Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I have mixed feelings about this book but to explain why you need to understand a little of the background to the story. The Daisy Lane books are written in sequence so to have any sort of knowledge of the characters you should try to read them in order. Having read all of her books I have built up a good knowledge of these characters and what role they play in each others lives.
In her previous book Fatal Cut we met Daisy when she was with her lover Vinnie Endersby who is a police officer. She ends up having her son Jamie by him, but he ends up reuniting with his wife Claire. Daisy then falls into the arms of Roy Kemp, who although plays the role of a top Gangster in his area, has always loved Daisy. In this book we barely see Vinnie and the only references to her son Jamie are to highlight that he has clearly been born half human-half devil! I find it strange that there was no warning to this part of the story it has just appeared as if from nowhere.
In previous books we have met many characters who all have their place within Daisy’s life yet they all seem to have had a personality transplant since last year. The main character Daisy was always a really strong woman who rolled her sleeves up and got things done. She appears a lot more crass and to be honest not quite herself in the latest outing. I don’t know quite what has happened to her but she appears to have been written in a completely different light. Daisy’s friend Vera was always a favourite character of mine but again in this book she has been written in a different way and seems to have lost her sparkle.
Having said that, don’t let this put you off the book. Her first three books were amazing. Her fourth book I didn’t think was as strong as the others but enjoyed it all the same. This fifth book is even less enjoyable for the character Daisy but what we do have is a five star read for the more prominent characters. I am hoping that when she publishes her next book, we start to see the life of Eddie, Daisy’s eldest son. I almost feel that this was the author’s intention in writing this book.
I wondered halfway through if the characters and story had just run out of steam. In saying that there were glimpses of June Hampson’s brilliant writing and storytelling, I just think its time Daisy took a back seat and the author got her teeth into a new set of characters that focus on her son.
The story itself as a whole wasn’t bad but wasn’t great, if I were to rate it I would be giving it 3.5 out of 5. Based on the fact that the author is laying a great starting block for Eddie I would rate it 4 out of 5. I have previously compared June Hampson to authors such as Martina Cole and I stand by that. Her writing is brilliant and I love her books (even though this wasn’t her best). If you haven’t read her before but like people such as Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller and the like then maybe this will be your cup of tea too.
Synopsis: Daisy Lane is gradually coming to terms with her troubled past, while building a future for herself and her two sons. Roy Kemp, the notorious gangster and Daisy’s former lover, is banged up in prison along with the Kray twins. Daisy wants to enjoy her new-found freedom, but must watch over Roy’s criminal empire in his absence, all the while attempting to continue her illicit relationship with Vinnie Endersby – just about the only straight-dealing copper in Gosport. But it isn’t long before another gangster decides to challenge Roy’s dominance…
While Roy counts his days to freedom, the criminal landscape is changing. Vice and extortion are being replaced by new pursuits – hard core pornography and drugs. Soon, the bodies of mutilated girls are found dumped around the outskirts of Gosport – the deadly product of a ruthless gang. Meanwhile, Daisy must make a difficult choice. The greater the threat to Roy’s empire, the more involved Daisy becomes in his life. But Vinnie and Daisy have waited years to be together. Will this be their chance at last?
Before Daisy can make any decisions, matters take a deadly turn – with Roy’s business under threat, she is forced to confront his enemies, and by doing so, puts her life and that of her sons, in desperate peril…
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I discovered June Hampson quite recently and was absolutely bowled over by her writing. Shes as good if not better than Martina Cole. After reading the first three books in the Daisy Lane series I was more than excited to read this new one. We go back to the life of Daisy Lane and her business relationship with Roy Kemp, a big-time gangster, who although broke her heart, is still both her business partner and a big part of her life. We also come accross Vera who helps run Daisys business with her and her lover, detective Vinnie Endersby. Daisys life is complicated when one of her girls gets in trouble with a debt collector and another starts hitting the drugs. Vinnie is meanwhile trying to crack the case concerning girls going missing and pictures of dead women and children turning up. Fast paced and thoroughly enjoyable but just lacked a certain something that her last book had. Fantastic all the same. If you haven’t read them give them a go
Synopsis: Things have been going too well for Daisy Lane. Her murdered lover, Eddie Lane, has left her comfortably off and his son little Eddie is adorable and a constant reminder of his father. The new man in her life, South London gangster Roy Kemp, looks out for her and is kind to little Eddie. But someone is watching Daisy’s every movement, like a predator choosing the perfect moment to pounce. He is a man with murder in his heart – a man obsessed with Daisy and enraged that she turned to Roy Kemp for love instead of him. He plans to teach Daisy a lesson she will never forget.
Set in 1966, DAMAGED GOODS re-acquaints us with several memorable characters from the previous books – notably Daisy’s friend Vera, queen of her massage parlour and the best mate a girl ever had, and Gosport policeman DS Vinnie Endersby who puts his job on the line for Daisy.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I read June Hampsons ‘Broken Bodies’ and had to order this one as it continues the life of Daisy Lane. The characters are fabulous and the last book made me anticipate this read just as much. This particular book carries on Daisys life with her gangster boyfriend Roy Kemp. However when she is abducted and has to fight for her survival it changes her outlook on life. This story was as good if not better than the last one and I think June Hampson is somebody to watch out for in the future. If her books get better with each one she writes she will be one of my favourite authors in the not too distant future. Recommended if you like Mandasue Heller and Kevin lewis and the like.