Zenka by Alison Brodie
Publication Date: November 2017
Read Date:January 22nd 2018
Genre: Mystery / Fiction / Romace / Humor
“The plot is hilarious with many twists and turns that you don’t see coming” -Rosie Amber Review Team (Top 100 UK Book Blogger)
When London crime boss, Jack Murray, saves Zenka’s life she becomes his guardian angel. But this angel doesn’t come with fluffy wings. She wants to get tooled up and hit the streets.
But Jack doesn’t want her to go around murdering his enemies. (The last thing he needs is a turf war). The project he has in mind requires a delicate approach …
You see, Jack has received a letter from an old girlfriend saying he has a son, Nicholas. This is fantastic news, but there’s a problem. Nicholas is a wimp, bullied by his girlfriend and bullied by, well, everyone. Can Zenka make him into the sort of son any self-respecting villain would be proud of?
Zenka takes up the challenge. “Don’t vorry, Jack. Ven I am finished vith Nicholas he vill be dog’s bollocks just like his papa.” She grabs a gun and musters the mob.
Nicholas plans to marry Penelope and settle in suburbia. He leads a tranquil, if uneventful, life. That is, until he falls in love with a mysterious Hungarian girl who begs him to protect her. Protect her?! He’s qualified to nurse the elderly handicapped – not attack lantern-jawed thugs in leather jackets.
Frustrated by his cowardice, Zenka turns up the heat. Her tactics become more bizarre, more illegal, and soon events begin to spin out of control.
Meanwhile, Jack’s accountant believes the letter is a lie and investigates.
Which is when the secrets come out – and now someone is going to pay with their life …
“I was laughing one minute and then holding my breath, afraid of what was coming” -Susan Loves to Read
Zenka was lighthearted, entertaining mafia/ mob family drama and romance that revolved around, Zenka, Jack, Nicholas and Trevor. It was full ride of suspense, twists, actions, romance, humor, love, betrayal and secrets with quirky characters and unique writing style. That blurb says all about the book.
Zenka was a red haired Hungarian pole dancer. She was feisty, smart and devious, protective for Jack and called herself Jack’s guardian angel. I loved her voice and each time I read her chapter I was eagerly waiting for the next to read. She was developed character that slowly but effectively grown on you.
Jack, a 42-year-old crime lord, was hard from outside but had a soft and gold heart. He did bad things in his life but he had principles and had past that was responsible for what he was now. He was such a great person and boss. I liked the way he treated Zenka like his own child and the way he tried to change when found about his son.
Nicholas was Jack’s son who was unaware of his crime lord father. He faced life changing events that turned him from sissy to manly. In beginning, he didn’t stand up against bullies- he cowered when some teenage kid told him to f*** off, didn’t help his friend who was victim of abuse, his girlfriend was bossing him and if his prized car jaguar was hit from rear end he would say sorry to the driver! Looking at all this, I was determined not to like him but I was surprised by change of mind. He turned into hardcore bastard just as his father and Zenka wanted. His development was entertaining to read.
Trevor aka Mr. Stockman was Jack’s accountant and business partner. He was selfish and money minded. I didn’t like him in the beginning but when climax arrived I saw development in him and I like the way he brought out his compressed feeling and changed in the end.
Book was third person narrative from the perspective of Zenka, Trevor and Nicholas. I’m not big fan of mafia/mob fiction romance because of the appalling language but surprisingly I enjoyed it in this book. It didn’t feel that bad and it was so funny to read. Writing was unique, direct and engaging. I loved the way some of the mafia phrase were explained in Zenka’s letter.
Beginning of the book told how Zenka was saved by Jack Murray when she was 5-yrs-old, how she became like a daughter to Jack and how Jack got to know about his son. Zenka’s perspective was written in form of letters to Alina. I’m still scratching my head who was Alina and why Zenka asked about her family’s well-being at the end of all letters? I guess for that there might be another book. Anyway, in all letters she poured out her thoughts about jack, Nicholas and how she wanted to take her revenge on Olga. It was fun to read her views in her unique accent.
Nicholas’ perspective told his life as nurse and his friendship with his roommate Jason. Banter between this two was entertaining. In beginning he sounded whiny. But as Zenka arrived in his life there came drastic change in him. He tried to be brave, strong and manly for love of Zenka and that was really sweet to read. I was surprise to see Zenka and jack’s plan work.
Trevor’s perspective told his strong bond with Jack, how he met him and started working for him and what he felt about him. It also told about Jack’s past, how he turned from nice and clever school boy to mafia lord. I loved reading jack’s love for his son and the efforts he put to be good in his eyes. The father-son conversation just before climax was written with emotional and realistic touch.
All characters were just amazing to read. Best part was conversations between characters and their feelings. I felt frustration, tension, anger, and love along with them. Dialogues were entertaining and there were many laugh-out-oud situations and some violent aggressive scene but it weighed heavily on light-hearted side.
And the climax! It was full of twist and turns. I couldn’t see it coming. End was even greater. Good received something good and bad got what they deserved. And I finally said, ‘I didn’t see that coming’ on last page.
Overall, it was refreshing, fast paced, humorous mafia/mob romance that I recommend to the readers of this genre.
Author: Alison Brodie
*** Note: I received e-copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. ***
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