Your Chance to WIN: DANGEROUS by Jessie Keane #bookgiveaway #CTGcomp

DANGEROUS cover image

DANGEROUS cover image

To celebrate DANGEROUS by Jessie Keane coming out in hardback, those lovely people at Pan Macmillan have given me three copies of this fabulous crime thriller to giveaway.

Here’s a bit about the book …

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.”

This is a real page-turner of a book. 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. You can read my full review here https://crimethrillergirl.com/2015/02/19/ctg-reviews-dangerous-by-jessie-keane/

 

*** THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED ***

So, to the competition …

For a chance to win a copy of DANGEROUS all you need to do is tweet the link to this post (using the Twitter button below) OR retweet one of the CTG tweets about the giveaway with the hashtag #CTGcomp [You’ll also need to follow us on Twitter, so that we can send you a direct message should you win].

Rules
 (1) One entry per reader (2) UK residents only – due to postage costs – sorry! (3) We will draw the winners at random (4) No cash alternative (5) The competition closes for entries at 9pm GMT on Sunday 8th March 2015 (6) The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

Good luck!

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]

Confessions from CrimeFest: Part Two

L-R: Kevin Wignall, AK Benedict, James Oswald, Anne Zouroudi, Ben Aaronovitch

L-R: Kevin Wignall, AK Benedict, James Oswald, Anne Zouroudi, Ben Aaronovitch

I did indeed get up in time to make it to the first panel of the day, but I didn’t manage breakfast. Still, it was worth it. The Debut Authors: An Infusion of Fresh Blood panel was great fun and all the panel members were surprisingly perky for a nine o’clock start. Moderator Jake Kerridge talked to panellists MJ Arlidge, Mason Cross, Jake Woodhouse, Kate Griffin and Colette McBeth about their debut novels and the route they’d taken to publication.

Next up, was the Death in High Heels: Women as Victims panel. MR Hall, Jessica Mann, Jessie Keane, and Martyn Waites (who also writes as Tanya Carver) debated the issue of how women are portrayed in crime fiction, especially when the victim of the crime is female. It was an interesting and thought provoking discussion covering everything from at what point violence becomes ‘torture porn’ through to the use of female images on book covers.

I then had time for a swift coffee (black, no sugar) before heading into The Modern Thriller panel. As thrillers are my absolute favourite of the genre, this was one of the panels I’d been most eager to see. Moderated by Doug Johnstone, the panel of Belinda Bauer, Helen Fitzgerald, Chris Ewan and Simon Kernick talked about what constitutes the modern thriller, and how it differs from a crime novel. Defining characteristics seemed to be agreed on as pace, and a sense of urgency. They spoke of their own favourite modern thrillers, with Harlan Coben’s Tell No One coming out as a popular choice.

I didn’t stop for lunch, instead going straight on to watch the Things That Go Bump In the Night: Magic, Paranormal & All Things Supernatural panel. Moderated by Kevin Wignall, with Ben Aaronovitch, AK Benedict, James Oswald, and Anne Zouroudi, this was a lively panel with some great discussion about mixing crime with the paranormal. I particularly enjoyed some of the more random questions poised by Kevin Wignall to the panel (which were questions he had been asked by children when doing author events) – these included: ‘Can you tell me a story about a hamster?’ And ‘What would be your X-Man name and superpower?’ Fabulous.

By that point in the day I was rather panelled-out, but managed to find the energy to head along to the drinks reception that evening to watch 2014 CWA Diamond Dagger Recipient Simon Brett in performance. Then it was off for a fabulous curry with the Icelandic crime writers before heading to the bar for a few last orders drinks (and beyond!).

CTG Interviews: Author Jessie Keane

Author Jessie Keane

Author Jessie Keane

Today I’m really excited to be joined by bestselling British author, Jessie Keane, crime writer and creator of several crime series including the Annie Carter crime novels featuring the fabulous strong female lead character Annie Carter. 

So, to the interview …

What inspired you to create Annie Carter?

