Morning lovelies. It’s Sunday so I hope you’ve got a lovely restful day ahead of you! Today I’m delighted to be on the blog tour for The Rise of the Chemist by Nathan Parker. This is a brilliant crime/investigation aimed at young adults, and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
Granville is in a mess once more.
The streets are infested with Charge, a deadly synthetic drug concocted by an enigma known as The Chemist.
Tommy finds himself in the midst of scandal yet again, as terrifying danger closes in on him; drugs, deaths and deception.
After hitting a rocky patch with Kirsten and things at home as tricky as ever, Tommy feels as though he is invisible.
But when Detective Brightwell calls upon his help in cracking the case, Tommy is immediately immersed into the Granville underworld, with the key surely lying with infamous crime family, the O’Clearys.
With the threat of Smiler looming, trustworthy people are hard to find. So who can he count on this time to help him muddle through this impossible situation?
The Rise of the Chemist is the second book in the Granville Series, sequel to The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson. It is a young adult fiction book, following Tommy’s difficult battle for justice, in a town where crime rules.
A series of teenage deaths triggered by a deadly synthetic drug, thrusts Tommy into the midst of an undercover operation. The targets? The Chemist, creator of the lethal, designer substance known as Charge, and the O’Clearys, a local crime family with their fingers in all kinds of illicit pies.
With one eye looking over his shoulder for the threat of Smiler (book one), Tommy must decide between what is right and what is easy.
With complications arising with Kirsten, and the relentless drive of Detective Brightwell, he finds himself questioning everybody and everything.
Once injected into the O’Cleary family, Tommy comes face to face with a harsh, brutal reality, which he scrambles to escape from.
But is it too late? Will Tommy find a way out? Will Granville ever be safe from Charge?
Find out in The Rise of the Chemist.
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When Tommy attends a party and the guy he’s talking to offers up some drugs, goes into a fit and later dies, Tommy is left wondering what he can do. But then he bumps in to Detective Brightwell who asks him to get on board with helping to bring down the local crime family (the O’Clearys), who he’s sure is responsible. After the ordeal that he went through in the last book, Tommy is more than reluctant to get himself involved in anything messy again. But when he’s invited to the birthday party of her brother by Darcy O’Cleary by chance, he decides to go and see what he can dig up. And what follows is more than Tommy could imagine….. When his family are also affected by the deadly Charge drug, Tommy realises he has to help. But how does he do that without being a grass? Will his friends and family make it out alive? And will they be able to find and bring down The Chemist who is responsible for making the new drug?
Not only does he have the Charge issue to deal with, but he finds himself looking over his shoulder and is convinced that Smiler (book 1) is around and watching him……..But is he right?
This is a fantastic young adult fiction novel. Easy to read with a brilliant plot, I thoroughly enjoyed this. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t read book 1, there’s enough information in here to help you get by ~ although it really made me want to read it to see what happened!
In terms of characters, I love Tommy! Remembering that he is only 17, he has had a rough upbringing but is an adorable, responsible kid with his head screwed on. Although he finds himself in some sticky situations, he manages to worm himself out with some quick thinking! I felt really sorry for him because he’s under a lot of pressure from Brightwell which is so unfair! I also enjoyed watching his relationship with Kirsten being repaired and moving forwards. The O’Cleary’s are an interesting bunch – and again felt sorry for Tommy that he was getting sucked in when he really didn’t want to! I really liked his brother Derek who is cleaning himself up in this, although he still has issues. And there are some other characters in here who are brilliant, but shocking – and I’m not mentioning any names as I don’t want to give anything away!
Granville is a rough town and it’s interesting to read about how the council cover stuff up, like teenagers dying from a new drug. There are aspects of the book that really resonated with me, having grown up on a council estate myself (although it was nowhere near as bad as this!). The story covers the rougher end of life – people living on the cusp of poverty, a town full of drugs and crime because there isn’t much else on offer for these people. But the story also shows that most people have a choice – you can either choose the path everyone else is following, or try for something else. And this is exactly what Tommy is doing – trying to make something of himself so he doesn’t end up like his Mum or Brother. But he also has to make some tough decisions about what he should and shouldn’t do……
With Tommy being 17 and at college, I feel that lots of young adults will identify with Tommy, Kirsten and the other characters. And even if not, hopefully they will be able to empathise with Tommy’s situation. The plot is brilliant and kept me intrigued – wanting to find out who The Chemist is, seeing how Tommy gets on with the O’Cleary’s and if he’ll come out unscathed, watching his relationship with Kirsten develop and more…….There was also a major twist in this. Definitely one of those ‘WHAT’ moments and I thoroughly enjoyed it!!
