Tag Archives: Alison Brodie

Zenka by Alison Brodie

Zenka_Final_Amazon_1535x2500

Happy publication day to Alison Brodie, whose latest novel, Zenka, is released today.  I was thrilled to be offered the chance to read Zenka ahead of the publication date, grabbed by the sound of a very different kind of heroine.  You can read an extract from Zenka here.

Ruthless, devious, and loyal, Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charge. Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she will turn Nicholas into the son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of. And she succeeds!

Nicholas is learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a mob boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?

Zenka is a fascinating character, made all the more so by the fact that hers is not one of the points of view from which the story is told, aside from the odd letter to a (presumably) Hungarian friend or family member.  These letters give some insight into her thoughts and actions, but for the most part, the reader only sees Zenka through the eyes of others.  Small and feisty, Zenka is more than a little unusual – fiercely loyal to those who have earned it, she refuses to be dominated, and is not afraid of taking matters into her own hands.  Alison made a few changes to the novel shortly before I read it and said that she wished Zenka would get out of her head – a sentiment that I fully understand having read the novel – she is a unique and unforgettable character.

I thoroughly enjoyed the plot of Zenka and found that whilst it sounds like a deceptively simple story – that of a mob boss looking to connect with a son he never knew he had without alerting his enemies to his existence – this quickly became more complicated with multiple threads to the story line, and several twists and turns to keep the reader guessing as to the eventual outcome.  I don’t want to say too much on this, as the story gets going very quickly, and it really is best to go into it with as little prior knowledge as possible.

Zenka is an incredibly fast-paced story, and mixes black comedy with mobsters and a little romance.  It’s a strange mix, but this is a highly entertaining novel that is more than a little amusing.  A little over the top at times (in a good way!), this is an easy read that I recommend if you’re looking for something a little different, as I’m sure there’s nothing out there that’s quite like Zenka.

Zenka was released today as an eBook – many thanks to Alison for providing a copy for review.

Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Advertisements

Excerpt: ZENKA by Alison Brody

Today I’m delighted to share with you an excerpt from ZENKA by Alison Brody, which will be published in November.  Alison was kind enough to share a copy of ZENKA with me for review, and I’m looking forward to reading it soon!

Synopsis

Zenka_Final_Amazon_1535x2500Ruthless, capricious, and loyal.

Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not.  Happily, she now has easy access to pistols and shotguns.

Jack learns he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold.  Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.

Zenka takes charges.  Using her feminine wiles and gangland contacts, she aims to turn Nicholas into a son any self-respecting crime boss would be proud of.  And she succeeds!

Nicholas transforms from pussycat to mad dog, falls in love with Zenka, and finds out where the bodies are buried – because he buries them.  He’s learning fast that sometimes you have to kill, or be killed.

As his life becomes more terrifying, questions have to be asked:

How do you tell a crime boss you don’t want to be his son?

And is Zenka really who she says she is?


Excerpt

Prologue One

Zenka

7 July, 2011

My dearest Alina,

Olga Savchukis is a lying bitch.  She say I vill be taken care of.  I vill get good job in London.  Good job?!  She sells me to Romanians.  I kick man in balls.  I bite.  But I cannot get out.  Even vindows locked.  I know if I am injected I can never escape, NEVER.

Suddenly doors crash open and there is much shooting of guns.  After is silence.  A man with a face like crumpled McDonald bag takes us outside.  The other girls are like sleepvalkers.  We have to step over dead Romanians.

The man who saves us is Jack Murray – I am not allowed to tell who he is, but I can tell YOU because you are in Hungary and cannot sneak.  He is top gang boss in London.

He hates Romanians.  He says it’s very bad thing they do to girls.  The girls who escaped that night get jobs in bakery and supermarket.  Me?  I vill not leave Jack.

Remember the puppy, Yuki?  I am like that.  I follow Jack all around.  He says I am nuisance.  I offer myself to him.  I am virgin but he deserves me.  But he doesn’t vant me!  He says he is too old.  I say he is not too old.  He tries to ignore me.  But nobody can ignore Zenka Valentina Varga if she does not vant to be ignored.  Ha!

You saved my life, I tell him, now I am your guardian angel.  He rolls his eyes to heaven as if seeking patience from God, and says:  How can you be guardian angel ven you are only five foot two?  I say I am small but a grenade is also small.

I get job in Jack’s club, The Men’s Room.  I tell manager I do pole dancing.  (That is ven girl climbs up and down pole – I don’t make it sound sexy – but it is ven it is done right).  Me?  I try to turn upside down, and fall into a heap.  Now I am STAR performer!

I ver vigs, blonde, black, orange, pink, depending on my mood.  Job pays good vage and the customers throw money on the stage – not like other places ver the man puts money in girl’s panties with fingers – urgh!  If man touches me, I slap his face.  He is shocked but his friends laugh.

Jack tells me not to attack customers – it is not good for business, he say.  Yesterday I scratch customer because he hurts new girl.  Jack is angry with me, but then he goes outside and punches the customer.  So JACK can punch but I cannot scratch?  Ver is the justice in THAT?

Jack has bodyguards.  Lockjaw looks like Frankenstein.  Vince is tall but he never talk.  Billy is short and square and he talk too much.  He teaches me Cockney:

“Bollocks” is a man’s balls.  But if you say “Don’t drop a bollock” it means don’t make a mistake.  “I’m the dog’s bollocks” is ven man thinks he is the best.  Jack says this all the time.

I have to tell you. Ven Jack is angry, it makes me laugh.  He can be tough with men, but he cannot be tough with vomen.  He is like the father I never had.  He tells me to find good husband and I say, yes, yes, Jack, to shut his mouth.

My dearest friend.  Do you know ver Olga Savchukis can be found?  If you know this, tell me.  Then I can kill her.

Your loving friend,

Zenka. x

Z-Sheturnedhislifeupside


About the Author

Author photo

Alison Brodie is a Scot, with French Huguenot ancestors on her mother’s side.

Brodie is an international, best-selling author.  Her books have been published by Hodder & Stoughton (UK), Heyne (Germany) and Unieboek (Holland).

Reviews for her debut, FACE TO FACE:  “Fun to snuggle up with” –GOOD HOUSEKEEPING Pick of the Paperbacks.

“Vane but wildly funny leading lady” – Scottish Daily Mail.

Brodie has now gone “indie”.  Here are some editorial reviews for her recent books.

BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor” – Midwest Book Review

THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” – San Francisco Book Review.

ZENKA (to be released 6 Nov, 2017):  “ZENKA is top of my list for best fiction this year.  If Tina Fey and Simon Pegg got together to write a dark and hilarious mobster story with a happy ending, ZENKA would be the result.” – Lauren Sapala, WriteCity

You can find out more about Alison through the following links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alisonbrodie2

Website: http://www.alisonbrodiebooks.com/untitled

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35845259-zenka

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AlisonBrodieAuthor/


ZENKA will be published on 6 November, and is available to pre-order now:

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07534Y6QZ

US:   https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07534Y6QZ

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07534Y6QZ

Canada:  https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07534Y6QZ

Australia:  https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07534Y6QZ