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Category: CTM - June Hampson

  1. Kat's Review of A Mother's Journey by June Hampson

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    June Hampson A Mothers JourneyMy Rating: 5/5

    I have read all of the books written by June Hampson and for those that maybe haven't read her they are all part of a series featuring Daisy Lane. The first book in the series (and June's debut novel) is set in the 1960's and her last book in the series entitled Fighting Dirty has moved on to the 1980's. Her most recent release had aroused my curiosity due to the fact that this book is almost a prequel. The books feature Daisy Lane but also her friends and family. Vera has been a central character from the word go and has been a brilliant presence in Daisy's life. This book takes you back to the 1940's when Vera was a young girl.

    If I am being 100% honest I was a little worried but only because I love Vera so much and wondered whether this book would be as good as the Daisy Lane books I have read to date. If anything this book far exceeded what I expected and was a brilliant read. June Hampson takes us back to when Vera was a 14 year old girl living with her family in the middle of the war. Straight away I was drawn into Vera's world and it took me less than a few pages to remember why I loved the June Hampson books so much.

    If people haven't read any of the Daisy Lane books, you can still read this as a stand-alone but to be honest for me it was so much nicer having the history of all the characters. It explained so much about Vera and how she has arrived at the place she is now. Vera's life was certainly not easy and along the way she has her fair share of heartbreak and I realised why I loved her as a character so much. This book only made me want to read more and has whetted my appetite for the next Daisy Lane book.

    I am not normally a fan of books set in the 40's but June Hampson has done a fantastic time of taking you back to that time and being able to picture a place torn apart by the War. I was absolutely gripped from the very first page to the very last. I am annoyed that I left this so long to read (it was released in March 2012) but am so glad that I got around to it. I think that June Hampson fans will absolutely love this latest instalment.

    I think some fans are concerned that after the last book Fighting Dirty, the series may have come to a natural conclusion, but I beg to differ. I think that the next book that June Hampson produces may well feature Daisy's children as the previous book gave loads of scope for that part of the story to be developed. I will as always wait impatiently for her next instalment. For people that haven't tried June Hampson I would highly recommend her but would suggest starting at the beginning.

  2. Kat's Review of Fighting Dirty (Daisy Lane #6)

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    June Hampson Fighting DirtyMy Rating: 5/5

    Kat's Review: June Hampson started the series of Daisy Lane books with her debut novel Trust Nobody in 2006. The book features Daisy Lane in the early nineteen sixties. June Hampson was born in Gosport and this is the setting for her books. When I first read the debut book I was blown away. It was a refreshing change to read this type of book set in the sixties. I was hooked and have read each and every book since then. This current book is release number 6 in the series.

    The series itself has remained pretty strong throughout. My last review of her previous novel wasn't as good as others. The beauty of this series of books is that we travel through the years following Daisy and her friends and family. In doing this each book is that bit further along and more and more things are happening in her life as she gets older. In her last book Jail Bait, I felt that the story was good but maybe Daisy Lane was slowing down and I really wanted to see more of her elder son Eddie Lane. I couldn't help but feel that some of the sparkle was missing from some of the characters that had shone through in her earlier books.

    With this latest release it seems my wishes came true. Daisy Lane and her good friend Vera are certainly back in the picture and they have their `mojo' back. They are indeed a major part of the storyline, but so too is Eddie, Daisy's eldest son who is now a young man. After a stretch in prison good guy Eddie wants to get back to work. The only problem is that people treat him differently because of Roy. Roy is Daisy's long time partner who also happens to be a top London gangster. Roy is like a father to Eddie and although Eddie has enormous respect for him, he wants to make it on his own.

    As Eddie is making his plans, Daisy and Vera notice a young runaway boy with some awful bruises. This along with rumours of a friend's lad arriving home with bruises makes them both suspicious. Daisy and Vera are determined to find out what is going on with these young lads and their bruised faces, but they don't realise just how dangerous it could be as well as the fact that the truth may well be more devastating than they could imagine.

    Vera, who in the first few books I took to my heart wasn't that much of herself in the last book. In this book she is back but with her own troubles and worries. It was nice to see her back to form but also with a big dose of reality on her plate too. The story is set around the family and their friends and we get to see each person's situation in the story which keeps it interesting right the way through. Daisy's youngest son (as I mentioned in my last review of Jail Bait) is like the devil child and in this book he is no different. He is a despicable creature who is quite frankly a horrible character.

    This book held my interest much more than the last as there are newer elements to the story along with characters such as Eddie's girlfriend Summer, as well as Eddie and Jamie's younger sister Gyp, whose father is none other than Roy. The young boys storyline was slightly different and maybe reminiscent of the era being the early eighties and it was quite nostalgic with the references to that period of time (makes me feel old!). The book flew by and I couldn't quite believe that it was finished and I have to wait for the next one.

    The story is a lot more fast paced than the last and the characters all seem to have their own brand of magic back. The ending wasn't maybe what I expected but is certainly another good opener for the next book. The beauty of this sort of series is that the author has made sure that she moves the characters along in time and introduces new elements which I loved. I finished this with a feeling of satisfaction and realised just why I liked June Hampson so much in the first place. June Hampson along with the likes of Mandasue Heller, Kimberley Chambers and Dreda Say Mitchell just show that our British women are first class at producing top notch crime fiction. Highly recommended although I would suggest you start at the beginning. 

  3. Kat's Review of Jail Bait by June Hampson (Daisy Lane #5)

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    My Rating: 4/5June Hampson Jail Baitr

    Kat's Review: I have mixed feelings about this book but to explain why you need to understand a little of the background to the story. The Daisy Lane books are written in sequence so to have any sort of knowledge of the characters you should try to read them in order. Having read all of her books I have built up a good knowledge of these characters and what role they play in each others lives.

