Book Reviews

Don’t Break #TheRule @Author_Dave @ViperBooks

David Jackson is on my favorite authors list! I couldn’t be happier to share my thoughts on The Rule as part of the tour. My biggest thanks to Viper Books for providing me with a copy, and for letting me kick off the tour!

Title: The Rule
Author: David Jackson
Publisher: Viper Books
Date of publication: 1 July 2021
Format reviewed: NetGalley e-ARC


Daniel is looking forward to his birthday. He wants pie and chips, a big chocolate cake, and a comic book starring his favourite superhero. And as long as he follows The Rule, nothing bad will happen. Daniel will be twenty-three next week. And he has no idea that he’s about to kill a stranger.

Daniel’s parents know that their beloved and vulnerable son will be taken away. They know that Daniel didn’t mean to hurt anyone, he just doesn’t know his own strength. They dispose of the body. Isn’t that what any loving parent would do?

But as forces on both sides of the law begin to close in on them, they realise they have no option but to finish what they started. Even if it means that others will have to die…

Because they’ll do anything to protect Daniel. Even murder

If there’s one rule to keep in mind when you see a book by David Jackson, it’s this one: GRAB A COPY. 

It’s no secret the author impressed me immensely with his previous novel, The Resident. I owe him a fear of attics. When The Rule was announced, my eyes and brain itched to get a copy. Truth be told, I had no idea what to expect. So how did the author manage to surpass my expectations anyway? 

  • A hard and sharp look at society. 

I was not prepared for the exploration of a working class neighbourhood with its thugs and ‘friendly neighbours’ (I wonder if Dave has an issue with neighbours…) If The Rule can definitely be categorised as crime fiction, there’s a strong touch of sociology and difficult truths in his newest work. Far from keeping the reader detached from the issues faced by his characters, Mr Jackson puts us at the center to feel the anger, the unfairness, and the despair. What happens when people doing their best hit the lottery of bad luck? 

  • A flawless pace and perfect prose
  • A family to root for

All Daniel and his parents want is a happy normal life. They stay out of trouble, they pay their bills on time. They stick to The Rule. It is easy to relate to them, in their little apartment, trying to protect Daniel from a ruthless world in which his difference makes him a target. David may be 23 but he has the mind of a child and the strength of superheroes. As long as they keep their heads down and mind their own business, all will be alright… 

  • An accident

Daniel and his father at the wrong place at the wrong time. From there, the author takes the family down a dark road. I am fascinated by how quickly the line from good to bad can disappear and here, you get the perfect example of ‘from bad to worse’. When Daniel kills a man without meaning to, his parents don’t hesitate. Daniel must be protected. Was I shocked by their decision? No. Did I think they were crazy? Who isn’t? No time for labels, I only wanted Daniel to be safe…

  • Three intense POV

Daniel’s father Scott, Hannah Washington, DI, and Ronan, the deceased’s brother. Their intertwined voices create a powerful narrative that forces you to look at every angle and hope for the best. If the plot hooked me, it was their voices that mesmerised me and kept me going. 

  • Not quite a thriller…

The Rule is not exactly a thriller, more of a noir tale fuelled with good intentions, revenge, and at the heart of it, the seek for justice. It is an intricate and tragically brilliant piece of fiction.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

You can grab your copy on Amazon or

My thanks to the publisher for inviting me to read and review this novel.

David Jackson is the author of nine crime novels, including the bestseller Cry Baby and the standalone The Resident. When not murdering fictional people, David spends his days as a university academic in his home city of Liverpool. He lives on the Wirral with his wife and two daughters. Find him @Author_Dave.

12 thoughts on “Don’t Break #TheRule @Author_Dave @ViperBooks”

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