Closer to Home Crime Drama Novel

Closer To Home

It was the spring of 1985 when the tattooist yanked Shaw’s flask from his mouth then handed him a bottle of water, as he continued inking a date into the banner that draped over the existing dagger tattoo on his shoulder blade. The tattoo was an exact replica of the dagger Shaw carried with him at all times. The deer-antler handle bolstered a four-inch blade that his great, great grandfather crafted after tracking and killing a stag in the Scottish Highland’s Cairngorm Mountains. Shaw carried the sgian dubh, or hidden knife, under his armpit in the sleeve lining of his coat, since it was illegal to carry a weapon in Scotland. It was the very same dagger he had used just hours before to slit open the throat of the seventeen year old Bridgeton gang member who’d sliced his brother’s neck from ear to ear five days earlier in the perilous streets of Glasgow. The sgian dubh dagger tattoo was only three days old, an emblem to honor his brother and a reminder of the first murder Shaw ever committed. Having sought after and carried out his revenge for Jack’s murder, the date of his death inked into his shoulder blade completed the tattoo. This shop would be Shaw’s last stop before taking the train from Glasgow down to London.

The tattooist handed him a mirror and his flask. He took a long draw of whisky as he nodded at the reflection of his shoulder blade in the mirror, “Jack April 13, 1985.” Shaw left the shop, stepped into a misty, wind-driven rain, threw a bag over his left shoulder and walked to the train station. He was only nineteen years old.

He was born, Phillip Douglas Shaw, and was raised in Drumchapel, Glasgow, Scotland. “The Drum,” as it was affectionately called by its residents, was a post-war housing scheme built in the 1950s by the Glasgow City Council to relocate 30,000 or so families from Glasgow’s suburbs in an effort to ease the pains of overpopulation. Drumchapel was considered a new town, and he always thought of his community, his home, as separate and unique. His mum always told him that their family was fortunate to have drawn a winning ticket to move from the slums of Maryhill in the north of Glasgow to Drumchapel in the west.

Shaw’s parents were hard working, faithful people without dreams for themselves, or at least that is what he always believed. Their dreams were small, and only for their three boys. Shaw was the middle boy, and he believed he would become one of his father’s biggest disappointments. He grew up on Howgate Avenue with his mum and da, Alva Gail and John Aaran Shaw, his older brother, John Aaran “Jack,” Jr., and baby brother, Collin Michael. They lived in a gray, roughcast, 4-in-a-block tenement facing Drumchapel Park. His father was a Glasgow police officer, like his father before him, and his mother worked as a cabinet polisher at the Singer Sewing Factory in neighboring Clydebank until it closed in 1979; she later worked for Clydebank Co-op for a number of years.

Shaw never thought of his family as poor. They were like most everyone else in the Drum; no one was wealthy. But, they didn’t want for anything that he specifically remembered. His parents made decent wages, and Drumchapel promised a community free from the inner-city crowding of his mum’s upbringing in Maryhill. They even had a small yard that held a clothesline and a modest garden.

By all accounts, he had a happy childhood. Jack and Shaw grappled and scrapped with each other constantly. They played games of rounders in the park, kirby in the street, found mischief where they could, and they both dreamed of bigger lives. At the end of each week, Jack and Shaw would go with their mum to the laundry and the market, keeping an eye on Collin for her, then helping her tote their wares back through Drumchapel Park to their house. Shaw remembered resisting the urge to race Jack to play on the rocket at the Hecla Avenue end of the park. He also remembered the look his mum gave her boys that told she’d switch their rear ends if they abandoned their packages to run off and play.

Shaw’s father was a rigid man, inflexible in his views of his family and of the world around him. Shaw didn’t know whether it was his da’s upbringing, or the time he spent as a cop in the most dangerous city in Scotland that made him so stubborn. He was also a passionate man, which revealed itself in his joy of storytelling over a glass of whisky, his unending love for his wife, or in his unrestrained temper that could rise as abruptly as a storm. Shaw would learn in time that he was more like his father than either of his other two sons.

