We Go Around In the Night and Are Consumed by Fire
Author: Jules Grant
Publisher: Spinifex Press, Australia
Copyright Year: 2017
This stunning literary debut, voiced by a lesbian gangster Donna and her streetwise daughter Aurora, is steeped in the gang and gun culture of Manchester’s criminal underworld. It is both an unforgettable love story and an unputdownable revenge thriller.
Donna and Carla run the all-female Bronte Close Gang, carving out their own empire in the toughest streets of Manchester. But when Carla is gunned down for seducing the wife of a local gangster, it is left to Donna to keep the gang together, take care of Carla’s ten-year-old daughter, Aurora, and seek retribution for her murder.
A tale of friendship, survival and finding out how far you’d go to avenge and protect those you love, We Go Around in the Night and Are Consumed by Fire is a thrillingly original crime novel that unfolds at breakneck speed – at once furious, tender and heartbreaking.
Reviewed by Christina Lee
This charming, fast-paced, beautifully written novel is the first for Manchester author Jules Grant. It was shortlisted for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award and the Polari First Book Prize, and has been optioned for a television series. And you can see why.
By turns tender, funny, furious and tragic, the story is a classic one of love, loss and revenge, almost operatic in its intensity. The plot unwinds at breakneck speed in the underworld of Manchester drug gangs, seen through the eyes of Donna, leader of the lesbian Bronte Gang, and ten-year-old Aurora, daughter of the love of Donna’s life. Much of the power of the novel comes from the author’s passionate and convincing portrayal of strong women making what they can of life in a hostile world. Let down by their original families, these women pour their energy and their love into each other and into running a tight, clever, illegal business. None of the male gangs has thought of selling Liquid Ecstasy in perfume atomisers, or speed in lipsticks, or covering their activities with a fake cleaning business.
The title is a translation of a Latin palindrome, which apparently sounds better in the original, but does capture the passion and desperation of the lives of the gang members. I won’t give away the plot, but recommend you read it for an exhilarating and – despite the setting – very positive ride with characters you won’t forget.
Jules Grant has wit, panache and style. I can’t wait to see what she does next.