The Knock by Jessie Keane

44798262._SY475_ Synopsis: Dora O’Brien had a good start in life, but things went bad when she began to mix with the wrong company. Pregnant by her gangster lover, she found herself on the streets and then in the grips of a bent copper called Donny Maguire.

When her daughter Angel is born, Dora is already under the influence of drink and drugs, and handed around to Donny’s mates. Growing up in the shadow of her mother’s abusive relationship, Angel is nothing like her mother, but when matters turn murderous, Angel is forced to grow up fast and survival becomes the name of the game.

For some, being on the wrong side of the law is the safest place to be . . .

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

The Edge by Jessie Keane (Ruby Darke #3)

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Synopsis: With a mind sharper than a razor blade it was only a matter of time before Ruby Darke fought her way to the top. From humble beginnings she became the queen of London’s retail, but she didn’t get there by obeying the law.

Now with her son Kit and daughter Daisy finally by her side she’s ready to start a new chapter in her life, but, unknown to all of them, enemies are circling.

There aren’t many who threaten Ruby Darke and live to tell the tale. But this time, she may just have met her match.

If you live on the edge, you may just die on it . . .

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

Lawless by Jessie Keane (Ruby Darke #2)

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Synopsis: Only the lawless will survive . . .

It is 1975 and Ruby Darke is struggling to deal with the brutal murder of her lover, Michael Ward.

As her children, Daisy and Kit, battle their own demons, her retail empire starts to crumble.

Meanwhile, after the revenge killing of Tito Danieri, Kit is the lowest he’s ever been. But soon doubt is thrown over whether Kit killed the right person, and now the Danieris are out for his blood and the blood of the entire Darke family.

As the bodies pile up, the chase is on – can the Darkes resolve their own family conflicts and find Michael Ward’s true killer before the vengeful Danieris kill them? Or will they take the law into their own hands . . .

My Rating: 5/5 Continue reading

Stay Dead by Jessie Keane (Annie Carter #6)

Synopsis: Annie Carter finally believes that life is good.

She and Max are back together and she has a new and uncomplicated life sunning herself in Barbados. It’s what she’s always dreamed of.

Then she gets the news that her old friend Dolly Farrell is dead, and suddenly she finds herself back in London and hunting down a murderer with only one thing on her mind . . . revenge.

But the hunter can so quickly become the hunted, and Annie has been keeping too many secrets. She’s crossed and bettered a lot of people over the years, but this time the enemy is a lot closer to home and she may just have met her match . .

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: Mmmmm, I had kind of mixed feelings about this book but ultimately it was still a cracking read. It’s been (covers head in shame) 5 years (yes you read that correctly) since I last read a Jessie Keane and I was a little concerned at how relevant it would feel in my mind. However, that little worry was unfounded as the minute I started reading it all came rushing back. What I would say is that to really enjoy this book you are better reading the series in order to allow you a little bit more background knowledge.

We join Annie in Barbados where she feels like her life is finally returning to some normalcy. However she then receives a call that changes everything and her whole world looks like it’s about to end. Her long time friend Dolly has been found dead and it looks like murder. Annie jumps straight back on a plane to London with a view to finding who is responsible and making them pay. What Annie didn’t account for was her own people turning on her and she is surprised to find out that she isn’t sure why.

There were elements of this story that I loved but there were also elements that just didn’t sit right with me. Seeing how certain people treated Annie, it felt like a stretch but maybe that’s because I have had such a long gap between books. That aside, it was great to see some closure on one particular element of the story. The writing was excellent as it always is, but I think maybe now her other series is more in the front of my mind and maybe Annie Carter and Co could take a back seat for a while.

Publication List – Jessie Keane

RUTHLESS BY JESSIE KEANE (ANNIE CARTER #5)

My Rating: 5/5

Synopsis: SHE THOUGHT SHE’D SEEN THE BACK OF THE DELANEYS. HOW WRONG COULD SHE BE . . . Annie Carter should have demanded to see their bodies lying on a slab in the morgue, but she really believed the Delaney twins were gone from her life for good. Now sinister things are happening around her and Annie Carter is led to one terrifying conclusion: her bitter enemies, the Delaney twins, didn’t die all those years ago. They’re back and they want her, and her family, dead. This isn’t the first time someone has made an attempt on her life, yet she’s determined to make it the last. Nobody threatens Annie Carter and lives to tell the tale . . .

My Review: Well I have to start off this review by saying that if you haven’t read the other Jessie Keane books in the series (and you plan on doing so), then please do not read this review. Obviously if you are on the first or second book, there will inevitably be spoilers in this review! I was really looking forward to reading the next book in this series, especially with all the drama that has gone on in the past. We start off by seeing the Delaney twins making plans, yet as far as Annie Carter knew the Delaney twins were dead and buried. Of course, nothing is simple in Annie’s life, yet when things start getting dangerous a little closer to home she realises things are not that easy any more. She has her adult daughter Layla with her and her safety always comes first.

