Scarlet Drew is settling into the family world of gangland crime. But a sexual assault leads to plans for revenge that go beyond anything the family or gang have ever attempted before…
Her Rival is the sequel to Her Revenge and we catch up with the intrigues and escapades of the notorious Drew family. I think there is enough backstory included that it would not matter if you can’t wait to read this one although there are spoilers about events in the last book.
Scarlet is a determined woman, still adjusting to life without her dad and anxious to make a name for herself as well as prove herself to her aunt who now head the family. Her experience at the hands of a drunken toff leads to a huge heist plotline which I loved.
Once again, Lily Drew stole the show for me. A hard outer shell to protect her reputation and family but fear for her family makes her vulnerable. This is evident in her romantic relationship with Ray and tense relationship with her drug addict daughter Ruby.
There is violence but it is not extreme considering the genre. The plot moves relentlessly fast again and I was completely swept up in the lives of the Drew family members.
Her Rival is an excellently engaging and gripping family gangland saga. I am such a fan of this genre and have previously reviewed other Emma Tallon book including Fearless Girl and Ruthless Girl.
Fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers will love this nail-biting new book from crime author Emma Tallon, set on the same mean streets as her bestselling Tyler Family series.
Scarlet Drew is new to London’s criminal underworld, but she’s hell bent on making a name for herself as joint head of the family firm alongside her aunt Lily. But when Scarlet finds herself alone with a rival business owner at a black-tie event, she is little prepared for what happens next.
Determined not to let the drunken lech get away with his crime, Scarlet hatches a plan for revenge – she’s going to steal his most valuable asset and put her name on the map. But as she gets to work, she fails to notice a silent stranger watching her every move. Someone knows exactly what she’s up to, and is plotting their own way to get their hands on the priceless goods.
Face to face with a new enemy, Scarlet fears the Drews may have finally met their match. With the whole family at risk, it’s going to take everything they have to stop their empire going up in smoke. But will everyone survive the fight?
Her Rival is a gripping and addictive crime thriller that has it all – strong women, explosive action and an ending that will have you gasping for breath!
Emma Tallon is a British author of gripping, gritty, organised-crime thrillers and mother of two.
Having started her writing career as a freelance ghostwriter, Emma finished her first novel, Runaway Girl, in 2016, and became an author full time. Since then she has written several other novels for her publisher and has carved out a successful career for herself from her home in Milton Keynes, where she can usually be found typing away in her office surrounded by large stacks of books and Post-it Notes full of ideas for future stories.
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Lady Eleanor Swift is invited to her former school to give a speech to the current cohort of boarders. However just as she takes centre stage, speech day is cancelled with the announcement of an accident. Her favourite teacher, now the librarian, has been murdered but who could possibly have wanted to harm the elderly woman? Ellie is determined to find out…
A Lesson In Murder is the seventh book in Verity Bright’s Lady Eleanor Swift series. It can be read as a stand alone book but I would recommend you read them all as the characters are so entertaining!
Ellie is not your typical lady of the manor. She is assisted by her stoic, practical and often exasperated but always unflappable butler Clifford alongside bulldog Gladstone. There is a romantic side to Ellie shown through her antagonistic relationship with police officer Hugh Seldon.
I enjoyed Ellie’s reminiscences about her escapades as a child which prepare her for going undercover at the school. She is given charge of one of the houses whose boarders are notorious for their behaviour but Ellie is up to the challenge. She investigates her former teacher’s murder with the permission of Hugh unlike in previous books so they have more positive interactions than usual.
The writing style is light hearted and the main characters are wonderful. Ellie continues to defy convention and the dynamic with Clifford remains strong, underpinning the plot.
When Lady Swift is invited to her old school, she walks through familiar classrooms, finds her favourite books in the library… and surely that’s not a body? Time for a lesson in murder!
