Hall of Fame Review: Lawless by Jessie Keane (5/5)

Tuesday 15 July 2014
From bestselling author Jessie Keane comes Lawless, the heart-racing sequel to Nameless.

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 . . .

As a huge Jessie Keane fan this was one of my most anticipated books of 2014, and I am so glad to say that it did not disappoint at all. Thanks to Laura from She Loves To Read for sending me her review copy.

This genre of books is my most favourite. I love crime fiction but especially the sort of fiction which focuses on the criminal underworld in London. A few years ago the only books you could find like that came from Martina Cole (well, she did create the genre), then suddenly it took off and we now have quite a few authors writing similar books, some doing it brilliantly, others not so. Having now read all of Jessie's books I think it's impossible for her to write a bad one. This was probably her strongest yet, both in terms of story and the fantastic cast of characters.

Books like these I don't feel can be read as standalones. Continuing where Nameless finished and with a good enough recap to get me reacquainted with the story, those new to either Jessie or the Ruby Darke series should definitely start with Nameless. It's almost impossible to talk about the story in books like these but it centres around Ruby Darke and her family. Ruby gave birth to twins, Kit and Daisy. Kit is dark skinned and Daisy is white and whilst Daisy grows up in a rich family, Kit is disowned by his father and brought up in care. Nameless was a gripping read, you knew where the story was going but you couldn't wait for it to get there and there were plenty of surprises along the way. Now in Lawless Daisy has changed her name to Darke whilst Kit hates his mother but made a promise to Michael, Ruby's now dead lover and Kit's father figure that he would try to make amends and look after her. Kit believes that Michael was killed by Tito Danieri and so takes his revenge by killing Tito. The Danieri family of course are after his blood and so our story begins...

Jessie Keane really does tell a blinding story. One thing you can rely on her for are twists and turns, literally hundreds of them here and plenty of shocks. We see the appearance of characters we didn't even know existed and I was floored many times reading this book! The relationship between Ruby, Daisy and Kit is written in a very believable way. You feel for all three characters. And the Danieri family are especially evil. Going back in time to as early as the 20s and 30s we read about them from the very beginning and what brought them to England. The story of their daughter Bianca is particularly shocking. It's so hard to talk further without ruining the story but for Bianca's storyline I was gripped! You just have no idea where the story will go, and Jessie is an author that keeps you on your toes, so even if you suspect what will happen she will throw the biggest curveball. Every single character has secrets, and every character faces danger from a multitude of places. You just know something bad could happen to any one of them and you are just hooked on the book waiting for it to happen.

The book moves at a lightning speed, the last hundred or so pages especially. There was no question of me putting the book down until I reached the end. And what an ending...! Just brilliant stuff and seriously addictive reading. This book just reminds me why I rate Jessie as one of my favourite authors. With the release of Nameless I feared that it might not have been as good as her Annie Carter series, her two standalones were brilliant but the real standout is Annie Carter. After finishing this book I think I'd say the Ruby Darke books are better than Annie Carter! I hope Jessie's next book, Dangerous continues the Darke story but whatever or whoever it's about I'm sure it'll be once again another unmissable read. This book does have a nice conclusion but I'm not ready to leave the Darke family behind and could read about them for a couple more books at least! Major book hangover coming.

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