Jack was two years older than Shaw, a rebel dreamer with a tender heart and, like most teenage boys, he began challenging his father when he was thirteen. Unfortunately, Jack never outgrew the father-son authority struggle. He was in and out of trouble with the police, and Shaw always believed he took some measure of satisfaction in being a true source of embarrassment for their police officer father. Jack’s final act of defiance was when he began running with a local gang in the Drum, the PGB, or Peel Glen Boys, resulting in a number of “not proven” verdicts from the Scottish judicial system. Jack’s PGB affiliation would be his downfall and ultimately lead to his father’s death.

Collin was four years younger than Shaw, with his father’s good looks and playful smile. John adored Collin, unlike his two older sons. Collin was a practical child with the same small dreams his parents had. Shaw loved his little brother, but at times he felt sorry for him. He never shared the connection with Collin that he felt with Jack. As Collin grew, his sensible nature limited him to a life never far from the Drum. He became a welder at the Yarrows Shipbuilders and married Catherine Morrison from neighboring Scotstoun. Collin’s complacency was, without a doubt, what appealed to his father and was probably why John always favored him over Jack and Shaw.

Shaw was born on July 4, 1965. He was a free spirited, mischievous and happy child. He learned to love music at an early age. His mum had a pretty voice and sang out loud every day. Shaw would sit with her in the kitchen and listen to her hum and sing old Celtic songs. His mum bought him a boxed record player for his fourth Christmas and he played storybook albums with dramatic background music. At a fairly young age, he realized he was much more interested in the music than the story. Shaw spent much of his younger years in a local music shop where the owner let him tinker with the instruments on the sales displays. Any money he had never stayed long in his pocket; while his friends spent their money on Dandy comics, Shaw was always buying an album or the latest music magazine. By the age of ten, he knew music would be a driving force in his life, and at that particular age, he dreamt of being a rock star. As he grew older, his musical aspirations wouldn’t change, but they would become more realistic.

The week he turned eighteen, he got a job bartending at The Rigg just to support his music habit. The Rigg was the public bar of the Hill’s Hotel. Shaw considered himself funny because he could always elicit a laugh from his regular customers. In reality, he was simply a smartass, but apparently, a funny smartass. The job was fun, and it was always interesting working in one of the roughest public houses in Drumchapel. Bartending at night at The Rigg sometimes required breaking up fights, especially during football matches between Rangers and Celtic, an Old Firm Glasgow rivalry based more on religious bigotry than football. The manager of The Rigg gave Shaw his nickname, “Bane,” because, more times than not, anyone he had to throw out of the pub left with a broken bone.

The Rigg was a jagged pub known far and wide for its vicious bar fights. There were regular stabbings and even a couple of murders. He was fourteen when the fighting spilled into the streets around the Hill’s Hotel after the infamous 1980 Scottish Cup final when Celtic brought home the trophy. Jack was a huge Celtic fan and proudly wore their green and white colors to support the team, and he absolutely prized the brawling associated with every game.

Shaw finally realized his hopes to disk jockey at a local lounge when he landed a part-time job at The Golden Garter, which was adjacent to the Hill’s Hotel. The Golden Garter was the dancing nightspot in Drumchapel. He stayed engrossed in the music he played and loved it when the local patrons shouted out requests for him to play. It was always one big party for Shaw. It was what he was born to do.

His father hated the path he had chosen. His idea of success was for Shaw to marry some local snatch and raise babies on a starving man’s salary. Shaw believed he was simply an outlet for his father, a place to deposit the disappointment he had for Jack, and then, ultimately, a place to deposit the blame for his death. He told Shaw he was worthless and no good for chasing musical dreams and for running with that George Fleming.

George was a close friend who worked for the largest record distribution company in Scotland. George always passed on early promotional and demo records to Shaw. The manager of The Golden Garter learned that he was playing tunes before they ever became hits, which made Shaw a favorite disk jockey among the local patrons.

