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The Gangster's Wife Paperback – October 21, 2015
About the Author
Anne Brooke lives in Surrey, UK. She is a multi-published author in a variety of genres, including gay erotic romance, fantasy, comedy, thrillers, biblical fiction and the occasional chicklit novel. Her fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize (for novels set in London) and the Royal Literary Fund Scheme. When not writing, she spends time in the garden attempting to differentiate between flowers and weeds. Occasionally, she can also be found in the kitchen making cakes. Every now and again, they are edible.
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If it's not enough to be burying your steady and gentlemanly husband, there's also the matter of some stolen money that Elise's husband seems to have stashed somewhere. Something his crime associates and the police are most interested in. Of course there is that one word note that may or may not mean a thing. Then there's Hugh, Elise's boss, and university admin machinations, a well-meaning neighbour who is good for tea, cake, and sympathy - although the sympathy may mean different things to the individual. The funeral service had to be one of the most random services with a crime member, a police officer and Elise all giving their own... unique eulogies, which I found pretty quirky and amusing.
The writing is good, as I always expect from Anne Brooke, and the story was The Gangster's Wife engaging. Even though Elise isn't necessarily one of the warmest characters on page, her outlook makes the book because if she were maudlin it would be a rather miserable story. And all circumstances considered, she is not easily phased and is quite shrewd. I admired that. She didn't let the police push her around and she made a decision to do what it took to save her house - ill-gotten gains or not. And when she thinks about it, she's rather proud of her husband's criminal business acumen and the fact that he always remained a gentleman, which the criminal element support. The police, however, leave a lot to be desired.
"But you never managed to catch him actually doing anything illegal, did you?" Elise cut in, suddenly feeling inordinately proud of her secretive criminal husband.
"So if any of what you're about to tell me is true, then whatever he might have been, my husband was in fact cleverer than you, and for rather a long time. He was also more polite, as you've not even welcomed me or thanked me for coming here yet." Sergeant Bradley cleared his throat, and blinked, while the constable made a sound that might have been a laugh.
Another good read from Anne Brooke. I always enjoy authors doing something different and this is a deviation from others of Brooke's that I've read. I recommend The Gangster's Wife for people who enjoy a British setting, humour, and narrative - because that's what you get. Crime in Surrey? Please, how un-Surrey-like. People who also like subtleties and empathise with what it's like getting older and set in your routine/ways - and suddenly that rug gets pulled out from underneath you - may find rapport with Elise and her motivations. If you like character driven stories it helps, but there is also a bit 'o' mystery regarding the stolen cash as well. Nice reading to put your feet up and have a cuppa with.
This is a delight. Quite humorous and I could not begin to predict how it was going to end. Thoroughly enjoyed all the characters, even the gangsters.
Anne Brooke is well known for her various books of fiction, and "The Gangster's Wife" does not disappoint. Is has just about everything and a bit more, enough to keep you hooked up in the story.
With an enjoyable language and a good story evolution, I don't regret purchasing and reading the book, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to escape in a weird, but catchy story.
Brooke takes us into the mind of Elsie. That’s the part I loved best as we begin to know Elsie, we find she is a no-nonsense kind of woman set in her own ways even though her husband is gone and her world is turned upside down by the police, her feelings for her boss Hugh and Lottie the neighbor trying to bring comfort to someone who doesn’t need friends. Throughout she tries to continue on with life without Gerald. The story has a unique twist as it unfolds completely through Elsie’s mind, eyes and heart. Her quest to find out the truth about her husband’s secrets and missing money makes for light-hearted humor in the midst of sadness. Overall an excellent novel that keeps the reader entertained.