Review of 4 a.m. by Nina De La Mer

4 a.m. by Nina De La Mer is an outstanding first novel, where hope and despair dance side by side in a euphoric haze of drugs.

Essex born Manny and Glaswegian Cal are the best of friends who are Army chefs at the Ballingfostel base in Germany in the early 1990s. 

By day they slave over hot stoves, by night they are slaves to ecstasy and other `dirties’ as they search for a sense of acceptance on the sweaty dance floors of Hamburg’s rave scene.

The chapters are written in the colloquial style. As Cal would say `it doesnae take yous long tae get intae it’. The language is seamless and absorbing as it draws you deeper into the characters’ distorted world view.

Both Manny and Cal speak directly to the reader, putting you in the role of silent confident as each man tries to justify his choices. Who will sink and who will rise as Manny and Cal navigate their way through a minefield of paranoia, betrayal, secrets and lies?

4 a.m. is an original and well executed exploration of how positive and negative mental attitudes can have a profound impact on how well a human being will cope with the ups and downs of life. A remarkable book by an extraordinarily gifted writer, whose research into the psyche of the male persona explodes off every page.

Huge thanks to Myriad Editions for sending me a review copy.

Publisher: Myriad Editions


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