Book Review: Zenka by Alison Brodie 13


by Alison Brodie








Ruthless, stubborn 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, knuckle-dusters, and shotguns.

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

Zenka takes charge. 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?




My Rating:


Favorite Quotes:


A man vith a face like crumpled McDonald bag takes us outside.


He glanced around, dismayed to see all the seats were taken by tattooed teenagers who looked as if they were bored with stabbing people.


Jack says I have “balls” – this means man’s testicles. This is compliment. He also calls me “spitfire”. This is a plane that shoots the Germans in the Second Vorld Var. This is also compliment (I think).


Nicholas sang as he pulled the bath plug, raising his voice to compete with the gurgling of water vacating the bath, ‘We three kings of orient are, one in a taxi one in a car, One in a scooter blowing his hooter, Following Ringo Starr …’


Harsh lines scored cruelty and bitterness into the leathery skin. If a face could show the history of war and devastation, then Nicholas was looking at Dresden.


My Review:


Don’t be fooled by the cover or synopsis, Zenka was a cleverly amusing, intriguing, and sneakily insightful novel. It was not really a romance, but several romances occurred. It was not really a mystery, although several were solved; nor was it a mafia story, although several criminal gangs were featured. It wasn’t just a comedy, but it is funny as hell and kept me smirking and well entertained throughout. What Zenka actually was… an engaging, well-crafted, witty, and amusing tale.   The main character of Zenka was Hungarian and her accent had me hearing Natasha from Rocky and Bullwinkle, who was only one of my favorite childhood cartoon personas of all time. I adored this clever story from start to finish and am well pleased to have a new phrase to enter into my Brit vocabulary word list – playing silly buggers. After all, I am a seeker and life-long learner of high culture pursuits 😉


Alison Brodie – Bio  

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

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

Alison 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.





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13 thoughts on “Book Review: Zenka by Alison Brodie

  1. Reply terriluvsbooks Nov 6,2017 8:04 am

    I love the cover. It reminds me La Femme Nikita and Alias. That alone makes me want to read it.

    • Reply alison brodie Nov 14,2017 6:51 am

      Hi Terri! I’m happy to like the cover. I was SHOCKED when I first saw it. I had intended to call it Flesh & Blood with a foggy London street in a sepia tint. But the character of Zenka, kept getting inside my head wanting a bigger part in the book until I ended up calling it Zenka. And she didn’t want sepia! She wanted orange and black1 Now she wants a sequel which she isn’t getting!

  2. Reply Kaite Nov 6,2017 10:24 am

    I have to say your review made me much more interested than the book’s synopsis!!

    • Reply alison brodie Nov 14,2017 6:54 am

      Hi Kaite. You are so right. The synopsis is flat and boring. I have the ability to do that with all my books !! 🙁 I have had a few remarks saying that the synopsis wasn’t good enough so I have been working on it). I can write a 80K book full of suspense, twists and turns but I can’t write a four paragraph synopsis. But I am trying.

  3. Reply Heidi Nov 6,2017 2:54 pm

    That book cover is just badass! Great review. 🙂

    • Reply alison brodie Nov 14,2017 6:57 am

      Hi Heidi. Great that you like the cover. It’s like Marmite; some people love it, some people hate it. But it’s eye-catching and LOUD, which is just like Zenka herself. I am thrilled with Her Royal Highness Empress DJ’s review. Reading her words makes all the hard work and anxiety simply float away.

  4. Reply theabominablebookgirl Nov 6,2017 4:44 pm

    I love the name even if the cover gives me 90s action movie vibes…the quotes and summary really make me want to pick it up though.

    • Reply alison brodie Nov 14,2017 7:04 am

      Thank you for your comment, Isatta. Yeah, the cover does give the feel of an action movie, which is a little misleading. There is action, of course, but not lots of shoot em ups.

  5. Reply Shana (Aurora B's Book Blog) Nov 6,2017 5:32 pm

    I was a teeny bit overcome with orange BUT it sounds like a great read! Fab review:)

  6. Reply calico041 Nov 7,2017 3:24 am

    The cover is so badass!

  7. Reply J. Hooligan @Platypire Reviews Nov 7,2017 3:36 am

    Okay, this is definitely something different. I like that. And that cover is eye catching af.

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