CTG Reviews: DANGEROUS by Jessie Keane

DANGEROUS cover image

DANGEROUS cover image

What the blurb says: “Whatever the cost, she would pay it. Coronation year: 1953. Fifteen-year-old Clara Dolan’s world is turned upside down following the shock death of her mother. Battling to keep what remains of her family together, Clara vows to keep her younger siblings, Bernadette and Harry, safe whatever the cost.

With the arrival of the swinging sixties, Clara finds herself swept up in London’s dark underworld where the glamour of Soho’s dazzling nightclubs sit in stark contrast to the terrifying gangland violence that threatens the new life she has worked so hard to build.

Sinking further into an existence defined by murder and betrayal, Clara soon realises that success often comes at a very high price.”

 

Set in gangland London, this is the story of Clara Dolan, a determined and smart woman who after losing her parents at an early age, and being left to bring up her younger sister and brother, sets out to build an empire in sixties Soho for herself. But as her wealth builds, and her husbands fall by the wayside, Clara begins to realise that sacrifice and hard work aren’t the only way to get ahead. As her enemies increase, her family abandon her, and the few people she loves become targets, it seems that Clara may have taken on more than even she can handle.

This is a real page-turner of a book. It had me reading way into the early hours, and returning to the story as often as I could, eager to read more. Atmospheric and bold, showing the extremes of the social spectrum – the riches and excess of the wealthy against the filth and poverty endured by those forced to live in the slums – the story conjures up different images of the sixties from each of the characters’ points of view.

What I especially love about Jessie Keane’s books is the way she creates such a compelling cast of unique and nuanced characters. DANGEROUS is no exception, with brilliantly drawn main characters, and fully rounded supporting characters, all adding to the intrigue and richness of the story.

Mystery, fast-paced action and – of course – danger, this is a fabulous rollercoaster of a read.

Highly recommended.

 

[with thanks to Pan Macmillan for my copy of DANGEROUS]

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