Early in April of 1985, Shaw convinced Jack to go with him to a Sauchiehall Street nightclub to see a southern rock band from the States. Jack’s pride and loyalty to his PGB crew, his love of the Celtic football team, and his mostly unpracticed Catholic faith, permitted him—at least in his mind—to boldly wear his colors. They were attacked leaving the concert, one block from the club. A kid, no more than seventeen, grabbed Jack from behind and cut his throat, severing his carotid artery. Shaw was simply beaten to the ground. He watched Jack crumble to the street before he could crawl over to his brother. Shaw remembered hearing the taunts and laughter from their attackers echo off the neighboring buildings, calling them Fenian schemies, but he made sure to memorize the face of the blue-nose bastard who cut his brother. When Shaw did reach Jack, he held him as he bled out in his arms. He emptied Jack’s pants pockets, and to this day, carries the keychain crafted from the stone bottle top of a Grolsch lager bottle. Shaw believed his father never forgave him for Jack’s death, since it was his idea to go to the concert. He assumed his da never paused to consider that maybe Jack’s arrogance and untouchable attitude played a role in their attack.

Jack was murdered by a rival gang, a member of the Billy Boys, a Protestant crew from Bridgeton, Glasgow and notorious Rangers fans. Shaw sought after and got revenge for Jack’s death before he left The Drum, and Scotland, forever. His mum suffered the worst, losing two sons within days of each other. She told Shaw she understood, but he knew her heart was broken and that Collin would be all she and his da had left. Nonetheless, on April, 18, 1985, he took the train from Glasgow down to London with very little money in his pocket.

He walked into Soho Sound Studios, which lay just off Golden Square, threw down an unreleased demo, and asked for a job. He was told they weren’t hiring.

“Play the record,” Shaw insisted.

A young prick, Andy, a few years older than him said, “I’ll play the record, but I’m not hiring you.”

“We’ll see,” Shaw quipped.

Andy laughed as he put the record on a turntable. Shaw watched his smug, bored expression disappear as “Money For Nothing” played from the speakers. Andy looked at him and said, “This hasn’t been released, yet.”

“Aye. I know. I have two more in my bag, Madonna and Duran Duran. Too bad you’re not hiring,” he said and turned and left Andy’s office.

Shaw knew unreleased demos wouldn’t help Andy, or anyone else at Soho Sound, but Andy stopped him at the front door and offered him an entry-level position where Shaw would shadow programmers and engineers in the London studio.

They walked back to Andy’s office. “You’re a ballsy, twit,” he said.

“I try.”

“Where’d you get the demo?”

“I have resources.”

“You’re a smartass, too!”

“Absolutely,” Shaw said.

George’s demos and Shaw’s arrogance got Andy’s attention that day. He liked Shaw’s ingenuity; they’ve been friends ever since. That entry-level shot was all he needed to realize his dreams in the music industry. Shaw worked for Soho Sound for eleven years until, in 1996, he agreed to move to the States to help establish a secondary studio in New York City.

Shaw set up and ran SSNY for three years before deciding to make another move, a move to the less radical, less populated environment of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He chose Baton Rouge after reading several articles about proposed legislation to allow tax incentives for movie production companies that filmed in Louisiana.

Over the years, he had saved a good deal of money, as he had no family to support. Shaw scheduled a week of vacation, flew to Baton Rouge and spent the week scouting properties in the downtown area.

Over the previous two decades, revitalization efforts to improve the downtown Baton Rouge economy met with some success and some failure. In the mid-eighties, $28 million was spent to open a marketplace named Catfish Town on the banks of the Mississippi River. The July 4th festival opening drew over a quarter million people into the downtown area, but, within eighteen months, Catfish Town was abandoned. In 1994, the Catfish Town marketplace became the atrium for a riverboat casino.

Shaw calculated that if the Louisiana legislature passed the tax incentive programs, the Bayou State would triple film productions. South Louisiana, which had already earned the moniker Hollywood South, steeped in film tradition from the early movies of Tarzan of the Apes, to the classics, Easy Rider and Hush…Hush Sweet Charlotte, in addition to the more recent block-busters Steel Magnolias and Interview With The Vampire, needed a proper sound studio. There were only a couple of small sound studios in Baton Rouge, but none like he envisioned.

With the help of the Federal and State Historic Rehabilitation Tax credits, the tax increment financing, and other economic growth incentives, he found an abandoned warehouse in downtown Baton Rouge. Because the downtown economy continued to dwindle, he learned he could purchase the warehouse for a song and finally realize his dream. He flew back to New York, packed up his apartment, and turned in his two weeks’ notice at SSNY. In the Fall of 1999, Shaw moved to Baton Rouge and bought the property because he knew the boom would happen. And it did. Shaw Sound Studios was born.

