Blood Sister

Written by Dreda Say Mitchell

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group.

Blood Sister
Hodder and Stoughton
RRP: £6.99
Released: August 11 2016

Blood Sister tells the story of three very different women, and is the first book of a series featuring one family on an East End estate spanning a period of forty years.

Jennifer Miller is determined not to make the same mistakes her mother made. She wants a job in the fashion industry, and a good man. Her sister Tiffany, two years younger, is already wild at sixteen, doing drug runs for gangsters and doing everything she knows she shouldn’t. The third woman is Dee, who knows exactly what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it; and what she wants is the Boss, the house, the money and the power. The fact that the Boss already has a girlfriend is not going to deter her.

I am a big fan of strong female characters, which are certainly present here, but the main problem I had with the story is that it’s hard to like any of the characters. All of the men are complete scumbags, with no redeeming features whatsoever, but then again, it’s not a story about the men. The women are presented as survivors; as doing whatever they need to do to deal with the circumstances life has thrown at them, but none of them are particularly sympathetic characters.

Dee is manipulative and completely without conscience, Tiff is a tearaway, and Jen, though at heart a ‘nice girl’, comes across at times as being somewhat naïve and indecisive, and in the end, despite her resolve, may not end up with a good man, though her mother Babs really doesn’t help. Jen is forever getting the message that women such as they, can’t afford to be too picky – hardly a positive message to be sending your daughter.

Like all first parts of a trilogy, the book ends in such a way that it will leave readers who enjoyed the story eagerly waiting to see what happens in the next book.

Effectively a family saga set in the East End of London, fans of Martina Cole and East End gangster stories will probably enjoy this series.

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