As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Avon,29 December 2016. ISBN:
Dubious gangland justice isn’t normally top of my must-read list, so I
approached Jaime Raven’s second novel The Alibi with a degree of
trepidation – especially when I found one of the novel’s three voices belongs
to Danny Shapiro, leading light in East End gang culture, and another to Ethan
Cain, bent copper in Danny’s pay.
But I needn’t have hesitated.
Not only is Danny swiftly revealed as a reluctant gangland boss who would have
preferred a different way of life, but the main narrative thrust comes from
Beth Chambers, ambitious and not too scrupulous tabloid journalist who is
determined to bring him down and isn’t particular how she does it. What’s more,
Cain is Beth’s ex-husband, all of which makes for an interesting tangle of
Beth is about to enjoy a
weekend in her native Peckham (an area which Raven clearly knows well) with her
small daughter when a call comes in from the news desk. Megan Fuller, glamorous
former soap star and Danny Shapiro’s ex-wife, has been found murdered in her
apartment, and Danny is in the frame. But Danny has an alibi – which Beth
determines to break.
The various machinations of
the three protagonists soon gather pace, and the result is a fast-moving,
high-octane, plot-driven storyline peopled with larger-than-life characters on
both sides of the law. Long-kept secrets spill out and loyalties are tested;
threats and violence hang in the air and occasionally come home to roost; no
one, guilty or innocent, is safe as Danny fights to clear his name and Beth
goes in to bat for her version of justice, and, of course, grab the front-page
None of the three main
characters is easy to warm to, and there are plenty of others who are even less
likeable; there’s a particularly repellent enforcer on Danny’s team. But I
found myself involved in their story and carried along on the sheer narrative
energy: I have no desire to encounter people like these in real life, but on
the page I simply had to know what was going on. That has to be the mark of a
rattling good yarn.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.