It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Wicked Girls by Heather Atkinson. Many thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.
Title: Wicked Girls
Author: Heather Atkinson
Published on: 1 December 2022
Genre: General Fiction | Mystery and Thrillers
Valerie is attending her cousin Toni’s twelfth birthday when the celebrations are marred by a terrible crime. Uncle Roddy was notorious and everybody feared him. But Toni was his favorite relative. He took her to the kitchen on the pretext of getting water and tried to abuse her. In return, Toni killed him…
A decade later, the McVay family aren’t the unstoppable force they once were in the Glaswegian criminal underworld, no thanks to the untimely death of Uncle Roddy. But Frankie McVay, Toni’s elder brother is a force unto himself. He’s sadistic and a total psycho. People fear him. Frankie wants to restore the McVay family to its former glory by whatever means necessary. And the whole family are expected to help or face his wrath.
Toni shares her brother’s lust for blood and power. But Valerie prefers to live a peaceful life. Toni introduces Valerie to Seb and things change for good. Val and Seb fall in love. This might be the chance that Val was looking for…
Wowza!! What a fantastic, gripping, mind-blowing and twisted gangland thriller. Ab-so-lutely LOVED IT!! This is the second gangland thriller I have read, and the first by Heather Atkinson. I have come to love gangland thrillers – they are not too violent, are full of character and drama, and almost every time a fight between good v/s bad. Oh, yes, they are hell bent on revenge, mind.
The story begins with Valerie at Toni’s birthday party – which ends with Uncle Roddy’s murder. Toni and Val are inseparable. It’s been ten years since Roddy’s death and McVay family aren’t as famous as they once were. But Frankie wants to bring back the McVay glory in the underworld. He recruits Toni and Val to do his dirty work.
Toni has no problem smacking a woman left and right, as long as they have dated her ex-boyfriends or spoken ill about Frankie. Val doesn’t believe in violence. Well, she supports Toni all right, but at the same time, believes there isn’t a need for grievous bodily harm. Things change for Val when she meets the soft-spoken and hunky Seb. He’s studying Philosophy and Divinity at the uni and wants to do God’s work. Val is smitten and she hopes to be his wife one day.
As Val starts to spend more and more time with Seb, she starts losing interest in her cousins’ notorious dealings. Frankie is not happy with this new development. But then, Val is the only one who speaks to him face-to-face without an ounce of fear in her eyes. And he respects her for that. Things are going well until they aren’t.
I really loved the fact that Toni and Val are friends/cousins. No matter what happens between them, they are together. This is further proved at the end of the story too. Toni is brash, loud and everything that Val isn’t. After killing Uncle Roddy (he was abusing her), Toni seems to have a lust for blood – same as her brother Frankie.
I also found it interesting that only Val spoke up to Frankie without afraid of being chopped up. Everybody fears Frankie, including his sister Toni. But Val doesn’t. I felt so sad for Val – things with Seb was going so well and poor thing had no idea what was in store for her. There’s also a stalker incident here which was a tad creepy. This side story develops into something bigger in the second half of the story.
I loved the storytelling. This is my first Heather Atkinson book and definitely won’t be the last. I cannot wait to catch up on the other gangland thrillers she’s written. I loved the characters, the scene setting. The mystery is top-class! I was hooked on to the story and could not put it down until the end. I loved the ending. LOVED IT!!
If you are looking for a gripping, gritty and intense gangland thriller, I highly recommend you to give Wicked Girls by Heather Atkinson a try. Chop chop, off you go, buy the book right away!