I thought about giving this book 5 stars but then I figured if a book is a 5 star read (in the opinion of the reader) then it doesn't require thinking about and so I give this book 4.5 stars. It wasn't as good as Dangerous Lady which is the first Maura Ryan book and readers should read that book first before this one just for continuity and to understand the characters further than what is written about them in this book.
Martina's books are always mammoth reads and that's one of the things I like about them. Some authors can churn out 600+ page books and 300 of them are rubbish but [most of] Martina's books are actually very readable and apart from a select few there isn't much filler. I felt that this book however went on too long, it started to get repetitive and I just wanted it to be over. The fact that the Ryan family are meant to be top dogs in the underworld can't find one well-known face running across London was ludicrous and the fact that it went on for over half the book was ridiculous.
I also found that this book was one of the more 'gruesome' reads of Martina's but to be honest that doesn't bother me. I read a lot of 1 star reviews criticising Martina for the language she uses (or rather her characters, or because she uses too much violence etc) but isn't that why most people read these books? Seems odd to use that as a criticism. That said reading about Benny Ryan gluing people's eyes shut or stapling them was pretty awful, but not enough to give a book 1 star, if you can't handle a bit of swearing or violence then stick with kiddie books and leave Martina to the grown ups.
I felt the ending was a bit predictable but ultimately it was a good ending. There were only two things I would have done differently but just the fact that a lot of the book seemed to go on too long prevents me from giving this book 5 stars as I feel it could have been better. But still a fantastic read that at times was hard to put down.