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The Debt Hardcover – Bargain Price, February 17, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, February 17, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Dick Francis and Simon Kernick will relish British author Kray's fiction debut, a cynical, hard-edged suspense novel told in alternating chapters from the perspectives of the two main characters—London mobster Johnny Frank and Simone Buckley, the daughter-in-law of the man Johnny blames for his long jail sentence. Convicted for the murder of a partner-in-crime two decades earlier, Johnny emerges into the world bent on revenge against Jim Buckley, the man who snitched on him. Taking advantage of the informant's greed, Johnny arranges to be a temporary lodger in his intended victim's household, where his path crosses with the attractive but unhappy Simone. Despite her intelligence, Simone is trapped in a marriage to a faithless rake, whose financial crimes have put an end to her career as an accountant. Razor-sharp writing and excellent pacing elevate this effort beyond the standard vengeance thriller. Kray is the widow of Reggie Kray, who with his twin brother, Ronnie, was a well-known London underworld figure. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

You might expect that a crime novel written by the widow of Reg Kray, one of England's most notorious gangland overlords, would be tough and brutal, and it is. After spending 18 years in prison for murder, Johnny Frank is free. And he has a mission: to get revenge against the man who put him behind bars. But first he intends to tear the man's life apart, very, very slowly. The author, who previously published a biography of her late husband, proves to be an adroit storyteller, and her fictional creations feel authentic--so much so that it's easy to imagine running into them should one take a wrong turn and land on Britain's meanest streets. It's hard to know, of course, how much of the story draws on real-life events, but that hardly matters. The book is what it is, and that's an uncompromising, grit-filled crime novel. Recommend this to fans of Ian Rankin, Ken Bruen, and David Lawrence. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf (February 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786716991
  • ASIN: B001G7RE5A
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,232,423 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Roberta Kray, widow of one of the notorious Kray brothers, seems like a perfect person to delve into the fabric of crime families.And it all starts well. Johnny Franks plots the revenge on Jim Buckley, a man responsible for his long prison stint. The main set up was very interesting, the characters live and real, and the impecably hinted sense of danger kept the reader glued to the pages.
And then, perhaps the lack of experience or the laxity of an editor, stood in the way of a very promissing debut. Almost two thirds of the book is the showdown between abovementioned Mr. Franks and the Buckleys daughter in law Simone, more than mildly annoying character.
The uneven debut, " The Debt " is a like a slowly deflated baloon. The book ends with a pathetic whimper instead of a bloodcurdling scream.
I am willing to give Ms. Kray another try, but not just yet.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I will read more of Roberta Kray. Story was put together with skill and kept me going till the very end
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