- File Size: 2892 KB
- Print Length: 326 pages
- Publisher: Bookouture (June 21, 2017)
- Publication Date: June 21, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XXKCYB1
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,822 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Betrayed: A shocking, gritty thriller that will hook you from the first page Kindle Edition
|Length: 326 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
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 …
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!
Now as to how the man who shows no mercy comes to woo and marry the shy and quiet Colleen Walsh, you will need to read to find out. They say opposites attract but in this case it is more a case of being blinded to the truth by a lethal combination of charm and money – Jimmy has both in abundance. When a devastating chain of events is set in motion on their wedding day, it will change Colleen’s life forever. But is this one single night really what leads to be biggest mystery of them all – who killed Jimmy Byrne?
After the very difficult subject matter covered in The Promise, The Betrayed showed a marked change in pace. That is not to say that it is any less thrilling or compelling – believe me this book gripped me from the start and had me turning the pages without pause. It is simply different. Jimmy Byrne is a character that has been so well crafted and developed that I found myself developing a soft spot for him, in spite of the heinous crimes he has committed, and the serious sidelines such as prostitution and drug dealing that he is involved with. Casey Kelleher has created the perfect anti-hero in Jimmy. There are elements of his character which appear tender and make you warm to him, just as Colleen did, even though you know that he has the hidden agenda that we as readers are privy to. But then he is the ultimate bad boy, a man whose temper can turn faster than the wind and who is even more adept with his fists than he is with his charm. And this is a truly deadly combination, something Colleen will find out all too late.
Colleen is another well observed character. She is kind and so very caring, everything Jimmy is not, but just when you think she may be able to survive falling in love with Jimmy, disaster strikes. What happens to her then… well it is no wonder that she changes so dramatically. I did like Colleen, willing her to find a strength that she seemed lacking. But then maybe she was the strongest one of all as against all the odds, she survived. And then we have the mothers. Firstly, Jimmy’s mom Joanie, a true Irish Matriarch who needs to control everything, even her grown son’s life. And then there’s Edel, Colleen’s mother, a woman so madcap that you cannot help but love her. There are many other characters in this book, each one skilfully written, enriching the story in their own special way, but of all of them I really did enjoy getting to know Edel the most. Think Mrs Brown with plenty of oomph and a touch of the East-end and you won’t be too far from the truth of it.
Characterisation is something Casey Kelleher excels at, and she has imagined a varied and colourful cast within this book. Not a single one is out of place. Loved it. I didn’t really get enough time with Nancy or Daniel in this books to feel strongly for them either way, but Nancy is definitely a chip off Jimmy’s block. And there was a hidden depth to Daniel, a slyness or cunnning hidden just below the surface, something which, given the way this book ended, I can only hope will be explored in a further episode. It is certainly a story that cries out for that sequel and I for one am more than happy about that. The pair are both young. There is so much more trouble that they could achieve.
There are a couple of violent moments in the book, but I don’t think any were as shocking as in previous books. Perhaps because the victims were, by and large, adults or as near as, and all connected with Jimmy’s murky world so it just seemed to fit. Dare I say that most were deserving victims, and the seemingly natural way in which the violence occurred made it feel less, I don’t know, in your face. None of it was graphically described, yet you got a clear picture of the gangland styling of Jimmy and his business partner Alex without the need for over the top drama.
If you enjoy a well crafted crime family story with a myriad of colourful, dangerous and multi-faceted characters then you absolutely want to read this book. No, there is no major heist to hook you. There is a ‘deal’ of sorts, which the central premise of the story is built around and this alone is enough to hook the reader and reel them in, desperate to see how it will play out. Probably not as you’d expect as it happens. But above all else, Casey Kelleher has captured the spirit and changing face of SOHO and London in the eighties brilliantly, pulling the whole thing together around a dynamic family you cannot help but love to hate.
So. Did I love this as much as I loved The Promise? Of course I fluffing did. And really there is only one thing left to say.
When is book two out?
Most recent customer reviews
Those closest to you don’t stab you in the back. Do they?
Jimmy Byrne is one of the biggest faces on the Soho scene.Read more
As again Casey Kelleher hasn't disappointed with this storyline, with an all out London Crime, gritty story.Read more
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