationship, until Jason commits a crime that could help them out of their dilemmas. Spending time in prison, he plans for himself and Mel a life that will place them in surroundings that are far removed from "the edge!"  In a crowded "market place" of crime fiction, Ms Chambers needs a unique selling point, in "Life of Crime", she shows a keen understanding of people who are on the edge", without any attempt to patronise them, or her readers, in any way.

Peter Baiden

A gripping and gritty story.

This book was something different from Kimberley. And something of the same. The clue is in the title.

Who chooses a life of crime? Or who is dragged into it, by birth or making the wrong choices in life…

For those of you have read previous books, namely her series books this will be a change. A standalone novel. It has all the ingredients of her previous books, gangsters and brassy women. Delinquent children all living in a world of their own.

Jason Rampling is such a man. A Del Boy character who ducks and dives and fate takes a hand when he meets Melissa and her friend Tracey and that starts Jason of on his life of crime. With all the lies, deceit and two timing that lifestyle entails.

I must say I really enjoyed Kimberley's style of writing. A fast paced story that has the reader gripped rapidly turning the pages, full of OMG, on the edge of your seat and why did you do that/say that moments.

Thanks to Harper Collins, Kimberley Chambers and Lovereading for the ARC. 

Alfred Nobile

I persevered to get through this book hoping it would improve – found it too rambling and chaotic in plot delivery. Good if you like to read rather than watch Soaps.

Jason knows he can do better and achieve his dream of escaping with his 5 year old daughter, his drunken mum, siblings from different fathers and the dead end world of life living on a renowned council estate.

The problem is the only way he knows how is by applying the ‘skills’ acquired in the world around him, a world which is nothing but criminal.  In his 20s this amounts to reselling items acquired from dodgy sources.  It also sees him working to identify the perfect mother for his Mum – ideally one who has a home of her own and wealth.  He targets Melissa, daughter of a wealthy business man but whose wealth has been achieved through somewhat dubious means.  Whilst Melissa still lives at her childhood home, like Jason, she too is a single parent who is living with the result of a teenage relationship in the form of her son, much to the anger of her traditional parents.

And so as each page turns we see the lives of Jason, Melissa and those around them – parents, siblings, friends and criminals – unfold under a cloud of constant mayhem, risks, regrets and anger.

‘Life of Crime’ would make a good soap but, I personally think soaps are best kept for TV and not on the shelves of Lovereading for download or ordering.

Phylippa Smithson

An interesting premise with plenty of twists and turns in the plot to keep you going to the end. And what an end, not one but two totally unexpected, shocking twists.

We follow Jason and Melissa from their first meeting at a market stall in Dagenham through their tumultuous marriage as Jason ducks and dives and Melissa wallows in becoming a housewife. There’s a very eclectic supporting cast of friends and enemies and horrendous families. Certainly plenty of action.

Having said that it was a bit slow to get into and too many mixed metaphors and descriptive verbs for my liking.

“Melissa urged” “Jason warned” “Melissa ordered” “Melissa hissed” “Melissa shrieked” and that on just one page.

I can actually see this as a very good visual production. The script is practically written!

Gill Williams

Kimberley Chambers Press Reviews

Praise for Kimberley Chambers:

`A gritty tale with a shocking twist . . . will have you on the edge of your seat from cover to cover  OK  

`This beautifully crafted, sharp, well-paced novel will keep you hooked until the very end. An outstanding tale of betrayal, violence and love. Buy it. Read it. You'll love it. I did'   Amanda Prowse   

`[Kimberley Chambers is] the queen of the gritty, low-life tale . . .a fast-paced, thrill-a-minute ride that takes you on all sorts of twists and turns'   Bella 

`Easily as good as Martina Cole'   News of the World  

`Brilliantly delivers a story of violence, treachery and family ties... Easy to read and hard to put down'   News of the World  

`[a] fast-paced tale with gritty authenticityThe Guardian

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008144739
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Format: Hardback

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About Kimberley Chambers

Kimberley Chambers lives in Romford and has been, at various times, a disc jockey and a street trader. She is now a full-time writer.   Author photo © Eammon McCabe

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