Monday, February 20, 2023

Aubrey Nye Hamilton Reviews: Takeover by Edie Baylis

Edie Baylis is a much-traveled British native who lives in central England, where she turns out one volume of gangland crime fiction after another. Book 16, the fifth in her Allegiance series, is scheduled for release in July 2023.

The first book of the Allegiance series, Takeover (Boldwood Books, 2022), introduces the Reynold and Stoker families, the leading organized crime families in Birmingham, England, in 1995. Their wildly popular gambling casinos are the apparent source of each family’s wealth but they are really fronts for arms smuggling, drug trafficking, prostitution, and other unsavory but profitable activities.

To his nephew John Maynard’s great disgust and his daughter Samantha’s amazement, Len Reynold announces at his daughter’s 30th birthday party that she will be the heir to his business enterprises. Samantha has been busy mapping out a career as a successful graphics designer so this news is not welcome. Maynard had always assumed he would inherit and he is furious. Before they both can maneuver their way to what they want, Reynold is killed in a car accident and Samantha is pitched into running a gambling empire and a shadow felonious enterprise she does not know anything about.

An up-and-coming thug seeks to take advantage of the vulnerabilities in the Reynold territory while she tries to figure out how to navigate the strange business world. Women are notoriously second-class citizens in the criminal world so Samantha gets scant respect and even less assistance from her employees. The head of the competing Stoker family, Malcolm, who is perhaps my favorite character in the book, has old-fashioned ideas of honor and insists on his oldest son helping Samantha find her feet.

I had many questions as I read. How can Samantha not know her father was a criminal? Does anyone really think a criminal gang will take a woman seriously? I suspect that Baylis let her innate urge for girl power take over here. Despite the unlikely set-up, the story is an absorbing read. Baylis seems to know a lot about illegal enterprises. The prologue appears to have nothing to do with the plot but it turns out to be an important thread in the story. Fans of The Godfather and similar works will love this book.


·         Publisher:  Boldwood Books (January 25, 2022)

·         Language:  English

·         Paperback:  358 pages

·         ISBN-10:  1802801588

·         ISBN-13:  978-1802801583


Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2023 

Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.

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