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.

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

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!

SCARLET WOMAN BY JESSIE KEANE (ANNIE CARTER #3)

My Rating: 5/5

Jessie Keane has produced a series of books. They are all running along the crime/thriller end of the market with a strong female lead. We have yet to experience what else she has to bring.

This book is the follow up from book 1 (Dirty Game) and book 2 (Black Widow). Once again Annie Carter is back in London and trying to run her husbands business. It’s now the 70’s and her arch enemy’s the Delaney’s are still around and running the brothel that her good friend Dolly runs. When prostitutes start getting killed Annie gets involved, wanting to know who is involved. In doing that she gets herself caught up in the middle of a war and puts her own life at risk. One of close friend’s Chris Brown ends up being framed for the murders and Dolly want’s to do everything she can to clear his name. Not only does she have to find the culprit, but she is working against her own boys who don’t like answering to a woman. She is working at having to prove herself as the Boss and also manage looking after her business along with her young daughter Layla. When Constantine Barolli turns up it complicates the situation even further. He is a dangerous Mob Boss and Annie finds herself fighting off her real feelings for him in an attempt to keep her business at the top. Can she find the real killer before it is too late or will she end up having to identify another young girl?

This book was an absolute corker and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was well worth the wait for the final instalment in the Annie Carter books. I didn’t put this down once I’d started. The writing style and the fact that you know this is the conclusion keeps you turning page after page. The only negative is what to expect from Jessie Keane next. With her last three books being as good as they have been there are high expectations for the next one. I can’t wait!

BLACK WIDOW BY JESSIE KEANE (Annie Carter #2)

My Review: 5/5

 This second book in the follow up from book 1 (Dirty Game), starts out in Spain with Max and Annie living the perfectly quiet life with their daughter Layla. Annie Bailey is now Mrs Annie Carter and she loves her life as a happily married woman. Max’ brother Jonjo is also there and they are all enjoying the sun until everything goes blank for Annie. When she comes round there is no sign of Max, Jonjo is dead and her daughter missing. Armed with nothing but her determination and her passport, a phone call sends her on a plane and back to London.

She resorts to staying with her good friend Dolly who runs a brothel to try and work out the mess she is in. Staying there is a dangerous game as it is also in the middle of the Delaney’s patch. With the Delaney’s being the Carters enemy and arch rival Annie has to carve out her own niche with her husbands firm. Annie has to gain respect from all the boys on the firm to stand a chance at getting her daughter back. Will she be able to, or is it already too late?

Jessie Keane has created a book with characters that you end up loving and loathing in equal measures. I found that the book was so easy to read and follow. The plots were all linked together without being too intricate and it was a very exciting read from start to finish. The opening few chapters are explosive. We pick up from where the previous book left off and this book left me wanting to find out what happens next for Annie Carter. This was certainly left with room for more and that’s exactly what I am now waiting for. Am eagerly anticipating her third book and would highly recommend Jessie Keane. If you are a Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller or June Hampson fan this is something you will love.