Annie Carter sort of appeared in my head when I was at a very low ebb. I wanted to write something entirely for my own pleasure – I didn’t care whether it got published or not, this was for me. So I was able to let rip and let aspects of my own personality come to the fore when I created Annie. She’s not so much me, as everything I would really like to be. Forthright, beautiful, a firm friend and a deadly enemy. She’s tough, and I like that. Not perfect, but a real trooper. She dominated Dirty Game, my first crime novel, and she’s been chucking her weight about ever since.

Did you plan the Annie Carter series from the outset?

Emphatically, no. Once I’d written her in Dirty Game, it just seemed a natural progression to continue her story in Black Widow, and then I got excited about her and the Mafia in Scarlet Women, and then Playing Dead, and Ruthless.I would love to do another Annie book, and when I get that crucial idea, I will.

Dive right in, or plan the story first?

I so admire writers who plan everything first! I have friends who do this, and I wish I did too, and I’ve tried … but it just doesn’t work for me. If I try to plan, I find I’m bored with the story before I’ve written even a handful of chapters; whereas in my own style (strictly seat-of-the-pants) I rush up to my study every morning, keen to get started on whatever comes next.

RUTHLESS cover image

RUTHLESS cover image

What advice can you give to new crime writers trying for publication?

Make sure you love writing crime. Always write what you love and what comes easiest to you, what really suits your writer’s ‘voice’. You’ll know it when you find it. And persist! That’s really boring advice, I know, but you’ll get rejection slips (unless you’re very lucky) and some downright rude refusals. Take it on the chin. Keep going.

And, finally, what does 2014 have in store for you?

Publication of LAWLESS, the second Ruby Darke book (sequel to NAMELESS) in July. Lots of interviews and festivals and fun, in between which I’ll be writing a brand new book (my 10th) with a brand new heroine, the deadline for which is November. So it’s going to be a full year, and by the end of it I’ll be starting out on my 11th book, so it’s all go!

Sounds great – and lots to look forward to reading.

Many thanks to Jessie Keane for popping by and answering our questions.

You can find out more about Jessie and her writing over on her website at http://jessiekeane.com/

And check out our review of RUTHLESS, the most recent Annie Carter novel, here

CTG Reviews: RUTHLESS by Jessie Keane

RUTHLESS cover image

RUTHLESS cover image

What the blurb says: “After fighting her way out of East London’s criminal underworld, Annie Carter’s life appears to be perfect. She has all the trappings of a wealthy and successful existence. And her longstanding rivals the Delaneys are dead, out of her life for good …

But behind the gilded surface, Annie’s life is descending into chaos. Her marriage is in tatters, her relationship with her daughter is fraught and there are whispers on the streets of London; are the Delaney twins really dead? Perhaps Annie should have demanded to see their bodies lying on a slab in the morgue …

Once again Annie is being chased by those who want her dead. But this time, the stakes are even higher and her enemies are even more determined …”

This is the first book by Jessie Keane that I’ve read, but it most certainly won’t be the last. Tightly plotted, with a full cast of wonderfully larger-than-life characters, this novel had me gripped from the very first page.

The main protagonist, Annie Carter, seems to those around her a real woman-on-top, but beneath her glamorous appearance and no-nonsense business savvy, she’s in emotional turmoil. Still, she’s determined to pull her life back on track.

Then someone tries to abduct her daughter, blow up her car, and break into her home. Worse still, their description seems to match that of one of the Delaney twins, Annie’s arch enemies, who she believed to be long dead. Sending her daughter into hiding, Annie puts her personal problems aside and partners up with her ex-husband, Max Carter, and her youngest step-son, Mafia boss, Alberto Barolli, to find out who is behind the attacks, and whether the Delaney twins really died all those years ago.

The novel takes the reader on a journey from London, to New York, and across to rural Ireland. What I especially loved about this story was the way multiple story strands were woven together: a coming-of-age story for Annie’s daughter, Layla, and an explosive battle of wills (and sexual tension) for Annie as she tries to keep an uneasy truce with her ex-husband; all set within a deadly game of cat and mouse with a determined killer driven by revenge.

Intriguing, suspenseful and thrilling. A real page turner.

Highly Recommended.

 

[With thanks to Pan for my review copy of RUTHLESS]