Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden

Title: Rough Diamonds

Author: Gillian Godden

Published on: 2 August 2022

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Gangland Thriller

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Rating: 4 out of 5.

Recently widowed Patsy Diamond wants answers. Who was her husband, Nick Diamond, really? She knew he was more than just a lawyer. He used her salon for money laundering. But soon after his death, the money stopped coming in. And who killed him – the man she once loved?

Patsy knows exactly who to go to first – Natasha, Nick’s pregnant mistress who is currently in jail. Natasha might seem young and innocent but Patsy is sure she’s hiding something. The only way to find out is to make Natasha a part of the Diamond family, after all she’s carrying Nick’s baby.

As the two women get together, they form an unlikely bond. Patsy did not think she and Natasha could be close – and treat the young woman as a little sister. As the two women, along with Victoria (Nick’s mother) and Sheila (Natasha’s friend) start digging deeper into Nick’s secret life, they realize their lives are at stake…


Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden is the first gangland thriller I have read and definitely won’t be the last. Strong and independent female characters, a story that keeps you hooked on until the end and of course, a bit of oomph and naughtiness. 😀

The story begins with Patsy visiting Natasha in prison. Patsy is up to something and Natasha wants nothing to do with her lover’s disgruntled wife. Natasha is carrying Patsy’s late husband’s child. Her firstborn, Jimmy, is sent to a foster care – he accidentally shot a man. Though Natasha claimed she was innocent, she was arrested for keeping a fully-loaded weapon in her house.

Patsy has a plan. She wonders if Natasha knows about Nick’s money laundering scheme. She’s also looking for answers involving Nick’s secret life. Natasha goes into premature labor and a child is born. Victoria, Nick’s mother, writes to the judge handling Natasha’s case – she says she will provide shelter for the newborn baby and mother. Natasha is released into Victoria’s custody and efforts are made to bring Jimmy (Natasha’s firstborn).

Sheila, widow of the man who was accidentally shot and killed by Jimmy, knows of Nick’s secret life. Patsy and Natasha go over to meet her. On their first meet, they do not get along. But when Sheila calls Patsy and says her life is in danger, Patsy helps her out. Meanwhile, an Albanian goon has threatened Patsy – he was in her house when she came back from the salon one evening. He’s physically harmed her and threatens to kill if she does not stop interfering.

There’s also another side story here – James, one of Nick’s right hand man, seems to have a beef with an Albanian man. (The same who threatened Patsy.) As the story proceeds, it becomes very clear to the reader that the Albanian goon has his eyes set on Nick’s empire – drugs, trafficking and the whole lot. He doesn’t like people interfering in his business – be it Nick’s wife or James.

The story went a tad off-track halfway through. There’s more emphasis on Patsy and Sheila’s love life, as well as Beryl (Nick’s grandmother) and her role in this whole mess. At times, it did feel like a long read but definitely worth it.

The character portrayal is excellent and the story leaves you guessing for more. This isn’t your usual murder mystery. A bit of gore and oomph – after all, this is a gangland thriller. There is a twist at the end – something to do with the person responsible for killing Nick. Nick Diamond’s killer gets justice alright – in gangland style.

Rough Diamonds by Gillian Godden is an action-packed, gripping and intense gangland thriller.

I received an ARC from Boldwood Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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