Monday 9 March 2020

Poison - Jacqui Rose

In a life of crime, loyalty means everything – even if you don’t always see eye to eye. But when Vaughn Sadler speaks up to get Franny Doyle sent down, he’s broken every rule in the book to win checkmate.
Holed up in prison, Franny has more than one score to settle – but she’s starting with Vaughn. Because you don’t grass on your own, no matter what. And though she may be behind bars, she will get revenge – whatever the cost.
Before, there was just bad blood running through her veins. But now, there is poison…
Having read three other books by Jacqui Rose (Taken, Betrayed, and Fatal) I was excited to see another release by this great thriller writer. Poison centers on Franny Doyle but, as with Jacqui's other books, features recurring characters from previous stories.

Jacqui's books may be about tough gangland criminals but it's the women in the stories that are the featuring characters, the strong characters, the characters who get things done. Poison is no exception and is the story of Franny Doyle, set up and in prison for murder by someone who should know better. Poisoned by this betrayal Franny sets out to plot her release from prison and her revenge on the men who sent her there.

Poison is an absurdly addictive novel, one that is hard-hitting and, in places, incredibly hard to read. There are bent coppers, gangland criminals, teenage girls who are trying to escape sexual abuse and drug addiction at far too young an age - none of which make for pleasant reading half the time but lend a lot to the page-turning quality of not just Poison but all of Jacqui's books.

Poison can be read as a standalone novel but you may enjoy it more if you have previous knowledge of some of the characters, as events in previous books definitely contribute to what motivates them in this book. Poison is Jacqui's tenth book, the fourth book that I've read by her, and is just as addictive as the first one. I'm definitely going to go back and read the other books that I haven't and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of the characters, old and new.

Although I have very much enjoyed Poison - huge thanks to Avon for sending me a copy of the book, I have to end by saying that it won't be for everyone. There's mention of sexual abuse, drug use and addiction, and strong/graphic violence, but if you like hard-hitting thrillers with a dark edge to them, do try Jacqui's books. My recommendation would be to start with Taken if you can and then you can read the rest in any order you like.
Poison - Jacqui Rose
ISBN - 9780008366964
Publisher - Avon Books
Release Date - February 20th, 2020

Sunday 8 March 2020

The Neighbours - Nicola Gill

Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends.

Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four, renting a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Unfortunately, the latter applies to Ginny Taylor. Single and jobless, Ginny is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she encounters her downstairs neighbour for the very first time...

Cassie Frost is a woman who had it all – she was a once-loved actress, but a recent stint on reality TV has rocketed her to online infamy. She’s suddenly become a national hate figure – and she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job... but can she be persuaded to work for the uber-difficult, excessively prickly woman that lives below her floorboards?

Because sometimes – just sometimes – bad neighbours become good friends...

A bit like family, you can't choose your neighbours. When you move somewhere new it's because you like the area, or because you love the house. Unfortunately, you don't get to interview prospective neighbours, which I think is a really big travesty, and this can be a recipe for disaster! 

Left reeling after a traumatic break-up with ex-boyfriend Jack, which left our heroine Ginny without a boyfriend and a job, she is reaching for the Twirl Bites like a madwoman in an effort to find herself again. The neighbour in question is Cassie Frost, actress and Jungle contestant, and who's recent antics mean she's found herself at rock bottom.

One is in her thirties and the other is in her fifties, you wouldn't think that they would have anything in common but Cassie and Ginny become the most unlikely of friends. Struggling to cope with being unemployed and the two French lovebirds who have replaced her former flat-mate, Ginny sees something in Cassie that most people don't - that she's human and just like any other person on the planet. The two women learn to accept each other through depression, job hunting, trouble with overwhelmed sisters and are two of the best aunts you could ask for.

There's no sugarcoating the problems each of the women has in their lives but we get to see it, warts and all, especially in Cassie's case. As an actress/celebrity, she's quite contemptuous of everyday life, especially where her sister is concerned, and her two out-of-control nephews. The best thing about The Neighbours is watching Ginny and Cassie both learning to accept themselves, learning to understand their sisters and families, and developing the most unlikely but most supportive friendship.

The Neighbours is a perfect weekend read if you're looking for something contemporary about women supporting each other, friendship, and romance. Any author who makes good use of Twirl Bites is a genius as far as I'm concerned, curled up with the bag Avon Books very kindly sent me with a copy of the book made for a perfect reading experience.

The Neighbours - Nicola Gill
ISBN - 9780008355395
Publisher - Avon Books
Release Date - February 6th, 2020

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