The Numbers Game takes place in and around the fictitious Blade’s Edge estate in Yorkshire where the main characters, Malachite Jones and Jackie Singh Khattar, grew up. We get a warts and all portrait of life in one of the roughest council estates in the area, but tempered with nostalgia and affection. Mal is tasked with finding the £8m winning lottery ticket that disappeared after the death of Larry Stanbeck, a member of the most powerful criminal family in the district.
Everywhere Mal turns someone is threatening him with violence as he tries his best to find the ticket. It’s a good job Jackie has got his back. The relationship between Mal and Jackie is at the heart of The Numbers Game. It also features a large cast of interesting supporting characters that are well drawn and easily differentiated. The story is fast paced as the action takes place over the course of just a week. I understand that the author usually writes fantasy novels and this is his first foray into crime fiction. I really enjoyed this introduction to Mal and Jackie, with its dark humour and vivid sense of place, and look forward to reading the next book in the series, Incy Wincy.
Thanks to Wavesback and NetGalley for a digital copy to review.