If you enjoy a good crime story, police investigation or are just looking for something easy and enjoyable to read that will keep you intrigued, then you should definitely check this out. I’ll most definitely be looking out for the next book in the series, and will be adding book 1 to my (very long!) TBR list! Definitely recommended by me!
about the author
My name is Nathan Parker, a 32-year-old father of one from Blackpool, Lancashire. I’m recently married to my beautiful wife, Nadina, so beautiful in fact, let’s just say it’s a good job I have my sense of humour to rely on. Family has always been central to my universe, but since becoming a dad I feel as though life makes far more sense than it used to. I thoroughly enjoy spending time with Sonny, my son who is 18 months old – watching him develop and learn brings me a joy I never thought was possible. With any luck, one child may become two – or more – as the years go by.
I’m proud of the fact I was born and raised, schooled and now live and work in sunny Blackpool. Despite its perception as a town with challenges – a perception which is accurate on many fronts – in my thirty-two years I have seen and experienced community, resilience, strength and good times in this town.
I am a Youth Worker by trade, graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University with a first-class BA honours degree in Youth Work and Community Learning and Development. For ten plus years I have worked alongside young people experiencing some of life’s toughest challenges and, although now working at a strategic level, I work hard to support and empower the young people of Blackpool and the Fylde Coast to create their own stories, with informed choices, broadening horizons and challenging inequality within the systems young people are bound.
My journey into writing began officially in 2017 when I was tasked with making a creative pledge to myself, to write it down and tell the workshop within which the task was set – which I’ve since learned meant I was 90% more likely to see it through… sneaky devils!
The pledge I set myself was to write a short story. Fast forward 12 months and I self-published my first novel; The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson, The First Book in the Granville Series. A fictional ‘anytown’ but certainly shaped from my knowledge of Blackpool.
The book enabled me to tell a story which was burning inside me; a tale inspired by personal and professional experiences told with realism through a world of fiction. My writing style is to take real life adversity, emotion and grit and weave it into stories filled with twists and turns, relatable characters and places which feel familiar to most.
I would say I’ve always loved to read, which wouldn’t be too far from the truth. I began my childhood as an avid reader, although it wasn’t the classics which hooked me in – ten year old Nathan was more of a Goosebumps fan. And I still read now; with a common, nightly routine of a few chapters before bed. My current read is Michael Connelly’s The Poet.
However, there was a huge void in my teens. A black hole within which books, reading and writing didn’t feature. School, Sports, Friendships, Hormones, whatever it was, I stopped reading and it wasn’t until my dad encouraged me to read again in my early twenties to help address a sleeping problem that I picked up To Kill a Mockingbird and fell in love with books all over again.
Truth is, I believe if the stories I write were available to fifteen-year-old me, I never would have stopped reading. I needed real life, I needed danger and I needed topical issues which explained life to me – adversity, relationships, risk and reward. This is what I strive for in my writing. I have been privileged in many ways in my life, but I have also seen and experienced challenges which I seek to harness and weave into my writing, so that one day a young reader may pick up my book and find connection, comfort or hope.
My debut novel The Disappearance of Timothy Dawson was shortlisted for Lancashire Book of the Year 2019, a feat which I am so very proud of.
The best part? The book prompted young people – young men in particular – to become passionate about reading. Am I the most qualified, technical writer in the world? Certainly not. But I believe my stories are raw, relatable and real and there is a gap in the young adult fiction market, which needs filling.
I’m currently working on the second book in the series and am enjoying working alongside schools, delivering talks and workshops to students looking at motivating the next generation to pick up a pen, or a book and allow their minds to wander.
tour hosted by
Massive thanks to Sarah for inviting me on to the tour, and to Nathan for providing me with a copy of the book in return for an honest review. All views are my own.
Enjoy your day lovely people.