Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Rivals by Sam Michaels, the follow-up to Trickster and the book that introduced readers to Georgina Garrett.
Thanks to Vicky at Aria for inviting me to take part in the tour and for my review copy. I hope you’ve been following the reviews and content posts by the other fabulous book bloggers taking part in the tour and will continue to do so next week.
About the Book
The streets of Battersea are about to get a new leader, one who will rule with an iron fist.
It’s the 1930s and Georgina Garrett has risen up from her tough beginnings to become the new boss of the Battersea gang. But not everyone is pleased with a female taking charge…
With rival gangs trying to steal her turf, untrustworthy men in her midst and her dad lost deep in the bottle, Georgina has a lot to tackle. With her friends and family in constant danger and those closest to her questioning her leadership Georgina must use her wits to show that she’s made for this job.
The Garrett name is one to be feared and Georgina will begin to change the face of Battersea forever…
Format: ebook (418 pp) Publisher: Aria
Publication date: 3rd October 2019 Genre: Historical Fiction, Crime
Find Rivals on Goodreads
Rivals follows on from events in the first Georgina Garrett book, Trickster, and in order to bring new readers up-to-date there are by necessity references to key events in the previous book. Therefore, although Rivals can be read as a standalone, I’d recommend readers who might want to follow the series to start with the first book. I haven’t read Trickster and I’ll confess it took me a bit of time to work out the different relationships and who did what to whom in the first book.
In Georgina Garrett the author has created a powerful woman who is ruthless towards her enemies and will do whatever it takes to protect her family. She’s certainly not afraid to take on the men at their own game. In fact, at times she feels the need to go beyond what they might be prepared to do to counteract the prejudice she experiences.
The world Georgina inhabits contains some distinctly unsavoury characters and even some of the more likable characters have secrets they will protect at all costs. It’s a world of rival gangs out to protect their patches and involved in activities such as extortion, prostitution, illegal gambling, drugs, alcohol and weapons smuggling…and more besides. Although Georgina reins in some of the more distasteful elements of the Wilcox operation, she’s still up to her neck in some pretty nasty stuff. And she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty when necessary.
With all the twists and turns of the plot and the action-packed confrontations between rival gangs, there isn’t much space for the reader to get a sense of the period (the 1930s), aside from a few mentions of the depression, the rise of Hitler and German rearmament. However, I guess murder, extortion and protection rackets go on regardless of the political backdrop.
Described by the publishers as ‘perfect for fans of Peaky Blinders, Martina Cole and Lesley Pearse’, Rivals will appeal to readers who like their crime thrillers dark, violent and populated with ruthless individuals.
I received an advance review copy courtesy of Aria Fiction, via NetGalley.
In three words: Gritty, dark, twisty
Try something similar: Five Days of Fog by Anna Freeman
About the Author
Sam Michaels writes gritty gangland sagas set in Battersea, South London, which is where she was born and bred, the council estates being her playground.
After leaving school at sixteen with no qualifications, Sam married soon after and had a son. The marriage ended quickly, and as a single mother, she worked in various retail positions until undertaking an Open University degree. This led to Sam becoming an analytical scientist and then into technical sales where she met her husband.
A few years later, they moved from Hampshire to Spain. It was then that her mother, the Sunday Times best-selling author, Kitty Neale, inspired Sam to put pen to paper. She now writes her novels in sunnier climates with the company of her husband, four dogs and six cats.