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The Crack Magazine


The Prodigal

Nicky Black, self-published, £7.99

Nicky Black, the author of this Toon-based gangster/gangster's wife/old Bill love triangle torrid tale, is actually two people, a concoction that came about when one writer took on another's script for a Newcastle-based crime drama and then novelised it. The Prodigal tells the story of Nicola Kelly, who is married to a proper bad boy wrong 'un and lives in a (depressingly accurately portrayed) shitty sink estate that her husband rules over like some kind of Poundland Don Corleone. Into her orbit spins one Detective Sergeant Lee Jamieson, who has returned from exile after sixteen years to track down the daughter he scandalously sired to a jolly nice girl from Jesmond Vale who he had met at just 16 (and "it wasn't long before he was coming inside her on Tynemouth beach and Louise was made", as the book somewhat bluntly states). When Lee and Nicola meet, it's obviously only going to be a matter of time before they're at it like knives and sending crazy villain Micky Kelly off into a jealousy-fuelled orgy of destruction and uncontrollable violence. It's a classic tale of star-crossed lovers, with added headbutts and high-rise flats.