He took his time learning the city. Louisiana had parishes, not counties. There was a heavy Cajun French influence among the residents of Baton Rouge as well as other predominant cultures including Spanish, Irish and Italian. There were churches of every denomination within blocks of each other. He found it refreshing to walk along streets where Catholics and Protestants mingled and worshiped together without conflict. And, unlike his life in New York, faith and religion held a priority with Louisianans, regardless of their beliefs. He learned the area around his warehouse was surrounded by two universities and some slum areas with crime-ridden neighborhoods just blocks from his new investment. Welcome home, he told himself, thinking about his old hometown of Drumchapel.

William “Billy” Morrissey had worked with Shaw at Soho Sound, and he was also part of the team that relocated to New York to set up SSNY. He was Shaw’s hire at Soho Sound. He abandoned New York and followed Shaw to Louisiana and was now his tech guy. Billy had grown up in County Kilkenny, Ireland and was seven years Shaw’s junior. He had a more privileged life in Gowran than Shaw had ever known in Glasgow, raised in a middle class home, and educated at the prestigious Trinity College in Dublin. He was smart and a technical miracle worker, able to manipulate anything electronic at his pleasure, and command computerized technology with ease, earning him the nickname, “Morse Code,” at Soho Sound. Shaw rarely called him that anymore, unless he was trying to twist him up. He simply called him Billy. He was one of Shaw’s closest friends.

Billy and Shaw lived in the barren warehouse for months as Shaw got funding together to renovate the warehouse and build a studio out front. Once it was built, it was a state-of-the-art sound studio with multiple recording dens specializing in studio recordings, sound design, sound animation, voiceovers, mixing and dubbing, and audio post-production. Shaw’s loft apartment was built upstairs on the west side of the warehouse. In addition to the large executive offices in the studio, the warehouse also held additional office space, an employee kitchen and lounge, and an inventory of every imaginable musical instrument.

Shaw purchased the musical equipment from a man who would later become his best friend. Marsh owned a music store that Billy and he wandered into one day after eating lunch at a nearby café. Marsh was teaching bass guitar to a fifteen-year-old boy when Billy and Shaw walked into his shop. Marsh had long, dark brown hair, green eyes, and a beard and mustache, which surprised Shaw once he noticed the eagle, globe, and anchor Marine Corps tattoo on his left bicep. His build and features reminded Shaw of an old-world Viking. Marsh was tall, long-limbed, with a broad chest and narrow hips. He wore a braided leather wristband, a gold chain around his neck, and a gold Marine Corps ring on his right hand.

Billy and Shaw browsed through his inventory as Marsh continued the lesson. Near the end of the lesson, Shaw sat at the front counter engrossed in the jam session he and his student were having. Shaw was captivated by Marsh’s ability to simultaneously play lead and rhythm on one guitar. No one can do that, he thought. Marsh turned out to be the most talented musician Shaw would ever meet.

Thank you for reading Chapter 1.  To continue, please Purchase “Closer to Home”

  1. Colin Garrow says:

    Like the characters and the set-up. Think maybe a wee bit too much backstory before we get into what’s happening now. But that’s probably just me. good stuff, anyway.

  2. Site Manager says:

    O’Leary is a brave writer who does not shy away from amazing, graphic descriptions of the darker facets of human nature

    5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book by a Wonderful Writer
    By Alex O’Connell on December 20, 2015

    It challenges its readers to consider their own conceptions of love, life, obsession and retribution.
    O’Leary is a powerful, controlled writer. She fearlessly unafraid of exploring the darker side of human nature and cannot be accused of pulling her punches. Indeed she delivers them with assured aplomb of a heavyweight champ and is prepared to drop the Queensberry rules when the situation demands and follow up with a beautifully aimed Glasgow kiss worthy of the darker days of the Gorbals or Govan.

    In Bane Shaw O’Leary has created a wild, reckless hero who is never far from his own demons. He is a latter day Heathcliff and will live long in the memory. His Catherine, Bronagh, is a deeply attractive foil, troubled by her own past and not without good reason. You can understand why Shaw falls for her and loves her with a consuming intensity. Their passion verges on the obsessive and is edged with more than a hint brutality.

