The Ties That Bind is set in Brighton, and has two main plot strands, both of which involve Luke, a young true crime writer.
Shortly after Luke's arrival in Brighton, he has a chance encounter with Michael Duffy, whose mother Kathleen has recently died. Kathleen's house was owned by Joss Grand, gangster turned landlord and philanthropist. Joss Grand was linked to the death of another gangster in 1968, however there was insufficient evidence for him to be arrested. The sole witness to the crime was a young woman in a red coat, who has never been traced. Running parallel to this strand, is the stalking and harassment of Luke by his former lover Jem, who follows him to Brighton from Leeds.
I found the plot fairly interesting, and was especially interested in the gangster strand. Erin evokes well Brighton in the 1960's, which is explored through the character of Sandy Quick, former journalist and archivist. However I found that the majority of the characters were one-dimensional and interchangeable.
The book to be enjoyable and entertaining, although not overly demanding read. Erin's style is pacy and readable, and makes you want to find out what's going on. I am keen to seek out Erin's earlier books.
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