    In her previous book Fatal Cut we met Daisy when she was with her lover Vinnie Endersby who is a police officer. She ends up having her son Jamie by him, but he ends up reuniting with his wife Claire. Daisy then falls into the arms of Roy Kemp, who although plays the role of a top Gangster in his area, has always loved Daisy. In this book we barely see Vinnie and the only references to her son Jamie are to highlight that he has clearly been born half human-half devil! I find it strange that there was no warning to this part of the story it has just appeared as if from nowhere.

     In previous books we have met many characters who all have their place within Daisy's life yet they all seem to have had a personality transplant since last year. The main character Daisy was always a really strong woman who rolled her sleeves up and got things done. She appears a lot more crass and to be honest not quite herself in the latest outing. I don't know quite what has happened to her but she appears to have been written in a completely different light. Daisy's friend Vera was always a favourite character of mine but again in this book she has been written in a different way and seems to have lost her sparkle.

    Having said that, don't let this put you off the book. Her first three books were amazing. Her fourth book I didn't think was as strong as the others but enjoyed it all the same. This fifth book is even less enjoyable for the character Daisy but what we do have is a five star read for the more prominent characters. I am hoping that when she publishes her next book, we start to see the life of Eddie, Daisy's eldest son. I almost feel that this was the author's intention in writing this book.

    I wondered halfway through if the characters and story had just run out of steam. In saying that there were glimpses of June Hampson's brilliant writing and storytelling, I just think its time Daisy took a back seat and the author got her teeth into a new set of characters that focus on her son.

    The story itself as a whole wasn't bad but wasn't great, if I were to rate it I would be giving it 3.5 out of 5. Based on the fact that the author is laying a great starting block for Eddie I would rate it 4 out of 5. I have previously compared June Hampson to authors such as Martina Cole and I stand by that. Her writing is brilliant and I love her books (even though this wasn't her best). If you haven't read her before but like people such as Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller and the like then maybe this will be your cup of tea too.

  4. Kat's Review of Fatal Cut by June Hampson (Daisy Lane #4)

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    June Hampson Fatal Cut

    Synopsis: Daisy Lane is gradually coming to terms with her troubled past, while building a future for herself and her two sons. Roy Kemp, the notorious gangster and Daisy's former lover, is banged up in prison along with the Kray twins. Daisy wants to enjoy her new-found freedom, but must watch over Roy's criminal empire in his absence, all the while attempting to continue her illicit relationship with Vinnie Endersby - just about the only straight-dealing copper in Gosport. But it isn't long before another gangster decides to challenge Roy's dominance...

    While Roy counts his days to freedom, the criminal landscape is changing. Vice and extortion are being replaced by new pursuits - hard core pornography and drugs. Soon, the bodies of mutilated girls are found dumped around the outskirts of Gosport - the deadly product of a ruthless gang. Meanwhile, Daisy must make a difficult choice. The greater the threat to Roy's empire, the more involved Daisy becomes in his life. But Vinnie and Daisy have waited years to be together. Will this be their chance at last?

    Before Daisy can make any decisions, matters take a deadly turn - with Roy's business under threat, she is forced to confront his enemies, and by doing so, puts her life and that of her sons, in desperate peril...

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I discovered June Hampson quite recently and was absolutely bowled over by her writing. Shes as good if not better than Martina Cole. After reading the first three books in the Daisy Lane series I was more than excited to read this new one. We go back to the life of Daisy Lane and her business relationship with Roy Kemp, a big-time gangster, who although broke her heart, is still both her business partner and a big part of her life. We also come accross Vera who helps run Daisys business with her and her lover, detective Vinnie Endersby. Daisys life is complicated when one of her girls gets in trouble with a debt collector and another starts hitting the drugs. Vinnie is meanwhile trying to crack the case concerning girls going missing and pictures of dead women and children turning up. Fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable but just lacked a certain something that her last book had. Fantastic all the same. If you haven't read them give them a go

  5. Kat's Review of Damaged Goods bu June Hampson (Daisy Lane #3)

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    June Hampson Damaged Goods

    Synopsis:  Things have been going too well for Daisy Lane. Her murdered lover, Eddie Lane, has left her comfortably off and his son little Eddie is adorable and a constant reminder of his father. The new man in her life, South London gangster Roy Kemp, looks out for her and is kind to little Eddie. But someone is watching Daisy's every movement, like a predator choosing the perfect moment to pounce. He is a man with murder in his heart - a man obsessed with Daisy and enraged that she turned to Roy Kemp for love instead of him. He plans to teach Daisy a lesson she will never forget.

    Set in 1966, DAMAGED GOODS re-acquaints us with several memorable characters from the previous books - notably Daisy's friend Vera, queen of her massage parlour and the best mate a girl ever had, and Gosport policeman DS Vinnie Endersby who puts his job on the line for Daisy.

    Kat's Rating: 4/5

    Kat's Review: I read June Hampsons 'Broken Bodies' and had to order this one as it continues the life of Daisy Lane. The characters are fabulous and the last book made me anticipate this read just as much. This particular book carries on Daisys life with her gangster boyfriend Roy Kemp. However when she is abducted and has to fight for her survival it changes her outlook on life. This story was as good if not better than the last one and I think June Hampson is somebody to watch out for in the future. If her books get better with each one she writes she will be one of my favourite authors in the not too distant future. Recommended if you like Mandasue Heller and Kevin lewis and the like.