Tag Archives: Gangland

Queenie by Kimberly Chambers @kimbochambers @fictionpubteam @flisssity #BookReview #Queenie #BookHangoverAward

**No spoilers**

Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for one of my most anticipated reads of 2020, Queenie by Kimberly Chambers. Anyone who follows my blog will know I’m a huge fan of the authors and I’ve read every book the author has ever written. Was Queenie a hit or a miss? Read on for my thoughts 

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SHE WAS MADE IN THE EAST END . . .

For young Queenie, life in the backstreets of Whitechapel was a lesson in survival – Hitler’s bombs hit those with nothing the hardest. When danger strikes close to home, Queenie finds an ally in Mrs O’Leary, whose two sons are the kingpins of the East End. But while the O’Learys are the light in Queenie’s life, fate has a different path in store.

AND MEN ARE WHAT THEIR MOTHERS MAKE THEM . . .

Now married to the useless Albie Butler, Queenie is raising her children to fight their own battles. If the O’Learys taught her anything, it was that surviving meant doing whatever you had to, no questions asked, and family always comes first. The Butler boys will make sure their mother’s name becomes East End legend.

MEET QUEENIE. 

THIS IS HER STORY.

The explosive new novel from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller.

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The Queen of gangland thrillers Kimberley Chambers is back! With one of my most anticipated reads of 2020 Queenie. Once again the author has delivered on every level, it’s gritty, wickedly entertaining, and brilliantly written. I’m delighted to say ‘Queenie is one of the best books I’ve had the pleasure to read this year’. For fans of the Butlers series, Queenie takes the reader back to the very beginning, all our favourite characters are here, Queenie, Viv, Albie, Vinnie, Roy and Michael and so many more. We learn how Queenie born into hardship and abuse becomes part of one of the most feared families in the East End, and what a story she has to tell, warts and  all!

When I first started reading Queenie it seemed like I was meeting up with old friends but their younger versions. The book begins during the 1930s, Queenie’s early childhood is marred by tragic events, events that shape her into the feisty matriarch we all love. Queenie wants a better life for herself, one where money is no object and people fear her family.  When she meets Albie Butler she’s satisfied he can give her the life she craves and deserves, but Albie is weak and has no backbone, so Queenie looks to her three young sons, determined they won’t be weak like their father. By hook or by crook Vinnie, Roy and Michael will rule the East End, making sure The Butlers name becomes an East End Legend.   

Kimberly Chambers is one of those rare authors who has a gift for creating colourful characters, that are larger than life, you feel you know them inside out, and despite their flaws (they all have plenty of those), a small part of you can’t help but fall in love with everyone of the Butlers. it’s a testament to the authors writing that she is able to make you laugh and cry at their antics, love and hate them, all in the space of a few minutes!

As you would expect the dialogue between the characters is as usual spot on full of humour, sadness, and sometimes anger, it gives the reader a wonderful insight into the Butler’s life, like many families they are protective of their own (most of the time anyway!) they argue, fall out, make up and fall out again! But it’s this that makes them credible characters. Another thing that’s amazing about this authors writing is her attention to the small details, whatever era she is writing about she brings it to life with descriptions of the fashions and music trends, they transport you bang into the East End. 

You may have noticed I have been vague with the plot details, but that’s because I want everyone who reads this book to enjoy every page of this gripping story. Queenie is 512 pages long, but it doesn’t feel like it, there’s so much going on to keep the reader eagerly turning the pages, it’s the type of book you just don’t want to end. Queenie has all the ingredients the authors legion of fans have come to love and I’m sure they won’t be disappointed, it has shocks, tender moments, it’s gritty, and authentic.  Kimberly Chambers has yet again written another amazing page turner, and one that will no doubt be hitting the bestseller spot. Highly recommended.

My thanks to Fliss Dunham, and Harper Collins for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. 

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (23 Jan. 2020)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

And yes in case you hadn’t already guessed I’m giving Queenie my shiny Book hangover award, It’s given to a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page.

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Other books in the Butler series

 

TheHunted by Kerry Barnes #BookReview @KerryBarnes1 @HQDigitalUK #TheHunted #BlogTour

Today I’m really excited to be re- sharing my review for The Hunted by Kerry Barnes, to celebrate the books paperback release on the 4th April 2019.

The Hunted is the first book in a brand new explosive crime series and it’s a cracker. Before I share my review here’s the book description……

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Having spent her life watching her father run his East London firm, Zara Ezra has learnt a thing or two about being a gangster, and she’s ready to take over when the time comes.

Mike Regan, a blast from Zara’s past, is the head of his own firm, but when his son is kidnapped in the middle of a gangland feud, Mike has no choice but to accept help from the Ezras to get his little boy back alive.

