Do you remember the term ASBO? ASBO or Antisocial Behaviour Order is now an outdated term in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (it is still used in Scotland) and has been replaced with different initials: CPNs (Community Protection Notices) and CBOs (Criminal Behaviour Orders) – both are civil injunctions – you can read more about them here. Whatever the initials, do they work when you have a gang of youths congregating outside your home? Andrew Goodman is going to find out in the revenge thriller ASBO by Iain Rob Wright.
Iain Rob Wright is a prolific author; he has written more than 40 books with “Fear On Every Page”. I have previously read a couple of his stories – Escape and The Picture Frame, both brilliant stories although Escape is definitely my favourite – until now.
ASBO is part of the Damienverse series, but it doesn’t matter what order you read them in (although there is a suggested reading order on the author’s website which isn’t necessarily the order the books were published in). “The Damienverse is a series of interconnected books that, while standalone in nature, share characters and events from a wider story arc. The more books in the Damienverse you read, the more of the greater picture you’ll build.”
ASBO is the extremely exciting, thrilling and disturbing story of a man and his family who are targeted and terrorised by a local gang of youths. It was inspired by the real events of gang riots.
Andrew Goodman is only 34. Married, with a teenage daughter, he has never been a victim before. When his wife complains of a gang of youths hanging around outside their house, he doesn’t think it is a problem – they just have nothing to do and are bored, and don’t seem to be causing any trouble. But things rapidly change when he walks past them on his way to the chip shop. The leader of the group, Frankie, takes a dislike to him, and he soon finds himself a target of their sadist games. He has no option but to fight back to protect his family.
Overall, wow! What a story. ASBO will certainly make you antisocial as you will ignore your friends and family as you just won’t be able to put this book down. It is thrilling, disturbing and terrifying, certainly not one for the faint-hearted.
The story is one of gang violence and extreme terror. A story of nature vs nurture – are people born bad, raised wrong or has something happened in their life that triggers emotionally unstable and violent behaviours.
Andrew is a family man with a steady job, a wife and daughter and living a peaceful life. You could say that he was a bit boring, but his life is about to change for the worse when he meets Frankie, an emotionally unstable violent thug who has not long been released from juvenile detention.
I have enjoyed reading ASBO, I read it in one sitting. It has a good plot (there are some holes in the story, but it is so good these can be overlooked). It has some excellent believable characters. With themes of bullying, drug use, violence and torture it may not be to everyone’s taste, but it all adds to the story.
The story starts off simply enough with Andrew enjoying family life and going out for a takeaway and being confronted, bullied and humiliated by a gang of teenagers on the estate (sadly situations like this can be found in all parts of the UK). It then descends into a vendetta of extreme violence, torture and revenge.
The characters are excellent, if not really likeable. The only one I found somewhat likeable was Davie, Frankie’s brother, as he has a good heart despite being mixed up with the crowd. The personalities of the characters change throughout the book as the situations change, in keeping with the story with both Andrew and Frankie both wanting revenge.
I really liked that it becomes clear later in the book why Frankie is hellbent on making Andrew’s life a misery and isn’t just a tale of mindless teenage thugs going around violently assaulting people and ties up the story quite nicely.
ASBO is a disturbing read, it is violent and terrifying but is an excellent engaging and enjoyable story. If you want a story of terror that will horrify you then ASBO is it, it is inspired by true events and sadly could be all too real.
An excellent revenge thriller that will keep you up at night and leaves you questioning do you fight back when being bullied?
RRP: £16.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £1.99 (Kindle)