My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time Taken To Read - 3.5 days
Blurb From Goodreads
The Bailey brothers are gangsters determined to make their mark in the world. Peter and Daniel are chalk and cheese in many ways - Peter's calm exterior belies his ruthless nature, while Daniel's penchant for spectacular violence is legendary - but together they are unstoppable. From the late seventies they rule London's East End and, when their sons join the business, it seems that no one can touch the powerful Baileys. Although it's never easy at the top; there is always someone waiting to take you down - sometimes even those closest to you... Lena Bailey is determined to shield her youngest child Tania from the Life. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, Tania's eyes are opened to their world in a way that forces her to make an irrevocable choice that will determine her future.
This is Martina's new novel and introducing a new family, the Baileys. Peter and Daniel and brothers, a tough upbringing with their mother being shunned as a single parent from a Catholic family. The story starts in 1997 briefly then revisits the 70s to build up a picture of the family and what happens to lead to the events in the 90s.
The characters are strong and stay with you, Daniel is a nutcase pure and simple. He acts first and thinks later (and even then is still convinced he was right on some level), Peter is the polar opposite - everything is thought through first and actions are always fair although can be just as brutal as Daniel. The story covers their rise to being the top family and the loses they suffer as a consequence. Despite some of the brutality and how they make their money, this book has a strong moral code of loyalty and how strong family bonds and honor can be.
There is pretty much non stop action from the very start, as with all her books there is bad language, violence, a little bit of sex and lots of suprises and skulduggery. If you like her books so far you won't be disappointed.
Had work not got in the way I could easily have read this in one sitting (all 500 pages of it). Martina is currently doing a book tour with this so check Waterstones website to see if she is visiting your town. She is a very interesting lady and I could have listened to her all night.