Book Review: Loose Cannon, by Jack Steele

Publication date:

26th January 2016 (Kindle) and 27th July 2016 (Paperback)

Loose Cannon - My Review

Jack Steele_V2Two rival mafia families have been keeping peaceful terms on their home turf in the East End – up ‘til now, that is. Friction is mounting as one family pokes another with a very pointy stick until they’re at each other’s throats and threatening to break the mutual respect that has been built over time.

Someone will revel in sharpening said stick at any opportunity and this is where the main tension lies as you’re not quite sure who could be responsible and why. Yep, it’s all gets exceedingly ‘Godfatherish’ as that certain someone and their sinister deeds take full advantage of the situation.

There’s also an undercurrent to the story that runs alongside the main wave of criminal activity that concerns Detective Joe Stone’s girlfriend. The budding penguinologist is currently missing without trace. Joe briefly reminisces about their past and often wonders where she could be while he tackles the crime underworld as best as he can and tries not to make matters worse with tit-for-tat revenge looming on the horizon.

I particularly liked the ‘bromance’ between Joe and his colleague Carl, who was forever on call to provide a reliable ‘taxi’ service to our reluctant driver, Joe, and a shoulder to lean on when required which was a two way street for the both of them and their assorted domestic troubles.

Overall I found Loose Cannon to be a relatively quick and uncomplicated read. It was an intriguing story with plenty of cloak and dagger going on, but I did find Joe Stone’s delayed reactions to highly pressing matters a little concerning. For instance, one time he was casually discussing a mutual neighbour with the doorman of his building and how they had retrieved a Pop Tart from a toaster with a fork and shorted the electric, then the moment he’d finished Joe went back in his rented penthouse to hit the speed dial on his mobile to tell his fellow investigator that the Italians were about to “go vigilante on them!”.  Please don’t get me wrong, I really liked this ‘Norman the doorman’ character and his little anecdotes yet I couldn’t quite accept how a man of Stone’s calibre could enjoy a chinwag when hellish street terror threatened to break out at any moment.

I will say this though, Loose Cannon is a story that hits the pages running and barely pauses for breath. So if you like books with an organised crime feel that ‘get on with it’ then this would greatly appeal to you.

Rating:  3/5

(I received a digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an unbiased review, with my sincere thanks. It’s always a blessing to discover new authors and their unique writing styles and for that I am forever grateful.)

Loose Cannon - Book Summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Detective Joe Stone has worked hard to reduce crime in and around London’s East End. The London Mafia had been instrumental in the operation; but is now being targeted by a serial killer. Stone is in a race against time to find and stop the psychopath before a gangland civil war breaks out.


Loose Cannon - Author Profile(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Jack was born in Hackney, London and grew up on the Bannister House Estate. He enjoyed English at school with his English teacher, Bernard Phillips, always encouraging him to enjoy reading. At 16, he left school and started a 4 year printing apprenticeship. ‘To say there were a few dodgy characters that I worked/mixed with would be an understatement. They included petty criminals, football hooligans and gangsters.’ Obviously great characters for his novel!

As Jack grew older, his love for the Crime Fiction genre became more apparent. As the years rolled by he became more discerning. ‘The Crime Fiction books I was reading were either too descriptive with little action, or too many characters that confused me.’ He decided to write a crime novel that appealed to his own personal taste. He spent five years researching books, magazines, documentaries, movies and internet articles on various subjects. He concentrated on reading fiction/non-fiction on the subjects of Organised Crime, the Mafia, Vice, Psychopaths and Policing. Jack completed a creative writing course and attended workshops run by the Nottingham Writers Studio.

In 2016 Jack published his first Crime Fiction novel ‘Loose Cannon’ with great reviews. ‘A lot of my characters are based on old colleagues and acquaintances. My readers have enjoyed their own particular character in the book. Many have picked out the doorman, Norman, as one that could have his own series!’ The final words go to Jack. ‘I would like to thank all my readers, editors, bloggers and Crime book club friends who have been so supportive through this process. Their encouragement drives me on to write the next book in the series.’

Jack Steele is the pen name of Mark Homan.