Written by Kimberley Chambers

Review written by Kirstie Long

A fanatical book reader, Kirstie has works hard to fit the ‘evil day job’ of Financial regulation around her passion of writing, promoting writers of all genres and encouraging more people to read books. Kirstie is the News and Events Co-ordinator for Shots.

Harper Collins
RRP: £6.99
Released: 21st June 2012

The Schemer is another East End family saga, in a Martina Cole style, based around Stephanie Crouch, her first love Barry, husband Wayne and her rather eccentric, but loveable, family.


Starting with a cryptic summary of a woman being murdered by her lover, The Schemer then commences to tell the story of Stephanie as a teenager in the eighties having a massive crush on Wayne, who rejects her. Barry, a cheeky Cockney lad and best friend to Wayne, appears and the two fall headlong in love and begin to plan their lives together. Unfortunately, Barry has to leave the UK for a while, leaving Wayne to move in on Stephanie and sparking a hate filled revenge strategy that spirals over twenty years.

The story is captivating and filled with humour as well as the grimness of the hate Barry now feels for Stephanie and his desire for total revenge. He is obsessive with no objectivity in the matter, constantly scheming against everyone. Stephanie starts as a rather weak willed individual desperate to have a better life and although becomes a stronger person, still fails to take control in anything bar a rudimentary way, although that does not detract from her charm.

The twist builds up until the climax explodes; leaving a myriad of implications everyone has to get past. A slight cliff hanger, which adds to the punch and makes you want to read that part when it happens.

I enjoyed the eighties reminiscing, the scenes between Stephanie’s mother and neighbour enjoying the saga playing outside their windows and the overall punch to each character. The Schemer is an easy reading novel full of twists and turns, with well rounded characters that make it an enjoyable read, especially for those who like Martina Cole.

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