Gimme Shelter – Reviews and Reactions

rob_gittins2Andrew Taylor, Winner of the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger has written:

‘Visceral, strongly visual and beautifully structured . . . powerful, quirky characters and a great sense of place.’

Crime Review contributed a great review:

‘Impressive, hard-hitting debut . . well-plotted and superbly written with a sharply-realised cast I’d very much like to see more of, even though I did have to read the book from behind the sofa, peering through my fingers and hoping that someone would keep me safe from the bogeymen populating its pages.’

The wonderful Crime Fiction Lover, also penned an excellent review:

‘As the plot develops two apparently different stories emerge and, by half-way through, the two strands seem as unconnected as ever . . then Gittins brings about an amazing tour de force in his plotting and everything clicks into place. I actually had to read the revelatory paragraph twice to make sure I hadn’t got it wrong . . a definite contender for my book of the year.’

Buzz magazine, wrote:

‘ . . a thrilling, bloodthirsty novel. It’s hard to believe it’s Gittins’s first.’

Cambria magazine, also offered a very positive review:

‘Gimme Shelter is a powerful and dynamic piece of writing. Uncomfortable, taut, brutal, it will shock you out of complacency and hold you gripped right to the end. As a debut novel it is a wonderful piece of writing.’ 

The Welsh Books Council reviewed Gimme Shelter too:

‘. . fast action, convincing dialogue and intricate, long-range plotting . . meticulously plotted throughout. Every twist ratches up the sense of danger and disorientation . . it should also come with an X rating and a warning that it is not for those of a nervous disposition!’

And other reviews include:

‘No one could guess that Gimme Shelter is Rob Gittins’s first novel because his hand is so sure in developing characters as complex as they are convincing, in managing a plot chock full of surprising twists and in maintaining a tension that keeps the reader totally absorbed . . . Gittins’s gritty story introduces the reader to a dangerous and troubled part of society, and his murky, damaged and at times violent characters are as vividly (and disturbingly) portrayed as those of Elmore Leonard.’

Susanna Gregory

‘Rob Gittins is a highly acclaimed dramatist whose work has been enjoyed by millions in TV and radio dramas. In ‘Gimme Shelter’, his first novel, he has advanced his skills in a compelling story of modern times. He takes us into the violent and murky criminal world of witness protection where boundaries between good and and evil are ill-defined. ‘Gimme Shelter’ is an extraordinary achievement.’

Nicholas Rhea

‘An unflinching debut . . as vicious and full of twists as a tiger in a trap.’

Russell James

‘What a brilliant book . . . crying out to be a major bestseller and a major film . . . mesmerisingly written. A major new crime writer has given us the definitive interpretation of ‘page turnability’ and created characters that step effortlessly off the page and into the memory. This is a book that will haunt the reader long after the covers are closed. Superb!’

Katherine John

‘TV writer Rob Gittins’s ultra-violent crime debut hits hard from the start.’

Iain McDowall

‘Visceral realism doesn’t come much better than in this taut, superbly plotted debut, where no-one in its snake pit of lies and betrayals is as they seem. Brilliant.’

Sally Spedding

‘An unflinching spotlight on the lesser-known corners of police work . . noir at its most shocking.’

Rebecca Tope

‘The slowly emerging understanding of the psychological effects of the protection process, especially on a child, is brilliantly done. The final twists at the end are stunningly good. The comparison with The Killing  is – for once – spot on.’

Welsh Books Council

‘. . . full of intrigue and narrative twists . . . powerfully written and uncompromising in its style, the author makes use of various games, such as squash and chess, as a metaphorical sub-plot that registers the various psychological manoeuvres of the characters as they negotiate a world in which no-one is as they seem – inadequate police, psychopaths – inadequate police who are psychopaths – sexual deviants and torture junkies.’

Dufour Editions

‘Gimme Shelter is an uncompromisingly traumatic book whose body count and tension incline steeply from the outset. It pretty much maintains this trajectory throughout.

Throughout, Gittins, confounds and surprises with tectonic shifts of allegiances and motivations in both the cloying corruptions and rivalries within the police service and among the criminal characters . . . corrosive psychological consequences which match those in the best Nicci French thrillers. 

This disturbing and exhilarating novel should quickly establish its author as a fiction writer of universal note.’

Morning Star

‘Terrifying and suspenseful, non-stop jeopardy. Just be glad you’re only reading it and not in it.’

Tony Garnett