My Rating: 4/5
Jacqui Rose came to my attention last year in 2012 with the release of her debut novel Taken. It was a brilliant debut and I have been looking forward to and hoping that this new release is just as good. Maggie Donaldson is a young girl who has just come back to her hometown. Growing up with her father Max certainly wasn’t easy. Max is a face and he and the family the Taylor’s have a bit of rivalry going on that show no sign of letting up. When Maggie returns home, she realises that her time away has changed nothing. Her Dad Max seems even more violent than before, but Maggie is determined to get on with her life.
Jacqui has that knack that certain writers such as Cole, Heller and Chambers have. She creates a character that is believable and Maggie is no exception. Brazen and with a filthy temper, you can almost imagine what her reputation is like. Having said that she is a really likeable character, if only I could say the same about Max! On the opposite side to the Donaldson’s is the Taylor’s. Frankie and Gypsy Taylor have been married for years and their grown up son Tommy is part of Frankie’s firm. The Taylor’s are a much more likeable family but with the sheer violence the Donaldson children see every day it was no surprise that the family members are all slightly deranged in their own way.
With the feud between the two families getting worse, Maggie fears that her secret will be exposed and there will be no turning back from the repercussions that will take place if people found out. It’s clear to the reader what the big secret is from the early days (but I dislike spoilers so will refrain from mentioning what that is!). As the story continues there are quite a few plot twists that involve extended family members from both sides making the suspense raise another notch. By the halfway mark I found myself constantly getting twitch when you just know something is going to happen, but not quite sure when. BY the last quarter I was practically sitting on the edge of my seat and got that sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I must say by the time I had finished (it took me just a day and a half!) I was so pleased that Jacqui Rose has proven she can write just as well as some of the others. The violence in this book was worse than in the previous one, or maybe she has just done a stellar job in creating a monster with Max Donaldson (what a vile man!). I truly loved this book and would recommend it to anybody who favours the likes of Mandasue Heller, Kim Chambers and Jessie Keane. A class book that kept me reading and I can’t wait for the next one!