Author: Katy O’Dowd
Published: April 2014 by Untold Press LLC
'Take tea with the Victorian Mafia – organized crime has never been so civilised. Revenge is a dish best served cold. At the Lamb residence, it is also served on fine bone china. The untimely demise of Thaddeus Lamb leaves his son Riley in charge of the vast Lamb empire, which imports tea, picks pockets, extorts, and keeps men warm on cold winter’s nights. And so the Lambs grieve for their father in the best way they know how… Retribution. Hired by the new head of the Fox Family, a position recently vacated by another untimely demise, the assassin O’Murtagh is tasked with the utter destruction of all the Lamb Family’s business associates. They learn the hard way that there is no better hit man than a beautiful woman with tricks and weapons up her finely coiffed sleeves. Treachery and deceit abound in the streets of London, and no one is safe. Honestly, it’s enough to make anyone drink. Would you care for one lump or two'
I was given an ARC by the author in exchange for my review.
Although this is not my usual reading, I did enjoy it in the main. Once or twice I kind of lost the plot and had to go back a few pages but was soon back on track.
It started well, the prologue was enough to draw me in. O’Murtagh, a female assassin in Victorian London, started life as a ragged, homeless, five-year old urchin. She survived the manipulation and being used by various people during her childhood until she is taught how to fight and kill.
O’Murtagh, an intriguing character, is hired for revenge killings, leaving a trail of bodies in her wake completely without remorse. She enjoys her ‘job’ even if it entails killing people she loves.
It’s the Victorian equivalent of organised crime including murder, prostitution, smuggling and deception, it’s all going on with never a dull moment. It’s grim in parts as befits the era but with humour to offset.
I like the structure of the story as we follow O’Murtagh on her killing spree, with flashbacks to her childhood which show how she became who she is, and the Lamb family who are desperately trying to find their father’s murderer. I like the newspaper passages which give another perspective. The plot lines and characters are woven together all the way to the surprising conclusion.