    The lovers’ obsession is mirrored and magnified by that of the sociopathic monster, Mike Allen. In him O’Leary has created a truly scary antagonist. The raw emotion is truly wonderfully depicted as the action intensifies as the story moves towards its chilling and very gory denouement. It marks out O’Leary as a writer of tremendous invention, power and sensitivity. She is definitely one to be watched.

    The ‘supporting cast’ are invariably beautifully depicted and multi-faceted – vibrant and alive in their own right. O’Leary has a god given talent for breathing life into them. It’s as if they leap of the page.

    It is testimony to O’Leary’s skill as a writer that the worlds she creates, whether southern Louisiana or the mean streets and tenements of Shaw’s Glasgow youth in the opening scenes, are always displayed with a vivid sense of accuracy and reality. Her writing is punctuated with vibrant local colour and detail that proves her skill as painstaking and meticulous researcher. She is second to none and clearly has an encyclopaedic knowledge of music for good measure.

    It strikes me that Closer to Home would make a fabulous movie. Maybe Gerard Butler as Shaw and I have an idea who would make a perfect Bronagh. I for one would buy tickets.

    Closer to Home is a brilliant read – it is thought provoking and O’Leary is a brave writer who does not shy away from amazing, graphic descriptions of the darker facets of human nature. It challenges its readers to consider their own conceptions of love, life, obsession and retribution. All in all, this is a really great story, really beautifully crafted and told. I just hope that Ms O’Leary writes quickly as I can’t wait for a sequel.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R3OLW5HAUPMAMB/ref

  3. Site Manager says:

    The villain of the story is one twisted sicko

    4.0 out of 5 stars A Dark Thriller with Romance
    By Scarlett Knight on April 8, 2016

    ‘Closer To Home’ is the debut novel by indie author Regan O’ Leary. It centers around sexy Scot Bane Shaw (and oh, how I have a weakness for long-haired Scotsmen!) and his love, Bronagh. I liked the romance between these two. They seemed like a good fit for one another, both seemingly okay on the outside, but both harboring secrets and dark pasts on the inside.

    The villain of the story is one twisted sicko, and it should come as no surprise, if you take a look at the novel’s cover, that the book does get rather violent. And that violence is realistic and brutal.

    Probably my biggest critique of the story was that honestly, I had a hard time getting into it in the beginning. There was a hefty amount of back story that filled the first few chapters, and I’m not sure it did anything to move the plot forward. I didn’t actually know what the plot was until the end of chapter 6, when I got a sense of the antagonist.

    Once the antagonist appeared on the scene, the story sped up for me, building in tension until the climax. I’m excited for O’Leary, as it looks like she’s off to a good start with her established characters, especially Bane Shaw, and I’m curious to see where she takes this badass Scotsman next!

    4.0 stars http://www.amazon.com/review/RYV8BGEJGK85S/ref

  4. Site Manager says:

    Highly recommended and looking forward to the sequel

    5.0 out of 5 stars A taut, gripping thriller
    By Andrew McVittie on March 9, 2016

    Closer to Home starts off as a slow burn, building up the characters and their history together until we care enough about them that when the meat of the drama starts about a third of the way in, we’re invested to see it through to its savage climax.
    The core of the novel is the relationship between “Bane” Shaw, a man with a hidden but violent past, and Bronagh Stewart, a woman whose own past holds the seeds of the story. Their relationship is passionate, occasionally tempestuous, but always strongly written. Descriptions of the couple and the passion that often overtakes the two of them are richly detailed. This attention to detail extends to their mutual love of music which is close to encyclopedic.
    There is a small group of supporting characters, all fairly distinctive and each given their moment to shine. The least explored is the villain of the piece but this is over-shadowed by his creeping presence and the impact his actions have on the others.
    If I had any problem with the book; the early chapters felt like they were heavy on the backstory. There are a few uncomfortable moments in the novel, although no more so than many other books I’ve read. This is an adult book, in several senses of the word. Highly recommended and looking forward to the sequel.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/R2TO0C1R2QCAG4/ref

  5. Site Manager says:

    I found myself drawn into this vivid world and
    I couldn’t put it down!