With a rival firm playing increasingly dirty, murder moves to the top of the agenda and Zara has some big choices to make. It seems that the only way to come out on top is to play them at their own game…

But will she become The Hunter or The Hunted?

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If you enjoy a gangland thriller where violence is common place, revenge is brutal and where loyalties are tested at every turn, then I would highly recommend you buy a copy of The Hunted by Kerry Barnes, it’s a fast paced tale with more than a hint of gritty realism. This is the first book in a new series and OMG what an introduction, with an array of bad ass characters including some very unlikeable ones, and a fast paced plot that takes the reader into the inner circles of a gangland feud, this is definitely a book I would highly recommend to fans of Martina Cole, Jessie Keane and Kimberley Chambers.

Mike Regan is the bad boy in The Hunted but luckily he also has some redeeming features, he’s loyal and adores his son Ricky. When Ricky is kidnapped seemingly by a rival gang, all hell let’s loose and Mike has to call upon Zara the head of an East London firm to help get his son back. It’s great that the author has created a Zara a strong female character, as most gangland thrillers tend to be male dominated, she’s uncompromising and intimidating with balls of steel,  but on the flip side she’s vulnerable and very much has to make her mark in a male dominated world. 

There are some scenes that the faint hearted amongst you might find a bit much, but personally I feel if you are going to read a fictional book about gangland feuds then you should expect violence and plenty of swearing, personally I think these are the things which make The Hunted much more authentic and gritty in its telling.  This isn’t just a story about a boy being kidnapped, it’s one full of treachery, revenge, life long grudges and retribution. I was surprised to find I actually found one point in this book very emotional to read, and that’s a testament to Kerry Barnes writing, as I found myself completely immersed in Mike and Zara’s story.  

The Hunted is a book that you will rush through, it’s one of those that you just have to read “one more chapter” as the author weaves her tale of the murky world of gangland feuds incorporating  lashings of grit.  There were larger than life characters that despite doing terrible things manage to get under your skin, so you invest in their story.  I really enjoyed this book and Kerry Barnes ends The Hunted with a humdinger of a teaser that already has me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Would I recommend this book? It’s a definite “hell yes”. 

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ (21 Mar. 2019)

Buying link: Amazon UK 🇬🇧    Amazon US

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Kerry Barnes born in 1964, grew up on a council estate in South East London. Pushed by her parents to become a doctor, she entered the world of science and became a microbiologist. After studying law and pharmaceuticals, her career turned to medicine.

Having dyslexia didn’t deter her from her passion for writing. She began writing when her daughter was born thirty years ago. Once her children had grown up she moved to the Kent coast and now writes full time.

Follow the blog tour……

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**Blog Tour** #TheHunted by Kerry Barnes #BookReview @KerryBarnes1 @HQDigitalUK

Today I’m  really excited to be taking part in The Hunted by Kerry Barnes blog tour. The Hunted is the first book in a brand new explosive crime series and it’s a cracker. Before I share my review here’s the book description……

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Having spent her life watching her father run his East London firm, Zara Ezra has learnt a thing or two about being a gangster, and she’s ready to take over when the time comes.

Mike Regan, a blast from Zara’s past, is the head of his own firm, but when his son is kidnapped in the middle of a gangland feud, Mike has no choice but to accept help from the Ezras to get his little boy back alive.

With a rival firm playing increasingly dirty, murder moves to the top of the agenda and Zara has some big choices to make. It seems that the only way to come out on top is to play them at their own game…

But will she become The Hunter or The Hunted?

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If you enjoy a gangland thriller where violence is common place, revenge is brutal and where loyalties are tested at every turn, then I would highly recommend you buy a copy of The Hunted by Kerry Barnes, it’s a fast paced tale with more than a hint of gritty realism. This is the first book in a new series and OMG what an introduction, with an array of bad ass characters including some very unlikeable ones, and a fast paced plot that takes the reader into the inner circles of a gangland feud, this is definitely a book I would highly recommend to fans of Martina Cole, Jessie Keane and Kimberley Chambers.

Mike Regan is the bad boy in The Hunted but luckily he also has some redeeming features, he’s loyal and adores his son Ricky. When Ricky is kidnapped seemingly by a rival gang, all hell let’s loose and Mike has to call upon Zara the head of an East London firm to help get his son back. It’s great that the author has created a Zara a strong female character, as most gangland thrillers tend to be male dominated, she’s uncompromising and intimidating with balls of steel,  but on the flip side she’s vulnerable and very much has to make her mark in a male dominated world. 

