Kat’s Review: June Hampson started the series of Daisy Lane books with her debut novel Trust Nobody in 2006. The book features Daisy Lane in the early nineteen sixties. June Hampson was born in Gosport and this is the setting for her books. When I first read the debut book I was blown away. It was a refreshing change to read this type of book set in the sixties. I was hooked and have read each and every book since then. This current book is release number 6 in the series.
The series itself has remained pretty strong throughout. My last review of her previous novel wasn’t as good as others. The beauty of this series of books is that we travel through the years following Daisy and her friends and family. In doing this each book is that bit further along and more and more things are happening in her life as she gets older. In her last book Jail Bait, I felt that the story was good but maybe Daisy Lane was slowing down and I really wanted to see more of her elder son Eddie Lane. I couldn’t help but feel that some of the sparkle was missing from some of the characters that had shone through in her earlier books.
With this latest release it seems my wishes came true. Daisy Lane and her good friend Vera are certainly back in the picture and they have their `mojo’ back. They are indeed a major part of the storyline, but so too is Eddie, Daisy’s eldest son who is now a young man. After a stretch in prison good guy Eddie wants to get back to work. The only problem is that people treat him differently because of Roy. Roy is Daisy’s long time partner who also happens to be a top London gangster. Roy is like a father to Eddie and although Eddie has enormous respect for him, he wants to make it on his own.
As Eddie is making his plans, Daisy and Vera notice a young runaway boy with some awful bruises. This along with rumours of a friend’s lad arriving home with bruises makes them both suspicious. Daisy and Vera are determined to find out what is going on with these young lads and their bruised faces, but they don’t realise just how dangerous it could be as well as the fact that the truth may well be more devastating than they could imagine.
Vera, who in the first few books I took to my heart wasn’t that much of herself in the last book. In this book she is back but with her own troubles and worries. It was nice to see her back to form but also with a big dose of reality on her plate too. The story is set around the family and their friends and we get to see each person’s situation in the story which keeps it interesting right the way through. Daisy’s youngest son (as I mentioned in my last review of Jail Bait) is like the devil child and in this book he is no different. He is a despicable creature who is quite frankly a horrible character.
This book held my interest much more than the last as there are newer elements to the story along with characters such as Eddie’s girlfriend Summer, as well as Eddie and Jamie’s younger sister Gyp, whose father is none other than Roy. The young boys storyline was slightly different and maybe reminiscent of the era being the early eighties and it was quite nostalgic with the references to that period of time (makes me feel old!). The book flew by and I couldn’t quite believe that it was finished and I have to wait for the next one.
The story is a lot more fast paced than the last and the characters all seem to have their own brand of magic back. The ending wasn’t maybe what I expected but is certainly another good opener for the next book. The beauty of this sort of series is that the author has made sure that she moves the characters along in time and introduces new elements which I loved. I finished this with a feeling of satisfaction and realised just why I liked June Hampson so much in the first place. June Hampson along with the likes of Mandasue Heller, Kimberley Chambers and Dreda Say Mitchell just show that our British women are first class at producing top notch crime fiction. Highly recommended although I would suggest you start at the beginning.