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4.4 out of 5 stars
Gangster Girl
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
I have a large list of authors that I repeatedly pre-order books for and at least 70% of them I have read every one of their books. However, I enjoy adding new authors to that list and Dreda has just shot straight to the top of it.
Nearly all of my books are brought through Amazon and every time I pre-ordered a book by Mandasue Heller, Martina Cole or June Hampson this authors name kept popping up. What caught my attention was the reviewer rating for each of her 4 books. 2 of them had the maximum 5 star rating and the other 2 were a 4 star and 4.5 star. I decided to take a chance, ordered her latest release and hoped I wouldn't regret it.

TAs I opened the book and started to read I was transported back to the time when I read `The Ladykillers' by Martina Cole. The reason I say this is that when I read that first Martina book she had a raw energy which hooked you as a reader (it's just a shame it doesn't still happen with MC). There was the same feel with this book and I just knew I was onto a winner. Dreda Say Mitchell has a knack with her writing style which conveys an authentic feel to the story and characters. It took me no more than 3 chapters to be totally absorbed.

Daisy Sullivan is a brilliant character who I adored from the very beginning. Yes she is a gangster's daughter but this element of her was not overdone and the storyline that drags her past into the present is totally perfect. There is nothing about it that felt over the top and she was the perfect mix of bad girl turned out good. The other characters which appear are also written with equal skill. Ricky Smart is the opposite of Daisy but as soon as he comes into the story you can't help but want him to be the perfect match for her. The pace itself was quick from the outset with events spiralling the further into the story you get. I love a book that makes me want to read quicker to find out what happened and this book did exactly that.Lastly, I have to say that any author who can have as many plot twists as Dreda did is the best you can get. There are some major twists in this story which I didn't see coming at all and the author manages to reveal them in the last 4 chapters.

A soon as I finished this book I was determined to get her other three books and stick them in my to-read pile. This is possibly the best new crime author I have found this year. She is now a permanent fixture on my author pre-order list and I can't wait to get cracking on her other work. Dreda Say Mitchell is a rising star in my opinion. The likes of Martina Cole need to be fearful, because once this lady gets a following (if she keeps on writing like this) she will be a serious threat to all those who take their fans for granted. If you like authors such as Mandasue Heller, Martina Cole and Jessie Keane then do yourself a favour and pick up this book; I promise you won't regret it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2011
Gangster girl started really promisingly - as other reviewers have said very much in the style of early Martina Cole. It has all the right ingredients for a great East End saga but somehow about halfway through the story it all gets a bit ridiculous and very predictable. I didn't really get the references to Calamity Jane throughout, I mean Doris Day's character is basically good whereas Stella King (or Daisy for that matter) really isn't!! The 'visitations' from Daisy's long dead father were very hard to take seriously and just added to the general comicalness of it all in the end. But it's not a terrible read and I wouldn't say don't buy it!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2010
Read all Dreda's books and this is the best one so far! A lot of twists and turns along the way and great characterisation. More please Dreda.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2010
What a gripping and intense read! Yet another one of Dreda Say Mitchell's great
novels. Each chapter leaves you wanting more- what an exciting plot!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2010
This is without a doubt one of the best books i've read. The plot grips you from the first page and you just can't put it down. Can't wait for the next book.
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on 2 November 2011
I had to read this for my library readers' group, otherwise I don't think I'd have got beyond chapter one. It's so clumsily written, and stuffed with every cliche you could want, from opponents of Stella King risking floating down 'Father Thames' (how many Londoners call the river that?) to Daisy's penchant for 'bangers and mash'. Also there's the slick cop and the drunk one, the slick one bent and the drunk one ultimately virtuous; then there's the high-flying female superior, hard-nosed but with a heart: how contrived can you get? Then again, the deliberate thrusting forward of the working-class/upper middle class clash is so blatant and so inept that it seems petulant rather than insightful.

The attempts at suspense are thrust so often under your nose that they become annoying rather than enticing. The constant cutting from one scene to another, usually when people are about to be identified, gets tiresome (especially when it's quite clear who they are). The frequent references to 'what happened in 1990' pile up so high that you can't see the plot for them.

As for clumsiness: how can someone who has lived in the East End believe that there's a Bethnal Green High Street? How does Stella King come to have £100 notes in her desk drawer? Boats on the canal moreover are narrowboats, NOT longboats (no Vikings in the story, love). Can you hold open the doors on the Jubilee Line at North Greenwich, it being one of the stations with the doors at the platform edge?

The plot is good, and I won't spoil it, but it's clogged up with so much inept writing that you need to be patient as a saint to wait for it to arrive. Or an EastEnders fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 March 2011
excellent read, dreda is as good, if not better than Martina Cole, June Hampson etc. Read this book is double quick time, and would recommend this book to fans of the above authors.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2010
I have read all Dreda Say Mitchell's books and Gangster Girl another good read,can't wait till next one.
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on 5 September 2010
I had the pleasure to read Dreda's first book 'Running Hot' and was impressed with her unique voice and the characters that she presented. Running Hot was a rollercoaster of twists, turns, drama, highs and lows. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought she couldn't surpass her award winning Running Hot...

I was wrong!

I finished Gangster Girl last week and had to tell everyone at my workplace and family to read this book. I couldn't help thinking about Susan and Tommy in Gangster Girl while watching the 3 part documentary on Channel4 last week - 'The Hunt for Britain's Sex Traffickers'. This might be a work of fiction but it definitely shines a light on an unspoken part of life in London.

Dreda's voice is very unique and you'll enjoy getting introduced to the good, bad and ugly characters in this book.

My only disappointment was when I got to the last page.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 27 July 2010
Again one of Dreda's improbable but totally convincing plots. It zips along and the characters are the sort that you care about. Some grisly bits i read from 'behind the sofa' but was impelled to go on. Can thoroughly recommend
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