    5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling must read!
    ByAutumn Raynne on February 29, 2016

    An intense fascinating read by Regan! The characters are well developed making you feel as if they may be someone you know. I found myself drawn into this vivid world and I couldn’t put it down! I am from Louisiana myself and I loved reading all the author’s vivid depictions of places I have been. This is Regan’s first novel, but it certainly doesn’t read that way. Her writing style is very descriptive and exciting. The climax is brutal but well executed. If you enjoy fast paced thrillers this is a definite must read!

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RSKU34M759NR6/ref

  6. Site Manager says:

    I want to know when we’ll have the sequel to Closer To Home

    Dear Regan,

    Where do I start? Of course, I want to know when we’ll have the sequel to Closer To Home. In the meanwhile, I treasure your chronicle of Bane Shaw, Bronagh Stewart, their many friends, and the antagonist who makes this one of the best novels I’ve read in a long time, though despite my day job, I completed my first reading within 24 hours. I feel like I’ve been to Baton Rouge and its surrounds and now want to actually make the trip, but I’m afraid without your characters I might be lost. And every time I think about your musical catalog, I’m on pleasure trip back in time. In fact, we might pen a theme from Percy Sledge’s When A Man Loves A Woman: ‘Can’t keep his mind on nothing else,…He can do no wrong.’ [Copyright Sony/ATV Music Publishing, LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.]

    Keep writing, I can’t wait for the next surprise. Thanks.

  7. Site Manager says:

    5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, brutal and shocking
    By Stujak on 6 Jan. 2016

    Definitely worth a read!
    No punches held back here. The author plunges head first into a brutal and shocking world, taking the reader to uncomfortable and disturbing places that seem real. Definitely worth a read!
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/RWY85ZLVRYU8N/ref

  8. Site Manager says:

    Closer to Home is kin to reading a Dostoyevsky novel

    5.0 out of 5 stars Intense novel!
    By Avid Reader on December 29, 2015

    The psychological suspense of reading Closer to Home is kin to reading a Dostoyevsky novel. From the characters Bane, Bronagh, and Mike Allen, they compliment each other into an intense thriller mirroring other great suspense novels. Definitely look forward to the next book in the series.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1CUM0WC0FZG3Z/ref

  9. Site Manager says:

    I literally couldn’t not put this book down!

    By Michelle Turk on Dec. 20th, 2015

    I felt personally drawn to the characters due to O’Leary’s remarkable ability to bring them to life
    CLOSER TO HOME incorporates everything I love in a novel: drama, suspense, crime, sizzling romance, and humor. As I read the south Louisiana based story, I felt personally drawn to the characters due to O’Leary’s remarkable ability to bring them to life. She has developed a true, new, modern-day hero in Bane Shaw, with whom we all can identify. He strives for continued success in the music/sound industry, struggles to find inner peace from the demons of his past, and fiercely fights to love and protect the woman of his dreams.

    I literally couldn’t not put this book down! It is a true page-turner, and it definitely has movie potential! I can’t wait for the sequels in this fantastic trilogy!

  10. Site Manager says:

    Full of character building, twists, and turns

    5.0 out of 5 stars Closer To Home~Regan O’Leary
    By Joy O’Connor on April 19, 2016

    Closer To Home~Regan O’Leary
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading Closer To Home! It was well-written, detailed, and used musical references, particularly songs from the rock genre, to set the mood for various scenes. Full of character building, twists, and turns, it held my interest for the entire book! Bane Shaw, the main character, is a real bad boy. His badness is offset by his best friend, Marsh Ellis, who is a gentleman but a secret bad boy as well. Shaw and Marsh collaborate to do everything they can to protect Shaw’s lady love, Bronagh, from a past menace. So looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

  11. Site Manager says:

    It’s been a long time since I have not only enjoyed a book this much, got involved this much, and been so irritated when it ended!

