Today I am delighted to share my review of Wicked Girls by Heather Atkinson. This is a brilliant gangland-style thriller, and, as with other books I have read by this author, it is another fabulous read.
My huge thanks to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of the book for review.
Cousins Valerie and Toni McVay have been best friends forever, and when you’re a McVay you need all the friends you can get.
When Toni’s twelfth birthday is marred by a terrible crime, the wicked path of the girls looks set. A decade later, the McVay family aren’t the unstoppable force they once were in the Glaswegian criminal underworld but Frankie McVay, the up-and-coming prince, is determined to restore the family to its former glory by whatever means necessary. And the whole family are expected to help.
His sister Toni shares her brother’s blood lust but Valerie dreams of a quieter life, and when she meets and falls in love with Seb, as straight as Frankie is bent, as kind as Frankie is wicked, Val sees her way out.
Can she escape a family that is determined to own the city, and to keep Valerie firmly in their violent grasp? And will Toni ever let her best friend Val turn her back on the bloody secret they have shared for all these years…
Purchase Link – HERE
This is a brilliant read and if you are a fan of gritty and tough gangland-style genres with strong female leads then this is one you should have on your list.
Toni and Val are cousins, they stand by each other through thick and thin and always have each other’s back. The story starts in a shocking way when the girls are 12 years old, it gives a brief intro as to why Toni especially is so ferocious as she gets older. The main bulk of the story is told a few years later, Toni is coming up to her 20th birthday. When I say ferocious, she really is, but don’t underestimate Val, many have and many have realised their mistake.
The girls have always known the lifestyle they have been brought up in is a violent one. They are part of the McVay family and you don’t mess with them, especially Toni’s brother Frankie. Just his name is enough for people to back off unless, of course, you are one of the rival families.
While Toni is definitely happy with her lifestyle, Val is not so much and wants more of a normal life. Toni would call it boring, but this is where the girls do differ. With Val wanting a different life it means that there are going to be times when she has to make some tough decisions. This becomes more evident when she finds a “nice, normal boyfriend”, Seb shares the same interests, but he is a student and has a different calling in the way he sees his future.
I really enjoyed the dilemma that the author set out for Val. While she wants to continue a relationship with Seb, she doesn’t want him to know how violent her family actually is. At some point, it is obvious that he is going to meet them though.
The relationship between Val and Toni is great and I can see why the girls are as they are. But having different futures is something that doesn’t cross Toni’s mind. Val has a job which Toni sees as pointless as Frankie pays them for doing the ‘odd job’ for him.
These girls are tough, they know how to look after themselves and they are not averse to using whatever means necessary to prove their point. The author has had to make these two tough and the back story of Toni when she was 12, gives relevance and a reason. The story focuses mainly on Val, I liked this as it meant I could see a different side to her, while Toni is the strong and quick-tempered one, Val is more the thinker, the planner and the plotter. It is this difference that means Val can see the bigger picture.
The tension of this story gets better and better as you read it. The sense of danger lurks on each page and it did make me wonder how on earth these two girls were going to get through. The ending of the book is quite a shock, and it gives a really good conclusion.
This is a tough and at times shocking story, it is full of tension and there are some great twists. the characters are fabulous and there are definitely some I was rooting for. If you like gangland crime thriller stories then this s one you definitely should have your eye on. It is one I would also recommend.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heather Atkinson is the author of over fifty books – predominantly in the crime fiction genre. Although Lancashire born and bred she now lives with her family, including twin teenage daughters, on the beautiful west coast of Scotland. Her gangland series for Boldwood, set on the fictional Gallowburn estate in Glasgow begins with the title Blood Brothers.
Check out the other stops on the Blog Tour…
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx