Pecking Order by Chris Simms

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Pecking Order

Five words from the blurb: farm, chickens, kill, secret, project

Earlier in the year Scott Pack recommended Pecking Order and I decided to give it a try. It was free at the time, but the kindle edition is still only 99p and I recommend that you get a copy if you’d like a gripping piece of crime fiction.

Pecking Order is a psychological thriller that investigates how willing people are to follow the orders of someone in authority. It cleverly uses the plight of battery chickens as a backdrop; using the bird’s pain and fear to increase the tension of the human drama. The chickens also emphasize what is wrong with our society and, although this book can be seen as a quick, entertaining read, there are several deeper messages hidden under the surface:

As he walked back across the lawn to his own house he reflected on the concern shown for a missing cat while, if events so far were anything to go by, an old person could lie dead and undiscovered in their flat for days.

The book demands the reader’s attention from the very first page. The descriptions are vivid and sometimes disturbing – if you don’t eat free-range chickens already, you’ll certainly be more inclined to do so after reading this book!

The central character, Rubble, is deliciously evil. He enjoys his job slaughtering chickens and it is wonderful to read a book where it is a joy to hate most of the characters. The book also contains some scenes within a university and I loved this campus-novel aspect of the plot.

Overall, Pecking Order is an original, thought provoking and entertaining read. I look forward to reading more of Simm’s work in the future.


Have you read anything by Chris Simms?

Which of his books would you recommend I try next?

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  1. Sandy says:

    OK I got it! It was $1.60 but that is probably adjusting for the exchange rate or something. Anyway, probably six or eight years ago we began buying free range and/or organic chickens so at least I’m prepared!

    1. Jackie says:

      Sandy, Great news! I hope that you find it as entertaining as I did.

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