Jimmy Byrne is a criminal and bad company. Colleen knows it. Somehow he wins her over. If only she knew.. Jimmy’s father Michael knows all too well..
Jimmy Byrne would be more than happy to butcher his father, Michael, to death. Jimmy considers him a poor excuse for a man, betraying his wife Joanie, Jimmy’s doting mother. Against all the odds, somehow, Joanie still loves her husband even if all respect for him has gone. Now she keeps him on a short leash and misses no opportunity to put him down. Michael knows he is lucky to still be living but fears for his lifelong ‘imprisonment’ as Jimmy has made it crystal clear that he will watch his father’s every move. Then Jimmy runs into a business obstacle by the name of Edel, the owner of a florist shop. As it happens, Edel has a lovely daughter, Colleen and, even if we want to shout our warnings from afar, it looks like she is falling under Jimmy’s charming spell …
Jimmy Byrne and his lifelong friend and business partner Alex Costa have it all worked out: the demolition of old flats and the development of a new building with luxurious apartments in Dean Street, Soho. With Westminster Council upgrading Soho, Jimmy and Alex’s apartments for the rich will make Soho “the place to be” and the project will land them in Millionaires Row. Every flat owner has agreed to sell so nothing is stopping them from realising their dream apart from an old lady, Edel, running a florist shop. This causes a major rift between the friends and business partners and they decide to play it hard with Edel but she is not easily scared.
Where Alex wants to notch the heat up a bit, Jimmy decides to try something completely different by courting Edel’s daughter Colleen. If only she knew what she was getting into she would never have gone out with him. But who can withstand a mother’s pressure? Is it for real, the love affair between Jimmy and Colleen? It seems so, at least at first. Alex is far from pleased with these amorous developments and neither is Joanie, Jimmy’s mother, who takes an instant dislike to Colleen, and is determined to maintain control over every aspect of Jimmy’s life. But does she know the depths to which he has sunk in his criminal life, or of his uncontrollable outbursts of violence? It is Colleen who finds out, but too late …
What an extraordinary dark thriller! It is not what I expected when I first started reading about Jimmy Byrne because if you think you get a profound insight into his criminal activities, you are wrong. In fact, I think the outset of the book is something completely different: the impact of a dominating and controlling mother on her son’s life, a woman’s life, crushed by a murderous maniac and of children growing up with a submissive mother and a cold-blooded father who turned out to be … no, I thnk I will leave that to your imagination as in the end, nothing is quite what it seems. Did I like Colleen, the other protagonist? At first, I thought I did and felt she could be the perfect counterpoint to Jimmy, but then she sort of faded away.
The only two really sympathetic protagonists of this story were Jimmy Byrne’s father, Michael (strange as it seems after reading the opening chapter) and Colleen’s mother, Edel. I loved the plot twists and the unexpected characters coming out of the blue, influencing the outcome of events massively. There are so many betrayals and underhand dealings that you could completely get lost in it but one, for me, was the saddest of all and made me think Jimmy Byrne is, in fact, simply pathetic and his carefully construed life nothing more than an empty façade. I read the book in one session as I just had to find out what would happen next with every dramatic event unfolding before my eyes in this steady paced thriller!
About the Author
Born in Cuckfield, West Sussex, Casey Kelleher grew up as an avid reader and a huge fan of author Martina Cole. Whilst working as a beauty therapist and bringing up her three children together with her husband, Casey penned her debut novel Rotten to the Core. Its success meant that she could give up her day job and concentrate on writing full time. She has since published Rise and Fall, Heartless, Bad Blood, The Taken, The Promise and her latest release, The Betrayed.
|Publisher||Bookouture (20 Jun. 2017)|