The Bad Girl by @ldonskylevine reviewed for #RBRT #TuesdayBookBlog 1970s #fiction

  • 28010021Author: L Donsky-Levine
  • Kindle Edition published November 2015 by Steel Wheel Publishing
  • Category: Contemporary 1970s Fiction
  • five-stars

1971. Riley Madison is always looking over her shoulder. And always running. From poverty, from abuse, from a childhood snuffed out by a junkie mother, and a violent past marginally kept at bay. This twenty-two-year-old New Yorker lives in her less than perfect world where her only friend is a cat, and when not self-medicating with Twinkies, Oreos and cigarettes, she works at a Times Square sex emporium servicing anyone who can pay. Not because she wants to. But because she has to if she aims to stay one step ahead of the dangerous underworld that sees her as nothing more than prey. Prey whose internal armor is about to be tested in ways she never imagined when her life once again spirals out of control. 
Survival in the animal world is a simple concept. Survival in the human world is not.

Although this is a novella it packs a huge emotional punch. It’s a dark look at one very damaged girl’s fight to survive in 1970s New York. Riley Madison works in The Deuce, an area of Manhattan well known to the police and those who liked to indulge their individual pleasures. At just twenty-two, Riley does what she has to in order to survive. Her life has been a series of horrendous situations and, emotionally scarred, she can’t envisage herself ever having a better life. Despite it all, she endures. Continue reading

For Nothing/Buffalo Soldiers ~ the books

 

  • 5108sabF8XL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_SX342_SY445_CR,0,0,342,445_SH20_OU02_An Upstate New York Mafia Trilogy
  • Book 1 ~ For Nothing
  • Author: Nicholas Denmon
  • Published: June 2011 by CreateSpace 
  • Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Crime/Thriller/Suspense
  • four-stars

Undercover cop Alex Vaughn goes deeper than ever into the organized crime family of Buffalo, NY. Motivated by justice and revenge, he seeks out the assassin that laid his friend Jack low.

Professional killer Rafael Rontego traverses the deadly politics of Buffalo’s mafia underbelly. In a city whose winter can be just as deadly as those wielding power, Rontego tries to stay ahead of the game.

A Mafia crime thriller (my first) begins with a very graphic and descriptive scene of someone getting shot which drew me in immediately.  Not because it was a shooting, but because of the detail and the feelings it evoked. A very powerful and moving opening.

Alex Vaughn, a New York police officer, saw his friend’s murder and wants revenge.  Jack wanted Alex’s help and now he was dead. Alex goes undercover in order to infiltrate the crime family in Buffalo he believes responsible.

Rafael Rontego is the mafia’s cold and relentless hit man. He and Alex are on a collision course.

There’s lots of action, suspense and tension and the insight into the workings of the underworld is detailed and interesting, if somewhat scary. 

The chapters are written from the point of view of two characters, Alex and Rafael, which works well. The ending is a cliff hanger leading onto book two…

I was really surprised to learn this is a debut novel.  The details and descriptions make the story jump off the page, very visual and the characters are intriguing and decidedly believable.

  • 51WGMdVjkcL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-74,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Book 2 ~ Buffalo Soldiers
  • Released: April 2012
  • four-half-stars

Notorious assassin Rafael Rontego is kidnapped from his hotel room moments before FBI Agent Sydney Price and her team close in on the man she believes can provide enough evidence to bring down the Ciancetta crime family. As she chases down the prize of her investigation, she enlists help from former Buffalo undercover cop Alex Vaughn. The ensuing blood bath leads them on a trail that exposes corruption, terrorists, and the realization of their deepest fears.

Buffalo Soldiers is another action packed, bloody and tense tale of mafia and mobsters, following on from Nicholas Denmon’s debut novel, For Nothing.

It’s a complex tale, gritty, dark and sinister with really good character development. The action and tension start with the abduction of the assassin, Rafael Rontego and doesn’t let up until the final page. 

We’re introduced to FBI Agent Sydney Price, who is on Rontego’s trail because she believes, with his evidence, she can bring down the Ciancetta family.

Ivan Ninsky is another new character, just released from jail and sucked back into the murky world of  the mafia crime families, he does what he needs to do to stay alive. In his world that’s no easy task.

This is a well crafted story with credible characters who, although flawed, somehow still appeal.

I like to be able to visualise scenes in a story, the writing is very descriptive and evocative, quite graphic too, and so lends itself to visualisation very well. I also like the way the suspense is built with each chapter coming from a different character’s perspective.  Kept me guessing all the way!

Buy the books Amazon UK and Amazon US