I have read all of Mandasue Heller’s books and would definitely consider myself a fan. Having said that I haven’t loved every book, it almost seems like I either love it or just don’t like it at all. Her last book The Driver I seemed to struggle with
but the previous book Two-Faced I loved. With all that in mind I was excited to read her new book but apprehensive to see whether I would like it. Many people over the last few years have compared her to the likes of Martina Cole and this book just proves that she is in my opinion better than Martina Cole.
Johnny Conroy is a young lad who is typically enjoying life and when he meets Ruth Hynes he takes his chances. What he doesn’t account for is that the infamous hard man Frankie Hynes daughter will fall pregnant. Before he knows it he is part of the Hynes lives and is married with a baby on the way.
The first portion of the book is like Mandasue’s early books and was absolutely brilliant. We meet Ruth and her parents Frankie and Rita. Johnny, for all his faults, is a great character and before long you can’t help feeling sorry for his sudden immersion into Frankie Hyne’s business and his gloomy marriage to Ruth.
The book moves on over the years and in total we see Johnny’s life over twenty years. There was something easy to read about the way it was written and we see enough of what goes on in blocks of time, to make you feel like you are moving in time along with the family.
Johnny’s daughter Angel comes along and becomes the light of Johnny’s life and all the time he is constantly progressing and improving the family business. Along the way we see Johnny’s friend Dave and Ruth’s cousin Lisa integrate themselves into the story making for some extra added story threads. Before long the book moves us into Angel’s younger years before finally arriving at her teenage years where she becomes involved with one of Johnny’s workers Ryan.
That in itself causes major problems and before long it seems like they have all come full circle. The book had me reading well into the night and when I finally got to the climax of the story well into the early hours I was blown away.
The book itself was what I would describe as old school Mandasue and was so easy and enjoyable to read. What I didn’t account for was the shocking twist at the end that had me reading on in disbelief. I can honestly say that this is one of her best and is an absolute corker of a read. All those Mandasue Heller fans will certainly not be disappointed as we see her make a return to her brilliant skills as an absolutely exceptional writer. This one is certainly a book you will want to get your hands on as soon as it’s released and I for one recommend it highly.