Synopsis: Bad things are going down in Soho. Someone’s going to have to pay the price…Alfie Jenkins breaks a lot of rules. When he sets up an illegal casino in Soho there’s bad will all round and soon Alfie and those closest to him become embroiled in an all-out war with a dangerous gang. Unfortunately this gang is a deadly enemy to have. When Alfie’s teenage niece Chloe is kidnapped and there are rumours she’s been enslaved in a sex gang it becomes a terrifying race against time to save her. Will Alfie be able to right wrongs, build bridges and protect his family, whatever the cost?
CTM = Crime, Thriller, Mystery Genre Authors
ROF = Romance and Other Fiction Authors
Category: CTM - Jacqui Rose
My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: You make a deal with the devil; you pay your dues…
Franny Doyle has always known that her father Patrick has been up to no good. After all you don’t become one of London’s number one gangsters without ruffling a few feathers along the way. Still, she adores her dad and she knows that he would lay down his life for her – she is his number one girl and he has taught her everything she knows.
But when something terrible happens to Patrick, Franny realises that he has some very dangerous enemies. Delving into Patrick’s past, Franny becomes involved in a high-stakes game. She’s not afraid. Patrick has taught her to be a fighter and she’s determined to make him proud, even if it means paying the ultimate price – her own life.
My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: She trusted the man she loved. It was the most dangerous things she had ever done …
No one can touch Del Williams – the hardest gangster in Soho. He’s got the monopoly on the drugs, the clubs and the girls – it’d be a mistake to underestimate him. The one person he’d take a bullet for is tough, beautiful Bunny Barker, mother of their daughter Star.
Bunny is determined to shield Star from ‘life’ but Del has a lot of enemies. When a familiar face appears from their past, their family is put into terrible danger. Can Bunny protect Star from the demons of her own past, and her very worst nightmare?
Well as the year draws to a close I decided to take a look at the books that I had read and rated as 5/5 from 2013. I have then taken the liberty of sharing them with you so if you are struggling to find a new book, and haven't read one on the list maybe give it a try. The list is NOT in any kind of order as I couldn't possibly decide what books were better as they are all slightly different.
The Trap by Kimberley Chambers
When Good Men Do Nothing by Paul Grzegorzek
No Way Back by Andrew Gross
The Dead by Howard Linskey
Cold Killing by Luke Delaney
Ruthless by Jessie Keane
Dishonour by Jacqui Rose
Blood Whisperer by Zoe Sharp
The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood
Watch Your Back by Karen Rose
My Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: When Laila takes the chance of holding hands with her teenage crush Ray Ray on the walk home from school, she has no idea of the trouble she’s about to cause. Laila is sixteen years old and beautiful, kind and clever; traits liable to get her into trouble and make people dislike her. She doesn’t make her life any easier when she falls in love with an English boy, bringing shame on her family and attracting the attention of some very dangerous men. These men are always watching her and will stop at nothing to get things done their way.
Soon there’s a terrible ‘accident’ and Laila is forced to make a deal with the devil. And pay a very heavy price for breaking the rules. Laila has been forced to marry a cruel, controlling man by the people who are supposed to love her the most. Without anyone to help her, she has to find her own way out…
My Rating: 4/5Jacqui 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!
My Rating: 4/5
After seeing various recommendations from people about Jacqui Rose debut novel Taken I bit the bullet and downloaded it onto my Kindle. I promptly forgot about it and it got swallowed up into my stupidly extensive list of books I have yet to read. However, her name kept popping up and with her exceptional rating on Amazon (4 out of 5 over 100 reviews) I picked it up. I must say that I am very glad I did now. What was I thinking leaving it that long?
One thing that must be hard as a new author is standing out from the crowd. The crime genre is generally littered with the longer standing authors and it must be hard work for the debut novelists out there. Thankfully with the word spreading amongst readers I am glad to see Jacqui Rose come up frequently. She has chosen to write her debut novel based in London and featuring some heavy `hard-men'. With a London Gangster feel to it I wondered if she would be well remembered with authors that are practically legends such as Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller and Kimberley Chambers out there.
I started reading and met the main character of the book Casey Edwards. Casey had turned up in Soho following a hard life which involved giving away her child at 15 and then turning to alcohol, men and drugs to get through her life. She is hoping for a fresh start and the ability to find her child and put things right. After arriving in London she meets Mob boss Alfie Jennings, the cruel and vindictive partner of his Oscar and before long is caught up in their world. She also meets Vaughn who is an ex-gangster and an absolutely brilliant character.
The first half of the book takes us into the murky world of Alfie and Oscar and I would be lying if I said that some parts of the book are not pleasant reading. However, it makes it all the more authentic (and a hell of a lot more exciting to read). The topics covered involve money, drugs, trafficking and sex and that's just to name a few. If this sort of thing doesn't rock your boat in terms of fiction then this may not be the book for you. One thing I want to point out is that there IS swearing and violence in this book. It grates on me occasionally when I read reviews with people complaining about this. Would you expect a London Gangster to point to the door and politely ask his arch rival to vacate the building because he can't bear to speak to him? Err I think not...point made!
The second half of the book was a lot more exciting as Casey finds herself in the middle of a very dangerous situation. Oscar Harding was a vile character and I was crossing my fingers and hoping for the worst for him from start to finish. Towards the end things became even faster paced and the ending was wrapped up with the right amount of excitement and drama. It would be nice to see a couple of the characters again in future books but we will have to wait and see what Jacqui Rose has in store for us next time. As I said before, with the British crime writers out there already it must be hard work to join the dizzy heights of the `Crime Queens' we have out there, however with this debut novel Jacqui Rose is well on her way! I look forward top her new release in March 2013.