Autumn, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift is invited to her old school, St Mary’s, as a guest speaker. Her favourite teacher, Mrs Wadsworth, has asked that Eleanor talk about her intrepid travels around the globe – travelling the Silk Road by bicycle, crossing the Himalayas and even befriending the Maharaja of India. But in the circumstances, perhaps it would have been a good idea to talk about her career as a daring detective…
Because no sooner has Eleanor brushed up on her times tables then she is greeted by terrible news: Mrs Wadsworth has been murdered. Eleanor is utterly devastated but she owes it to her dearest teacher to find out who killed her and why. So, alongside Gladstone the bulldog, it’s best paw forward to track down a villain.
But when the art teacher is also found dead, Eleanor is sure someone is trying to do away with the people who taught her everything. As Eleanor delves into possible motives, she discovers a clue in the most unlikely place: her mother’s old school diary. Does the route to the murderer lie within a secret passageway her mother uncovered? Can Eleanor nail the culprit in time or is the killer coming for her next?
A totally gripping and glamorous 1920s cozy! Fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Rhys Bowen are in for a treat.
Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.
1944 Netherlands. A prison becomes a concentration camp. A young couple offer hope to the inmates by smuggling letters and parcels past the guards. But danger lurks and no good deeds go unpunished…
The Girl Across The Wire Fence is an historical novel set during WW2 in Nazi-occupied Netherlands. It is based on a true story which adds an extra poignancy to the plot and characters.
Frans is a 16 year old farm boy who is exempt from conscription to the German army or factories due to his essential work. Saskia is his girlfriend whose family look Jewish and are persecuted despite their papers. Theo becomes an inmate of Kamp Amersfoort due to his mistaken attendance at an anti Nazi meeting.
Together the trio offer hope to the prisoners as they smuggle and distribute letters and parcels. The tension is apparent and thoroughly described over the developments of the book. The author doesn’t shy away from the brutality of the camp but it is not shown in graphic detail.
Theo grapples with his morality as he is forced to work alongside the Nazis whilst undermining them to help the other inmates. I liked the emotion and realism of the characters which really brought them to life and made me care about them.
I found the ending a little abrupt and would have liked more of Saskia’s perspective especially due to her circumstances in the final chapters. There are lovely details about characters we have met over the course of the book which lightens the tone so that the book ends on a note of hope.
The Girl Across The Wire Fence is an engaging and interesting novel about the Dutch situation during the war.
1944, Amersfoort Concentration Camp, Holland. Based on a true story, the unforgettable tale of two young lovers who risked everything to keep hope alive in the very depths of hell.
On a cold, dark day in a tiny Dutch village, Saskia and her boyfriend Frans watch as Nazi soldiers force thousands of prisoners towards Amersfoort Concentration Camp. Their hearts break as they see the desperate faces of innocent men and women and realise that the war is closer to them than it’s ever been before…
Saskia’s father’s shop is raided when the guards suspect that he is Jewish, and Frans is soon forced to enter the concentration camp every day to collect scraps of food as it’s the only way to feed the animals on his family’s farm. But despite the growing fear the couple feel, when a prisoner begs Frans to send a letter to his beloved reassuring her he is alive, they know they must risk everything to help him. They smuggle his letter out, right under the noses of the Nazis. And eventually they ferry hundreds of messages for prisoners, bringing them hope in the darkest moments of their lives. But every letter Frans gets out of the camp puts him in even more danger.
Every reply Saskia manages to collect is a risk. Then Saskia is led into Kamp Amersfoort and is forced to wear a yellow star.
Inside, she cannot ignore the pain of the other prisoners, and Frans knows she will be putting herself in more danger to help them – attracting the attention of the guards. The couple know they must act. Everyone says it’s impossible to escape the camp, but it’s the only option they have left. Their love has kept them together but is it enough to help them survive?
A gripping story of love, betrayal and courage. Readers of The Tattooist of Auschwitz,The Nightingale and anything by Fiona Valpy will never forget this heartbreakingly beautiful novel and the great sacrifices Saskia and Frans made to change the fate of the world.
Imogen Matthews is an Oxford-based, award-winning author and journalist with an interest in forgotten stories from WW2 Holland. Imogen was born in Rijswijk, Holland, to a Dutch mother and English father who moved the family to England when Imogen was very young. All her life, she listened to her mother’s stories about her life in Holland, in particular the hardships she faced during the Hunger Winter in 1944-5, which has had a profound impact on her writing.