    5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, now that was an amazing read!
    By Kim Shoesmith on 26 Oct. 2015

    Well, I’ve now finished this book. And I have to say it was soooo NOT what I was expecting! It was so much more!! I can’t thank Regan O’Leary enough for writing the story, and I am so glad she is well in the way for the second book too! I loved Bane from the very first moment you meet him. Yes he is violent, and moody, and stroppy! But underneath he is a real puppy dog! And Bronagh is adorable. I think all the main characters, Shaw’s family, fit so well together, and really help to build and enhance the story. It’s been a long time since I have not only enjoyed a book this much, got involved this much, and been so irritated when it ended! It is violent in places, as Regan warns you, but it’s an important part of the story line, and not over glorified. It only goes as far as it needs to, no more.

    The main disappointment for me was that I read it so quickly, I couldn’t put it down, that it ended far too soon! Thank you Regan, and roll on the next instalment!

    Just tell your proof reader and checker to get a move on with his read through, as I need my next fix of Bane and Bronagh! It was totally captivating from the very first word to the very last! I am so glad you let me read it! Please let me know when No 2 is out! I think there should be a series of at least, say, a dozen Bane books!!

    I’ve not summarised the book here, both because other reviewers have done so, but also because I do not want to give any further details of the book away! Thanks again Regan

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R15HTAUPP4P1FI/ref

  12. Site Manager says:

    The music and Southern surroundings are intoxicating

    4.0 out of 5 stars “A rough, tough read”
    By Father Ted on 11 Oct. 2015

    From the opening chapter it’s clear that this will be a rough, tough read. Shaw grew up on the mean streets of Glasgow where even a kiss generally needs stitches. His foray into the music world in the States proves wildly successful financially, but it’s the love of Bronagh, a good woman, that changes his life forever. As the story unfolds, the lifestyle. the music and Southern surroundings are intoxicating. The mood darkens considerably when Bronagh’s ex husband Mike appears on the scene. The violence both in the bedroom and other locations does not make this an easy read. The final chapters are drawn out and gratuitous. If this story had been shorter, tighter and less brutal it would have received 5*

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R1QP21G5NN83RW/ref

  13. Site Manager says:

    Fell in love with the cast of characters

    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
    By Sherri Clark on March 3, 2016

    The beautiful story of adults being adults . Fell in love with the cast of characters. Strong males and women who can keep up with them. Beautifully written I want more!

  14. Site Manager says:

    Great story, great writing

    5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
    By Banetta A. Campbell on September 29, 2015

    I couldn’t put it down ! I recommend this book highly ! I loved the fact the story took place where I live , I knew every place they spoke of and each of the characters came to life off the pages ! There was violence but there was the most passionate, giving love a person could possibly dream of. What a wonderful feeling to find the love of your life ! Someone who would do literally anything to keep you safe and happy ! Great story, great writing ! Can’t wait for the next one !!!!!

  15. Site Manager says:

    Kept me reading every free minute I had

    4.0 out of 5 stars Good read!
    By Linda Compau on December 13, 2015

    The only thing that kept it from getting that 5th star was all of the detailed sex stuff. Otherwise it was really well written (and only one typo), and kept me reading every free minute I had. I’m a very slow reader but finish it in less than 4 days. Not sure I could recommend it to my Christian friends because of the for mentioned star rating but will recommend it to others.

  16. Site Manager says:

    The vividly described Louisiana setting is as much a part of the story as the characters

    4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent story, in which the slowly mounting tension builds …
    By Curtis Bausse on October 27, 2015

    An excellent story, in which the slowly mounting tension builds to a dramatic, if somewhat gruesome climax. The writing is assured and taut, in keeping with the story, and both the characters and the setting are drawn with depth and thoroughness. The relationship between the two main characters, intensely physical, is a key to understanding the psychology behind the drama that unfolds, as is the well-depicted background story of Shaw’s youth in Glasgow. The portrayal of Shaw as a tough, sensual, impulsive but ultimately loyal and loving man is especially convincing. The vividly described Louisiana setting is as much a part of the story as the characters, and for music lovers, the numerous references to some great bands and songs are a delight that adds authenticity to the whole. My only reservation concerns the pacing, which could have been more effective – there were times when for all the atmosphere, little new was being added to the narrative. But this is a small complaint compared to the intensity of the rest, and the sense of impending disaster that starts early on, gradually gets stronger as the story progresses, and finally grips you in an almost unbearable tension. If you like psychological suspense, this is a book for you.

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