What the publisher says:
Beginnings is a romantic thriller set in the criminal underworld of 1970s London. Eleanor Chapman is 16. She has no idea her father is employed in a world of organised crime until the day he is forced to go on the run, leaving her at the mercy of dangerous people.
Her life is spiralling out of control yet on the night she plans to escape, she stumbles across a mysterious prisoner. His name is Jake, a rock musician from Holland and he has a contract on his life.
Their daring escape across London eventually draws them into a place of hiding before Jake’s chilling story begins to unfold. He was the one vital witness to a sinister scene leading up to the death of a British MP and now those responsible want him silenced. As two young people, thrown together by fate they develop intense feelings for each other. It does not take long for Eleanor to realise that she will do anything possible to keep Jake alive.
Their tender love bond keeps you turning the pages as they live on a knife edge, desperate to escape London. Will they outrun the deadly enemies who stalk them? Or are the people at the top more powerful than they think?
What I say:
Eleanor Chapman has had a sheltered life at boarding school but one day in the holidays she receives some information that changes her life forever when she is told the truth about her father. She has believed he was a manager in a car showroom but it turns out he is actually the hired muscle for his boss, the notorious Sammie Maxwell. Now, as a result of vicious turf wars between gangs her father must hide and entrust her to Sammie’s care.
Sammie entrusts her to a couple he knows but, with Sammie’s untimely death, Eleanor is not safe there. The couple sell her to a pimp and leave her in a brothel. Here she meets Dominic Theakston for the first time, the rival gang boss who will do anything to get revenge on her father. Scared of what Dominic is threatening to do to her Eleanor escapes from the brothel, at the same time managing to release Jake who is also being held captive.
Together the two go on the run and the story follows them through the next few months as Jake’s story is revealed. The tangle of police and political corruption is tackled alongside romance and intrigue.
This is a fast paced novel which instantly sucks you into the story. This is the first in a series of five but there is no annoying cliff hanger at the end of the story which can only be resolved by reading the next books. The characters are likeable and believable and, although I am too young to remember the seventies, the details do seem realistic.
Rating 4 out of 5