The Betrayed by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @Bookouture

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Book description

Those closest to you don’t stab you in the back. Do they?

Jimmy Byrne is one of the biggest faces on the Soho scene. Equally feared and respected, he’s clawed his way to the top. Money is his game, and he’ll make it by any means necessary.

When Jimmy sets his sights on shy young Colleen Walsh, she is quickly seduced by his sweet words and the life of luxury he offers her. But behind the diamonds and fur coats lies the reality of gangland violence – and by the time she realises the truth, she’s already in too deep.

Like her father, Jimmy Byrne, Nancy Byrne is strong, opinionated – and ruthless. But when Jimmy is murdered. Nancy vows to find the killer and make them pay for their actions.

Only the perpetrator is someone close to home. Someone she trusted. Someone who betrayed them all.

Blood is thicker than water – but Nancy is not afraid to spill some to get the truth.

img_1258Hells bells Casey Kelleher certainly knows how to drag the reader in with a shocker of a first chapter,  this pretty much sets the tone for this gripping book. Spattered with choice language The Betrayed isn’t one I would recommend to the faint hearted there’s lots of swearing and I mean lots! but it’s very much in keeping with the plot and characters. If you enjoy what I personally call “Grit lit”, a story full of violence, treachery and family ties then look no further, this book has all this and so much more.

A lot of the characters in this novel could be seen as your typical stereotypes In a novel of this genre, fortunately for the reader Casey Kelleher has the ability to make her characters standout, love them or hate you certainly won’t forget them! From the ruthless gangster Jimmy, the shy and innocent Colleen who isn’t prepared for the life of a gangsters wife, to the sharp witted Edel who made me laugh out loud with her “one liners” you can’t help but become immersed in their gritty story.

I love a dysfunctional family and the Byrne’s certainly fit the description perfectly, they are a family whose life’s are built on lies, violence and betrayal which you know is going to lead to a whole host of trouble, what follows is a brutal and explosive story, one that I found impossible to put down even for a few minutes.

The Betrayed is a novel that pulls no punches, the authors ability to portray the viciousness of the criminal world made for a gripping read. I would have loved this book to have been longer because it really was so good, I’m really hoping there is going to be a sequel to The Betrayed and if not there really should be. Would I recommend this book? It’s a huge “yes” from me, this is Casey Kelleher best book yet without a shadow of a  doubt.

Pre-order links:     Amazon UK 🇬🇧        Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 328 pages
Publisher: Bookouture (June 21, 2017)

 

Blood Mother by Dreda Say Mitchell #BookReview @DredaMitchell

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Book description

Babs had all the world ahead of her, until she got pregnant and the father did a runner. Salvation comes in the form of a man who’ll look after her. Or so she thinks. Stan Miller is really the devil in disguise… and over the next twenty years, Babs will have reason to regret she ever met him.

Starting in the 70s, BLOOD MOTHER is the second thrilling installment in the Flesh and Blood series, capturing a London that was very different from today but where some things still hold true: be careful what you wish for, and watch out for who you trust…

img_1258I love what I call a grit lit read and there are a few authors books I can always count on to deliver my fix, Dreda Say Mitchell is one of them. Grit Lit to me is a novel that delves deep into the dark side of Life,the characters are tough and the plot brutal, Blood Mother fits this description perfectly. This book is the second book in the Flesh And Blood series, it follows one family over forty years on an East London estate. Blood Mother takes the reader back to the 70s where we learn more about Bab’s who we first met in Blood Sisters, and I just loved her story.

As the plot develops we see Bab’s change from a naive young girl, into the hardened wife of crime boss Stan Miller. Bab’s thinks she’s found the perfect match, a man who will love and protect her, little does she realise Stan is the devil in disguise a master of manipulation and deceit who will use his own wife as a pawn to get what he wants in life. As Bab’s learns more about her husband’s treacherous ways, off come the “rose tinted spectacles” and Barb’s becomes tougher and a much more interesting character. As for Stan what a fabulous character the author has created, he’s evil through and through, he certainly wouldn’t win a father/husband of the year award, so he’s not a character I liked but he certainly adds drama aplenty, as you are never quite sure what his next heinous act will be or who will be caught in the fall out, I so much wanted him to get his comeuppance. Dreda Say Mitchell brings the 70’s to life with her descriptive writing, it’s was an age where prejudice was rife, and Bab’s story very much portrays the harsh reality of life back in the 70’s.

