Reviewed by: Keith Nixon
Approximate word count: 100-105,000 words
Click on a YES above to go to appropriate page in Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Smashwords store
Andy Knaggs writes magazines for a living. Know Your Place is his first book and he is currently writing a sequel. Knaggs lives and works from a small home office in Hertford, UK next to a busy railway line, so he says it might take a while.
Nick Newman used to be a City trader but now he shines shoes in a busy London train station for a living. He was happy with his lot until Kay Talbot and her husband, Lee enter his life. When Kay employs Nick to carry out an unusual task his world steadily becomes more complicated and when he stumbles upon a nasty conspiracy things get deadly.
This is a good, solid debut from Knaggs. It’s pretty well written with a decent small set of characters that play out their anguished lives during Know Your Place. Talking of place, London, its busy concourse and the relatively hectic pace of life is well drawn, a major strength. Nick’s shoeshine oasis is an interesting contrast. The dialogue is pretty good too.
I hesitate to be critical of it simply because it’s not my type of book. Fundamentally, it’s about relationships – Kay is in an unhappy marriage, whilst Nick is happy with his girlfriend, Justine. But Kay cannot help herself and embarks upon several destructive relationships. There are periods of introspection whilst Kay and Nick examine their respective situations. Again, I’m not saying this is wrong.
The conspiracy is only alluded to and doesn’t seriously come into play until the final chapters. This is particularly well written and creates good tension. The hanging ending is pleasing and leaves plenty of questions for a sequel.
I’d certainly recommend it and, on the evidence of Know Your Place, Knaggs is likely to deliver in the future too.
Some adult language.
A few punctuation issues, easily resolved.
Rating: *** Three Stars