Synopsis: Jimmy Byrne is one of the biggest faces on the Soho scene. Equally feared and respected, he’s clawed his way to the top. Money is his game, and he’ll make it by any means necessary.
When Jimmy sets his sights on shy young Colleen Walsh, she is quickly seduced by his sweet words and the life of luxury he offers her. But behind the diamonds and fur coats lies the reality of gangland violence – and by the time she realises the truth, she’s already in too deep.
Like her father, Jimmy Byrne, Nancy Byrne is strong, opinionated - and ruthless. But when Jimmy is murdered. Nancy vows to find the killer and make them pay for their actions.
Only the perpetrator is someone close to home. Someone she trusted. Someone who betrayed them all.
Blood is thicker than water – but Nancy is not afraid to spill some to get the truth.
Synopsis: Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life. When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger.
Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money. Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth.
So once again it's that time (well a little bit late for me but better late than never) where I review the books I have read in this genre over the course of 2016 and try to pick my ten favourites. I absolutely refuse to list them in any order, I just select 10 of my absolute favourites. These are books I would highly recommend.
Synopsis: Saskia Frost’s world is blown apart when her dad dies. Without any family, she’s on her own now and up to her eyeballs in her father’s debts. He owed a lot of money to some very dangerous men – Joshua and Vincent Harper. Before long, aspiring ballerina Saskia finds herself lap-dancing in a London club to survive. A club run by the infamous Harper brothers. Saskia is now their property and they’re going to make her pay every penny back.
Teenager Lena Cona has fled a cruel and controlling marriage. She arrives in England with her newborn daughter, desperately relying on strangers for help. But she soon learns that not everyone can be trusted as she finds herself caught in the clutches of Colin Jefferies, a twisted individual obsessed by his own sinister secrets. As the sickening truth is revealed, Lena is forced to fight for her life - and her baby’s.
When their worlds collide, Lena and Saskia form an unlikely friendship. But with the terrifying Harper brothers on their tail, as well as Lena’s vengeful and violent husband, can they escape with their lives?
As with last year I wanted to pick my top ten reads from all of last year. This doesn't mean they were published in 2014 (just that I read them in that year). There is no way I can put them in any kind of order (that's just TOO difficult) but these are definitely the best of the bunch last year for me.
Availability: Paperback, Kindle, Audio (All released 16.12.14)
Synopsis: In the underbelly of Soho’s organised crime ring, everyone knows that retired boxer Harry Woods is not one to mess with. And that goes double for his family.
Harry has it all: the big house, the flashy cars, and an abundance of wealth. As much as money talks in his world, Harry knows deep down the only thing that really counts is family. Haunted by the sudden death of his wife, he’ll do anything to protect his children, but truth is a heavy burden and hidden secrets can unravel even the strongest of bonds...
Without loyalty, family are bound together only by blood. Bad blood.
Synopsis: Free from prison… but still trapped in a nightmare...
Having been locked up for a murder that she didn’t commit, Sophia O’Hagan is now determined to take back what’s hers. Sophia has been robbed of eight years of her life: a life that she should have spent with her beloved Tommy. Now, Tommy has gone and Sophia’s family has been torn apart. She knows that she will never know true freedom until she confronts the painful ghosts of her past.
Kat's Review: I was extremely excited to get an early copy of the new release (due out 7th September 2013) by Casey Kelleher. The synopsis was enough to whet my interest, but within a few chapters I needn’t have worried as the story completely drew me in. The beginning starts us off with Tommy and his twin brother Jonathan as youngsters. At around the same time, young Sophia is battling with her current home situation. One situation is what enables the three to meet, but they have no idea how much them meeting will change all their lives.
Casey Kelleher seems to be improving her talent with each book she writes and it seems that this current book has taken her into the next league of her career. The story instantly drew me in and the one thing I really noticed was the difference in the characters. Casey has self-published up until now, but with this latest one it puts other (currently published) authors to shame. She has managed to depict the ‘evil’ characters as just that, pure evil!
There was only one thing that I think could have helped the book and that is a timeline. We see Sophia as a young girl and then many years later as a young adult. Although the timeline would have helped, this certainly didn’t detract from the story. The plot kept winding up the tension and I literally didn’t want to put this one down. After reading this book, I can honestly say that Casey Kelleher has now placed herself firmly in the world of British Crime Authors; one which I think is totally deserved.
The characters are brilliant and although this book does have a conclusion, I can actually see a second book coming from this (maybe that’s wishful thinking). Overall, this book is everything you want from a gritty British Crime book and I don’t think any of her fans will be disappointed. I for one will b crossing my fingers and excitedly waiting for the next one.
After reading Casey's debut novel Rotten to The Core I was really looking forward to her second book. Her first and second books were self-published and after her debut novel sold more than 20,000 copies (I'm not surprised there) she was `snapped up' by an agency (yay). Her first book was really good and you could tell that she was aiming for the same type of feel to her books as some of the bigger British Crime legends such as Mandasue Heller, Kimberley Chambers and Martina Cole. The writing was good, the story was great and overall it took me now time to finish.
When I started her new book I have to be honest and say I wondered if she could produce second good book. Was it a one off her original book, or would she rise to the occasion. Thankfully <clapping hands in glee> Casey Kelleher has produced a book that is better than the first! Jamie Finch is a fifteen year old that leaves home and tries to make it on his own. He approached Gary West and a few years later we see him as an integral part of Gary's firm. Sadly for Gary and Jamie, Jerrell Morgan is the new kid on the block and he is causing havoc. Being born and raised in Jamaica, Jerrell has come to London to take out other firms and lead it all his was. He has no issues with doing things the hard and violent way and makes this known to everybody.
I have to say that I immediately loathed Jerrell and got a real sense of the danger lurking behind his personality. I found myself a few times leaning forward and turning my pages with a bit too much haste (I get like that when things get a bit tense)! The characters Casey has created are very believable and I liked the fact that we got to see the nicer side ti both Gary and Jaime. There was plenty of action and lots of dramatic events. One word of warning though, Casey does touch on a pretty sensitive subject in the book (hard to say what without spoilers) so if you are of the sensitive nature, please don't moan about it because I have warned you! Having said that, it's in keeping with the story and to be honest it just made me want a certain type of outcome even more!
Overall, I am thought this book was even better than her debut and think it won't be long before Casey can join the ranks amongst some of the other legends of British crime such as Lady Heller, Kim Chambers and Martina Cole. Casey, just keep `em coming and your fans will follow, just hurry up and get the next one written!!!