DS Mitchell portrays a gritty picture of the murky and deadly crime world on an East London estate where revenge and retribution are part of every day life. Blood Mother is very authentic, as is the dialogue so be warned this book contains a fair bit of swearing, but in the authors defence it’s very much in keeping with the characters and plot. A gripping tale that revolves around betrayal, survival of the most cunning and family drama, although this book could be read as a standalone I would recommend you read the first book in the series Blood Sister first because it really is such a fantastic series. Blood Mother is a fast paced read, it’s gritty, brutal, which it certainly made for a quick and entertaining read. Personally I can’t wait to read the next book in this highly engaging series.

Amazon UK 🇬🇧

The Promise by Casey Kelleher #BookReview @CaseyKelleher @Bookouture

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Book description

Two sisters. One murder. And an unbreakable bond.

Growing up in squalor with their drug-addicted prostitute mother, sisters Georgie and Marnie Parker have had to endure the very darkest side of life.

When their mother is sentenced for brutally murdering a client, Georgie and Marnie’s already precarious lives are blown apart and they now share a terrible secret. Sent to a children’s home, the sisters hope this might finally be their safe haven after years of neglect. But they soon discover they’re in real danger.

Desperate to find a place of safety, Georgie and Marnie run for their lives, but end up in the hands of Delray Anderton. A violent London gangster and notorious pimp, Delray has big plans for beautiful teenager Georgie, seeing her as a chance to make some serious money.

Fiercely protective of each other, Georgie and Marnie must escape the clutches of a man who will do anything to keep the sisters for himself. And, they must keep the promise they made to each other – no one can ever know the truth.

img_1258My oh my I’m really not sure where to begin with this review, Casey Kelleher writes what I call grit lit. The Promise by Casey Kelleher certainly falls into this category, I wasn’t expecting a “heartes and flowers” kind of read, and I wasn’t wrong, in fact due to the subject matter it sometimes made for a very uncomfortable read, but my god I have to say it was also a gripping one. Josie Parker is a repeat drug offender, a heroin addict and a prostitute, she’s bringing up her two daughters in the most damaging way. Georgie and Marnie know violence first hand, they know what it’s like to be hungry, and scared, they have to endure the very darkest side of life. Then you have Javine a seventeen year old who meets the wrong man. At first Javine is taken in by a man who treats her like a princess but she soon finds her dreams turn to dust, when she realises she is in the clutches of a powerful and violent pimp. As the two stories collide in the most dramatic way The Promise makes for a riveting read.

The story is a slow starter but in the authors defence she concentrates on developing her characters and my god she does it brilliantly, you can’t help being drawn into the characters life’s, love them or hate them they all have a part to play. I found my opinions of various characters changing as the plot developed, I don’t want to spoil the plot but suffice to say some of the characters I started out disliking managed to redeem themselves by the end of the book. As for Georgie and Marnie they are the stars of the book despite their awful life’s they remain resilient and feisty, determined to protect each other from bad things, at times my heart broke for the two girls, yes they are characters, but Casey Kelleher writes about very real subjects and it makes me  very sad to think that this issome children’s  reality.

As the plot reaches midway it picks up the pace I found myself desperate to read more I so wanted Georgie and Marnie to find their “happy ever after”. Casey Kelleher paints a vivid and believable picture of the seedier side of life, this is an author who isn’t afraid to tackle the most difficult subjects head on, she paints an ugly and brutal picture which at times made for a harrowing read. Trust me this really isn’t a book for the faint hearted due to the subject matter, abuse, violence, prostitution all find there way into this book. The Promise could have been a very depressing read, but fortunately the author offers the reader hope amid the horror. In my opinion this is the authors best book yet, despite the difficult subject matter it’s one that’s hard to put down, thanks to Casey Kelleher’s ability to create such believable characters you will find yourself captivated by the two little girls willing them on through troubled times. Would I recommend this book? I certainly would especially if you enjoy a gritty realistic read.

Print Length: 363 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (17 Feb. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