There are some scenes that the faint hearted amongst you might find a bit much, but personally I feel if you are going to read a fictional book about gangland feuds then you should expect violence and plenty of swearing, personally I think these are the things which make The Hunted much more authentic and gritty in its telling.  This isn’t just a story about a boy being kidnapped, it’s one full of treachery, revenge, life long grudges and retribution. I was surprised to find I actually found one point in this book very emotional to read, and that’s a testament to Kerry Barnes writing, as I found myself completely immersed in Mike and Zara’s story.  

The Hunted is a book that you will rush through, it’s one of those that you just have to read “one more chapter” as the author weaves her tale of the murky world of gangland feuds incorporating  lashings of grit.  There were larger than life characters that despite doing terrible things manage to get under your skin, so you invest in their story.  I really enjoyed this book and Kerry Barnes ends The Hunted with a humdinger of a teaser that already has me eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. Would I recommend this book? It’s a definite “hell yes”. 

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQ (21 Mar. 2019)

Buying link:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hunted-gripping-crime-thriller-hooked-ebook/dp/B07D535TWB/🇬🇧

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Kerry Barnes born in 1964, grew up on a council estate in South East London. Pushed by her parents to become a doctor, she entered the world of science and became a microbiologist. After studying law and pharmaceuticals, her career turned to medicine.

Having dyslexia didn’t deter her from her passion for writing. She began writing when her daughter was born thirty years ago. Once her children had grown up she moved to the Kent coast and now writes full time.

Follow the blog tour……

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**Blog Blitz** #TheForgotten by Casey Kelleher @CaseyKelleher @Bookouture

 

Today I’m thrilled to be one of the bloggers on the Blog Blitz for The Forgotten by Casey Kelleher. If you love a gritty crime series then I might just have found your next book. Read on for my thoughts but first the book description…….

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The more people you love, the more you have to lose…

Nancy Byrne might be the head of the notorious Byrne crime family, but she’s determined to give her little daughter, Scarlett, the best start possible.

After the death of her beloved father, the notorious gangster Jimmy Byrne, nothing’s stopping Nancy from making money on her own terms – even if she has to combine motherhood with providing for her entire family. But with enemies at their door, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her loved ones.

But then comes the day when Scarlett goes missing, snatched by a stranger during a trip to the local park, and Nancy’s world is torn apart. Amidst the terror of losing her precious daughter, Nancy is sure of only two things. Someone has taken her daughter … and when she finds them, there’s going to be hell to pay.

Can she find Scarlett – before it’s too late? Or will Nancy’s life of crime come back to haunt her in the worst way possible. 

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Oh my what an explosive book The Forgotten turned out be, when it comes to writing hard hitting crime thrillers Casey Kelleher’s  up there with the best. Not only has she written a cracking story but she managed to incorporate all the elements I love in this type of read, a gritty storyline, dysfunctional characters, violence and treachery  all combined  together in one darkly wrapped package. I would recommend you read all three books in the series as each is a continuation of the last, but it wouldn’t be any hardship to start at the beginning as it’s such a brilliant series. 

Nancy as the head of the notorious Byrne crime family has gathered many enemies over the years, each one holds a grudge and it’s time for them to exact their revenge,  as the old adage says “revenge is a dish best served cold” and my god Nancy’s enemies are queuing up in droves to get theirs. The Byrne family are the definition of dysfunctional, each has their own secrets they would prefer to stay buried, the simmering anger between them causes tension and rather like car crash you can’t help but read on in horrified fascination, as you know things are going to get a lot worse!  

Nancy is one hell of a character ballsy, confident and doesn’t suffer fools gladly, even if their members of her own family, but now she has a daughter to protect you can actually see a chink in her armour, a softer side that wants to protect her daughter at any cost. There’s violence and swearing but that’s pretty much standard in a book that’s set around the criminal world, personally I think it gives the book an air of gritty realism. The author certainly knows how to keep the reader entertained with Nancy facing crisis after crisis I flew through the pages. The Forgotten is a story of treachery, loyalty and family ties and although these are familiar themes in the authors book, she still manages to write an exciting tale with surprises galore which make this a “must read” series for crime thriller lovers.

  • Print Length: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Bookouture (7 Aug. 2018)

Buying links:    Amazon UK 🇬🇧          Amazon US 🇺🇸

About the author 

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Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole. 

Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time. 

She has since published 

Rise and Fall, 

Heartless, 

Bad Blood, 

The Taken, 

The Promise, 

The Byrne Trilogy

The Betrayed (Book 1 Byrne series) 

The Broken (Book 2 Byrne series) 

and her latest The Forgotten (Book 3 Byrne series) due for published on the 7th August 2018. 

For all news and updates:

www.caseykelleher.co.uk

 

 

 

To learn more about the series or buy the authors books….Casey Kelleher Books

My thanks to Kim Nash, Noelle Holten and Bookouture for my ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.

Don’t forget to check out my fellow book bloggers reviews……..

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