My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - 1 day
Publisher - Harper
Blurb from Goodreads
In Dirty Game, Annie Bailey was an East End Madam. In Black Widow she’s queen of the gangs and trying to save her daughter’s life…
Annie Bailey had done it all; Madam, mistress and Gangster's moll. Now she's Annie Carter, and she taking over the East End.
Annie knew that it wouldn't last. Everything was going so well; she was living in Majorca, had Max Carter - the head of the Carter firm by her side, and had given him a beautiful daughter, Layla. But if there was one thing life had taught her, it was that everything could change in the blink of an eye. One minute she's lying by the pool, the next she's out cold. When she comes round Max and Layla are gone.
It's not long before she gets the demands. They want money or she'll be getting her little girl back in pieces…
There's only one thing Annie can do, she heads back to the East End of London and gathers the Carter firm together. Someone has snatched her husband and child. Now there's a score to settle, and it's being settled Annie Carter style…
The book starts off about 4 years after the first book. Annie is happy married to Max and they have a beautiful wee girl Layla. Living in Majorca and not having to think about anything Annie has gotten comfortable and let her guard down and she will pay for it. She is lying in the sun enjoying her family one minute and the next she wakes up to a blood bath and Max and Layla are gone. She soon discovers that if she wants her family she better pay up. Annie finds herself going through a horrific journey, trying to jump through hoops to meet the demands, keep her family safe and maintain her sanity but the clock is ticking!
I have to say, the book starts quite quick and then slows down a bit but keeps you engrossed. Annie's character, albeit she has had a shock, seemed a light version of her previous hard as nails character. I didn't like it and it seemed to take forever for Annie to get with it and come into her character. For that reason the book almost got a 3 star rating, however, over half way through it starts to pick up and I couldn't put it down. Annie becomes the Annie we know of old and tackles things head on and does what she has to to try and get her family back.
I also wasn't overly impressed with the massacres in this book, not in how they are done as the writing is fine but it just seemed overkill and not required. I am going to get into the third book soon and hoping things are evened out a bit. We see the characters of the past back in this tale and it is nice to read about people we have met in the previous book. There are a few new faces in this one, some to love and some to hate. I would recommend reading the first in this series as it helps build up your picture of what Annie is really like and a love for the other characters. This one I was on the fence with for quite a bit but the latter half of the book really saved it so 4/5 for me this time.