The central trio are a fascinating ensemble: Maggie, daughter of an MP; Tokes, a former drug runner trying to escape his father and former gang; and Little Pea, an excitable youngster still enamoured by gang culture. The vastly different social groups of this trio make for lots of drama and interesting social commentary.
Bruton's experience as a teacher and volunteer in the local community is evident in her depiction of the characters. The dialogue is authentic and she shows a close understanding of children living in the deprived parts of London.
Bruton is equally accomplished at presenting adult characters and the fleeting appearances of the central trio's mothers confirms this. Maggie's MP mother could easily have been a two-dimensional villain but Bruton makes her every bit as sympathetic as Maggie in their mother-daughter spats.
The pace of the plot is swift, starting with a Western-style showdown in a playground then building towards the titular riots, described in vivid and brutal detail which will cause readers to recall the shocking TV footage of August 2011.
I Predict A Riot is an accomplished and relevant novel. It is perfect reading material for a young adult audience and just as enjoyable for older readers too. I predict this will be a huge hit.