This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2013 and it did not disappoint. I discovered Jessie Keane early last year when I devoured the Annie Carter series in a week. Finally, I thought, an author who can actually compete with Martina Cole. Early Martina that is, not her recent stuff. I discovered Kimberley Chambers around the same time too, another author who is as good as Martina in the early days. People have compared Mandasue Heller with Martina but I can't see it myself. Heller's books just have something missing for me (a story and decent characters usually).
Jessie is a fantastic writer. Unbelievably every single one of her books has been unputdownable. It is rare for an author to consistently write books that are so fantastic. Strong characterisation and gripping stories is something she does so well and this latest release shows that Jessie has no signs of deteriorating like so many authors do after a few releases. This was one of her best books yet and I am just gutted to have reached the end. Of all her books the Annie Carter ones are the best. Annie is a fantastic character and I love the relationship she has with Max Carter. Talk about love/hate...
Many years ago Annie survived death and thought that the Delaney twins had been sent to theirs shortly after. But had they? The book skips back and forth between time periods showing us exactly what happened the night that Orla and Redmond were believed to have died. We also learn more about Annie's life and the rather troublesome relationship she has with her daughter Layla, who is very much a daddy's girl. It's hard to talk too much about the book without giving away too much of the plot but needless to say it is a gripping story which once started is extremely hard to put down. All the old cast are back too, Annie's old driver Tony. Ex-brothel madam Dolly. Ellie and Chris. Alberto Barolli. Jessie creates some great characters.
I didn't have any idea where this book was going towards the end as with these sorts of books you are used to the main character(s) coming out on top and so all the troubles they face throughout the book don't affect you because you know it'll all work out in the end but Jessie writes in such a way that anything could literally happen which does lead to a few shocks throughout the book. I also thought that the ending was quite open ended also which leaves me hoping that a future Annie Carter book is in the works? I did hope for another Ruby Darke book but I now want to read more from Annie and Co!