I Predict a Riot

I’ll let you in on a secret. I read Catherine Bruton’s new book I Predict a Riot, completely the wrong way round. I was furious throughout the whole book. Don’t misunderstand me, it’s well written and the plot, inspired by the London riots, is very exciting indeed. But it begins with the end, where you are told what happened (and I supposed that was to make it more bearable), so I ‘knew’ what happened.

Except it didn’t. It was the other way round, making me stare at the ending, when it came properly, and wonder what on earth was going on? Was Catherine trying to trick her readers?

So, that little misunderstanding aside, this is a good way of looking at something that was in the news, but which many of us boringly well behaved people will have found hard to truly understand.

Set in London, in a mixed area, with poor and better off living close to each other, we have Maggie, the MP’s daughter, and two disadvantaged black boys, as well as the rather scary local gang. Maggie is filming everything she sees, possibly in an effort to forget about her real life.

Little Pea is a crazy boy who seems to be on everyone’s side, or none at all. You just can’t be sure. And there is Tokes, the outsider, who needs to stay away from trouble to save himself. They go round this part of London with Maggie and her film camera during a few hot days when everything is waiting to blow up, and then does.

For sheer excitement this is your book. Hopefully it will also teach readers to think about what’s important in their lives and how they would like to be judged by the rest of the world (preferably not as the famous gang leader who shows no mercy). And some parents could do with taking the side of their children, once in a while.

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