It seems these days that to be a successful author you don't necessarily have to go through a publishing house, which is why we have seen a sharp rise in people self-publishing. With hard work and determination (as well as a good book), many authors are doing it for themselves! Casey Kelleher is one such person and she published Rotten to The Core in 2011. The reviews posted on Amazon were promising and I was looking forward to giving another new author a go! One thing that I instantly loved was the cover of this book, very eye catching with a beautiful woman holding an apple on the front, I would certainly have been drawn to this cover in a Bookshop.
Jay Shaw is living the life his father taught him which was wheeling and dealing and generally thinking about only himself. When Jay's dad was murdered he had a pretty good idea who was to blame but kept that to himself. Billy O'Connell is the man in the house and the only one who looks out for his sister Kate. Since their Mum passed away Billy has relied on his shady dealings in business and has kept his little sister safe. Until Jay and Kate meet and Kate ends up pregnant by him. Billy's reaction sets off a chain reaction that means Kate is caught up in the bitter feud between her brother Billy and Jay.
It took me not time at all to be caught up in this story as it starts with a bang. Kate O'Connell is an easy character to both read about and like immensely. A young girl she is making mistakes but the reader can only sit by and watch as she makes one of the biggest of her life. Her older brother Billy I initially didn't like that much and as for Jay, Kate's boyfriend, I loathed him as soon as he was introduced.. As the story progresses you see the warmth in Billy and it didn't take me long to warm to him as you learn about the struggles he has had to endure.
I was completely caught up in the story very early on and read this in one sitting I enjoyed it so much. There is certainly an air of `Gangster' about it but it's certainly not been overdone. There were plenty of plot twists as well as quite a bit of violence and swearing, which I come to expect in this type of story. By the last few chapters of the book I was hoping to see more of these characters. In addition to Kate, Billy and Jay we meet Jay's mother Sonia, Billy's friends who work with him and Paul who owns a nightclub. There wasn't anybody I wouldn't want to see appear again (with the exception of Jay)!
For a self-published book Casey Kelleher has done an amazing job. It was certainly a book that I really enjoyed and the girl has talent that's for sure. She has another book due out late 2012 and I for one will be buying it for my Kindle as soon as it's out. I think this is an amazing start to what could be a very successful career as a crime author. She may have a little way to go to catch the Queens of crime such as Kim Chambers, Mandasue Heller and Martina Cole. But if she keeps this up it won't take her very long to get there!