The one thing I love about this series is Annie Carter herself. She makes a brilliant lead character and I have always loved her and her husband, then ex-husband Max. One thing I forgot is just how damn good looking these two are (in my head of course). They are typical characters for the sort of lives they lead and they have to be hardened to things that normal people couldn’t cope with. The time frame for the Carter’s has now moved on to the eighties, and we also get to see Annie’s friend Dlly again, albeit briefly.
The story was gripping from the very beginning as you wonder whether the Delaney’s will actually make good on their plans. Added to this, we get to know Layla as a young adult and this is something that I think makes a great platform for a continuation of the Carter series of books (YAY). I have no idea if we will get to see any of the Carter’s again but I can live in hope:-) In this latest offering, we see the plot move between London and Ireland and it’s done (as usual) seamlessly. Jessie Keane has once again created a brilliant, gripping and thrilling book which I didn’t want to put down. The Carter’s have become one of my favourite series and I cannot wait for the next Jessie Keane book. It seems like the more she writes, the better she becomes. I can honestly say that if you haven’t read Jessie Keane before then you are seriously missing out

NAMELESS BY KESSIE KEANE (RUBY DARKE #1)

My Review: 5/5

 *Sighs and scuffs feet* Why? Every time I buy a Jessie Keane I promise myself I will take my time. But no, who am I kidding? I do what I always do, get thoroughly engrossed and then race through the book only to feel disappointed that I have again finished a JK book and now have the long wait until the next one! When I realised that Jessie Keane was introducing a new character I was pretty excited. Having said that, I wasn’t sure whether they would live up to the fantastic characters that feature in the Annie Carter series

In this book we meet Ruby Darke who is a mixed race girl being brought up in War torn London by her abusive father and two elder brothers. While her two elder brothers get involved in the criminal underworld, Daisy works in the family shop and tries her best to keep everybody happy. When she is encouraged to lead a secret life she goes along not knowing that she will be swept off her feet by the dashing aristocrat Cornelius Bray. When she finds herself pregnant and gives birth to twins she is forced into giving them away. What happens next is that the book tells us Ruby’s life story. We see her become a success in business but forgo love because of her desperate desire to never be hurt again.

I was truly engrossed from the very first few pages. Ruby Darke is a young girl with real spirit and you really get a feel for how she is treated in the 40’s for being mixed race. Her family are nothing short of awful but it made me feel like I had to keep willing her on in my mind because she was such a likeable girl. Every few chapters there would be a slight time change and the years start to progress and we see how each passing year changes things for her.

We see some absolutely blinding characters emerge and they all form part of the story in different ways. Michael Ward is a pretty central character and I really liked him from the get go, along with many other characters that just add to the authenticity of the story. Jessie Keane has an uncanny knack of taking you back to that time and really making me feel like I could grasp a little more what the street s of London were like around the war. As the years progress I got more and more caught up in the story and as more shock twists were thrown in I wondered what on earth else could happen. One particular part of the ending shocked me (not impressed) but the other part had me shrieking towards the ending as I wanted to see what happens next.

All I can say is that Jessie Keane is a force to be reckoned with in the crime genre now. Not only has she produced a great series (Annie Carter) she has also written some absolutely blinding stand alones. With this latest addition, Jessie Keane is quickly proving herself to be un-stoppable. Nameless has only made me want to read more (I sincerely hope this is going to have a follow up!) and as usual Jessie Keane does not disappoint. BLINDING!!!

PLAYING DEAD BY JESSIE KEANE (ANNIE CARTER #4)

My Rating: 5/5

**NOTE**SPOILERS**

If you haven’t read the previous Annie Carter books, you should read them and not read this review as it will inevitably contain spoilers!

I (for some reason) was under the impression that Annie Carter was part of a trilogy only and that after the third book that was the end. How wrong (and secretly delighted) was I when I realised her new book was featuring the one and only Annie Carter.

As those who have read her previous books will know she is now married to Mafia Mob boss Constantine Barolli. The book takes us straight into the action of Annie in New York with her husband before tragedy strikes. I must admit that it only took me a matter of two or three chapters before I was drawn into Annie’s world again hook line and sinker!

Annie’s life is once again in turmoil and as she heads back to London she has no idea what is in store for her. We once again see the old faithful characters re-appear that have featured in her previous books such as her friend Dolly who now runs the clubs in London for Annie, as well as Ellie and Chris who run the brothels.

In addition to the older friends we meet the newer members of Annie’s family in the form of her stepchildren, and what a bunch they are. Constantine’s three children were fabulous characters and I absolutely hated two of them from the very beginning.

