Review: Vixen by Sam Michaels

Wednesday, 22 April 2020
Title: Vixen
Author: Sam Michaels
Publisher: Aria
Publication Date: 23rd April 2020
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5
Purchase: Amazon
While World War Two rages on around them, the gangs of London are fighting for their turf...

There might be a war on, but that doesn't stop Georgina Garrett running her business with an iron fist. No one said running the Battersea gang was going to be easy, but her unflinchable nature makes Georgina unstoppable.

With a role that requires a ruthless ability to seek revenge and pay out crippling punishments, Georgina's enemies are growing in number. With a target on her back, Georgina knows she must do everything to protect her family. But, with the loss of someone closest to her, can Georgina rise up from the ashes or allow a usurper take her crown?

I am a huge fan of the Georgina Garrett series by Sam Michaels and couldn’t wait to get my hands on Vixen. I’d say that this book could be read as a standalone, but I recommend reading the previous two books, Trickster and and Rivals, first to get the full enjoyment and emotional impact that Vixen delivers.

Sam Michaels is a fantastic author and has written three of the best books I have read in the gangland genre. Since Trickster we have followed Georgina Garrett across the course of one hell of a life. From childhood right through to her adult life, here in Vixen set during World War II. It was a refreshing change to read a gangland book set during the war. It added a whole new dynamic to this type of story and I felt that Sam captured that era perfectly. The fear felt by the characters was palpable, and the descriptive elements of the war were so brutal, written in a way that had you visualising all too easily this awful period in history. It’s a truly atmospheric read the whole way through. The dark side of the war, and how people used it to their advantage is on full display here, but so too is how Georgina uses it to help the people in her area. Breaking the law yes, but it’s not always as black and white as that when it comes to Georgina and her firm.

Whilst Georgina Garrett is definitely her own character, if asked to liken her to somebody, I would say she is like Annie Carter from Jessie Keane’s series, and that series is one of the reasons why I love this genre so much. Georgina is a fascinating character, and one who faces danger from many different corners, despite the fact she always puts others first and does everything she can to help those who come to her. It just shows how things like wealth and power can bring out the evil, nasty and jealous side to some people and whilst Georgina is sometimes like a cat with nine lives, Vixen is a book that had me thinking those lives were about to run out with each page turn of my Kindle. I just couldn't believe how much she had thrown at her, but I was rooting the whole way through for her to overcome everything.

The story in Vixen is outstanding. I was absolutely gripped to everything that I was reading. It was great to be back with all of the regular characters, but also good to meet some new ones too. I have to say that aside from Georgina, my favourite character was probably Charlotte. One thing I enjoy most is when an author makes you hate a character, only for your opinion to have completely changed by the end of the story. That happens here with a few of the characters, such is the journey we see them going on. Georgina only ever tries to help people, yet you wonder why when you see people just throw it back in her face. One such character who I have always hated is Fanny. A woman who expected her daughter, the weak and timid Molly to take over the business earlier in the series, not realising that she didn’t have the fearlessness, boldness and confidence that Georgina has in spades. Nor does she realise that the life she currently has is thanks to Georgina. But again, that is the talent Sam Michaels has in drawing out this emotion in me as a reader, seeing these characters and their situations as wholly believable and making me get completely caught up in everything that I am reading.

Vixen was a book that had me thinking about it whenever I was away from my Kindle. I was constantly thinking in my head about what was going to happen next, and I couldn’t wait to pick my Kindle back up and get right back into the story. Sam Michaels kept me on my toes the whole way through the story. Another thing I like about her is how she doesn’t hold back. It’s not always a given that the characters I like the most will survive each chapter, and so I was more than a little nervous at times at just what was going to happen next. It is a heartbreaking read in places, with a story I won't be forgetting in a hurry. This series is a must read for fans of the gangland genre and it’s one that I will be recommending everywhere. It reminds me of early Martina Cole where her books weren’t just one story, they were multiple stories within one book. Real, gripping sagas and that is exactly what each of these books by Sam Michaels have been too.

My only hope after finishing Vixen is that we will be getting another instalment in the near future. But for now, for those who are yet to read this series, I cannot recommend it enough.

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