Review: Avenged by Jacqui Rose (5/5)

Wednesday 13 August 2014
Thrilling, dangerous and compulsive, Avenged is perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.

You make a deal with the devil; you pay your dues…

Franny Doyle has always known that her father Patrick has been up to no good. After all you don’t become one of London’s number one gangsters without ruffling a few feathers along the way. Still, she adores her dad and she knows that he would lay down his life for her – she is his number one girl and he has taught her everything she knows.

But when something terrible happens to Patrick, Franny realises that he has some very dangerous enemies. Delving into Patrick’s past, Franny becomes involved in a high-stakes game. She’s not afraid. Patrick has taught her to be a fighter and she’s determined to make him proud, even if it means paying the ultimate price – her own life.

So here we are at Jacqui's fifth book, Avenged. Somehow she is managing to release two books a year with no sign of a decline in quality. Of the authors writing these gangland novels Jacqui is right up there in my top three alongside Jessie Keane and my favourite author, Kimberley Chambers. What I love about Jacqui's books is the world she has created within Soho, characters from previous books feature in all her books either as a brief mention or as with this one as vital parts of the story. To me it makes the book feel all the more authentic and almost as if you are just continuing a story rather than reading a new one and yet each one can still be read as a standalone. The atmosphere she creates in her books is fantastic.

This time however the book opens in Ireland in the 1970s. At first I was a bit apprehensive about this, and yet after just a couple of chapters I was hooked. Jacqui has this amazing ability to draw a reader in and have you caring for her characters in such a short space of time. She also writes about subjects that are not for the faint hearted and the story here was a particularly nasty one featuring some vile characters who work together to essentially destroy the lives of two children, Mary and Patrick. It's all the more shocking knowing that things like this actually used to happen. You know nothing good is coming but you still find yourself hoping for the best. 

At around page 120 the story jumps to present day Soho and as glad as I was to be back in this world I was disappointed at leaving Ireland behind and felt that part of the story was a bit rushed. It seems the days of the Martina Cole doorstop books are a thing of the past, perhaps readers don't want 800+ page books but I could easily have read this book had it been even longer for the story and characters to have been explored further. That said though the story is very hard hitting, thought provoking and will definitely have you feeling various emotions. It's quite a realistic story that really gets your blood boiling and I felt extreme hatred for some of the characters. 

The parts in Soho were as always action packed, the last few chapters especially I couldn't read quick enough. Jacqui never fails to surprise the reader, or to take a book down the road other authors may avoid. She is a born storyteller and the stories she tells are very addictive. I finished this in just a few sittings. I loved the mentions of all the previous characters from Jacqui's novels. Once again she has written a story that pulls at your heartstrings and one which ultimately makes you value your own life and the family around you. Overall I really enjoyed this book and have no trouble recommending it. I also loved the preview for Jacqui's next book coming in 2015: Disobey. If you are yet to read a Jacqui Rose novel do not hesitate to pick up this book.

Thanks to the publisher for the review copy

Buy from Amazon 

My Review of Betrayed

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