Book review: Dangerous Promises by Roberta Kray

A chance encounter with a stranger on a train ride to London leads a young woman into a trail of deception, danger and murder.

Thursday, 11th February 2016, 10:00 am
Dangerous Promises byRoberta Kray
Dangerous Promises byRoberta Kray

Welcome back to the shady criminal underworld that has become the literary home of Southport-born Roberta Kray whose marriage to notorious gangster Reggie Kray gave her an authentic insight into London’s East End.

In her tenth sizzling thriller, Kray draws on both her unique perspective on crime and her ability to create tense, hard-hitting page-turners to deliver a white-knuckle journey into the heart of darkness.

Sadie Wise has finally tracked down her feckless husband Eddie who left her five years ago, taking every last penny out of their joint account. Now in a new relationship, all she cares about is getting Eddie to agree to sign the divorce papers so she can move on.

On the train to London to confront him, Sadie finds herself confiding the whole story to a stranger, Mona Farrell. In Sadie’s mind, it’s a brief encounter of no importance but in Mona’s troubled, twisted mind, it’s the basis of a promise.

Because Mona hates her father and, just as in the plot of Patricia Highsmith’s thriller Strangers on a Train, she tells Sadie that getting a total stranger to kill him would be the perfect murder. First, she will rid her new friend of her cheating husband and, in exchange, Sadie will kill her control- freak father.

Unnerved by the meeting with Mona, Sadie finds Eddie, persuades him to sign on the dotted line and is soon heading back north to her new love. But just a day later, she learns that Eddie was stabbed to death in his East End flat.

Now Mona is stalking Sadie, urging her to fulfil her side of their ‘deal’ and Sadie is under suspicion from the police. But the greatest danger might yet come from the criminal gangster family of Eddie’s girlfriend Kelly Gissing. They blame Sadie for Eddie’s death… and they want revenge.

Kray’s gritty foray into the shady criminal underworld positively crackles with tension and menace. Vivid, well-drawn characters, a tantalising plot, chilling intrigue and bags of action make this a number one choice for crime fiction fans.

(Sphere, paperback, £7.99)