By David Whittet
Alicia resents being born into a notorious New Zealand gang leader’s family where she and her mother live in constant fear of her father who regularly physically and mentally abuses them. Especially unnerving for her is having to witness savage rituals performed on young boys who are ceremoniously initiated into the gang by having their faces brutally tattooed with the Godzone Gorillas gang symbol. Alicia’s father attempts to groom her for a destined subservient role with a yet-to-be-determined gangster husband, but her mother thinks she’s worth more than that.
Mickey is Alicia’s first cousin and is a critical but often confusing ally in her life. He is the son of Alicia’s father’s twin brother, a man for whom her father has deep-seeded hatred. Alicia and Mickey are drawn to each other at a young age and commiserate over the harrowing lives they have with their abusive fathers. They are warned to stay away from each other but manage to periodically rendezvous at the nearby Roaring Creek Falls where they often talk about leaving the gang. Alicia sees two sides of Mickey who is torn between being loyal to his gang family and wanting to leave this life for one that is more righteous and less dangerous. When Alicia’s father announces her upcoming arranged marriage to Mickey, she is initially thrilled, but this feeling comes crashing down when she discovers Mickey wants nothing to do with her.
An interesting assortment of characters in David Whittet’s GANG GIRL—deftly painted, multilayered, and unique—are certain to keep readers invested in the story as the plot unfolds. One particularly intriguing character is Katerina, an eccentric fortune teller whose predictions are usually on point and whose wisdom often proves to be invaluable. Whittet skillfully uses Katerina’s insight into the past, present, and future to enhance certain aspects of the story line.
GANG GIRL is a well written and memorable tale filled with enough drama, conflict, and intrigue to keep readers fully engaged. Intense pacing and clever plot twists and turns work collectively to unravel a complex story that is woven together in a coherent manner with just the right balance of action, description, dialogue and exposition to make this book an extraordinary read.
~Florence Osmund for IndieReader
By David Whittet
David Whittet’s GANG GIRL is Romeo and Juliet meets West Side Story set in rural New Zealand. No matter the location, gangs are universal; here, two cousins, Alicia and Mickey, born into the life, love and fail and love again. Highly descriptive blood and gore accompanies the story; in its own way, this novel (preceded by a film) and penned by a rural Down Under doctor, seems to ring true in its portrayal of the rough, tough, and Maori traditions.