Added to Annie’s pressures of her extended family is the re-appearance of her supposedly dead ex-husband Max which puts a completely different spin on what has happened in the series so far.

The story has incredible pace from the very beginning and we see a slightly more timid Annie try to get her life back together in London. In the beginning I was wondering what had happened to the feisty woman we met in the last three books but thankfully as she fights back to get her life together we once again see her character come back to life.

The book picks up pace nicely and the ending was brilliant (although I figured who the bad guy was around the halfway stage). Jessie Keane has yet again produced an outstanding book, and one that I think Annie Carter fans are going to love. Lots of twists and surprises all the way through, combined with brilliant writing made for a top notch read in my opinion. I suppose now all that’s left to do is count the days until the next Jessie Keane release.

Highly recommended, although I would suggest starting at the first book in the series to gain the background of Annie Carter!

The Make by Jessie Keane

My Rating: 4/5

Jessie Keane started off her books with an absolutely brilliant trilogy featuring a character by the name of Annie Bailey. When I finished them I was a little worried about whether her follow on books would create such good characters. Thankfully her following book Jail Bait was a great book too with brilliant plot and characters.

This latest book is of exactly the same making. We meet Gracie Doyle who is far from perfect but is great to read about. There is no hanging around waiting for the plot to develop, we get thrown straight into it with the mysterious disappearance and assault on her two estranged brothers.

What I especially loved about this book was the fact that JK split it into two sections. We read Gracie’ story and see the story develop as she learns about her brothers before launching herself into their life down in London. We then also see the story a few weeks prior to that involving Harry and George.

Gracie’s ex-husband Lorcan runs his own casino in London and help’s Gracie in her search to find out what has happened. That element in the story adds another thread as we get to see the ex-partners battle out their own problems whilst trying to help Gracie’s brothers. I loved the fact that the story is really fast paced and the fact that it is no-hold barred. I shouldn’t have worried that Jessie Keane wouldn’t produce the goods because as ever she has written a great book.

I really like the fact that the story moves down south as it has a lot more gritty realism being set on the streets of London (or at least it did for me). The story does touch on some sensitive issues but it is dealt with really well. I loved the ending as well which was an added bonus.

All you need for a good crime book in my opinion is a great story, strong characters and great writing. I can assure you that Jessie Keane has all three in abundance. If I am being 100% honest, I still miss Annie Bailey the character from her first books a little bit but to be fair her current books are just as good. Highly recommended!

Jail Bird by Jessie Keane

My Rating: 5/5

Jessie Keane is an author that had her debut novel `Dirty Game’ published in 2008. It was the first in the Annie Bailey series of books and was followed by `Black Widow’ and `Scarlet Women’ in 2009.

I read her first book and was hooked. Annie Bailey was such a great character and I was fearful that Jessie Keane would follow the all too predictable path that others do of relying too much on a good thing.

After reading all three in the Annie Bailey Series I was even more worried. How on earth could she top her last three books? Not only did I love her style of writing but I fell in love with the characters. How would I feel with a new lead character? Would it be any good or would she fail at the first hurdle? To my absolute relief Jessie Keane is made of sterner stuff. Through my letterbox came her latest offering entitled Jail Bird and I excitedly ripped it from its box and settled myself in for the duration.

Lily King has just been released from prison. She has spent the last 12 years of her life behind bars for the brutal shooting of her husband Leo King. When she is released she is determined to set the record straight. Not only does Lily have to prove she didn’t kill her husband, she has to find out who did. She is battling not only Leo’s family who want her dead, but her own daughters who can’t stand the sight of her.

This book was an absolute corker and I read the book cover to cover in 2 days. It is everything Jessie Keane does but better. We meet a great leading character in Lily, she has guts and determination and is absolutely focused on finding the truth. She has her battles along the way and the characters that make up the King family are right on the money. The storytelling is, as usual, brilliant and she manages to create very believable scenarios without it bordering on the unrealistic.

It’s a pacy book with plenty of plot twists and enough action to keep you both interested and guessing. I particularly liked the fact that there are lots of different characters all being brought together by one event. There are just enough to keep you intrigued but not too many that it get’s confusing.

After reading a short Bio on Jessie I realise how she manages to exude an air of masculinity into her writing being the youngest of 8 children, all boys! I have been a fan of Martina Cole for years but to be honest, find myself not looking forward to new books she releases as they are all the same sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong I still read them but don’t have the level of interest that I used to. If like me, you were a Cole fan in the early days, get yourself down the shops for a copy of Jessie Keane’s book. She reminds me very much of Cole’s early work and she is certainly giving the likes of Mandasue Heller and Karin Slaughter a run for their money. If I were Martina Cole I would be looking over my shoulder for a certain Ms Keane! Now all I have to do is wait another 7 months for her new book!