by Jacqui Rose

Thriller and Suspense Books of the Month Books with reviews by our Reader Review Panel Crime and Mystery eBooks of the Month Family Drama

LoveReading Expert Review of Toxic

Full on gangster with knobs on… yet there is also wit and tenderness to discover between the pages.

A hammer-hard blast of a novel set in the underworld of Essex. Alfie and Vaughn return from Spain looking to become kingpins in the world of crime, however the local criminals are already forming a queue ready to take them down.


Jacqui Rose immediately sets the action loose in a fast-paced wild ride and I just leapt straight in. There are characters full of bravado and swagger who set the pages on fire. The chapters are short, snappy, and full of menace. I raised my eyebrows and smirked at the brilliantly snarky quips and retorts. A mystery of whispers from the past gather to meet the present setting up a tidal wave, ready to crash into the ending. ‘Toxic' comes with shocks a plenty and a tommy gun of wise-cracking comebacks, plus there is a particular storyline ready to melt hearts, all resulting in a captivating, absolutely cracking read.

Liz Robinson

Toxic Synopsis

Sometimes love is toxic... Bree Dwyer is desperate to escape her husband, take the children and run. But he's always watching. And she always gets caught. Until her first love, Alfie Jennings, returns to Essex... Gangsters Alfie and Vaughn have been out of the game for a while, but a life of crime is one you never forget. To get back on top they need serious money, because loyalty and power don't come for free. One dangerous job and they'll have the payoff they need. And Alfie isn't going to let anyone get in the way, least of all a pretty face like Bree. It's time to show Essex what they're made of. And this time, Alfie and Vaughn aren't backing down.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780008287283
Publication date: 12th July 2018
Author: Jacqui Rose
Publisher: AVON, a division of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 352 pages
Primary Genre Thriller and Suspense
Other Genres:
Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Win a Brilliant Orenda Book Bundle!

Closing date: 30/09/2021

We're teaming up once again with Orenda to offer another brilliant book giveaway! This book bundle will include some of their latest releases from July to September. A fantastic opportunity to stock your bookshelves. The titles up for grabs are: The Beresford by Will Carver - Published 22nd July Girls Who Lie by Eva Bjorg Aegisdottir - Published 22nd July No Honour by Awais Khan - Published 19th August The Great Silence by Doug Johnstone - Published 19th August Black Reed Bay by Rod Reynolds - Published 2nd September This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th September 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

What To Read After Toxic

The Second Sister
The Nesting
Five Days to Die
Good as Gone

Toxic Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Jacqui kept me hooked from the very first page.

Jacqui kept me hooked from the very first page.You really get to feel for the characters, especially Bree, who simply wants to escape her abusive partner. But even the reader knows Johnny is not to be messed with. All she wants is to protect her children, will anyone come along to save her? Its gritty and dangerous throughout and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven't for some strange reason read any of her previous books but I certainly will be now and have already been online to seek out her other titles.

Kate Thacker

Gripping, action-packed thriller that is absolutely loaded with violence, crime, drama and suspense. Save this book for the weekend because you won’t want to put it down!

Toxic is a truly gripping, action-packed thriller full of drama and suspense. The story of Bree, her abusive husband and her overbearing mother-in-law provides an emotional rollercoaster of violence and crime with genuinely believable characters. For those readers who haven’t read the previous book, it is a little hard to pick up the thread of the story initially because it tends to jump back in time but it is well worth the effort. Once I got into this book, I could hardly put it down and I was pleased that the open ending offered the promise of more to come. I will definitely be reading any follow-up!

Lynne Manton

Gangland deals, violent betrayal and loyalty tested in this fast paced and violent thriller.

The most recent in a series of linked but standalone novels about Essex gangland, this one finds returning gangsters Alfie and Vaughn having to fight to rebuild their position in Essex after Alfie’s girlfriend runs off with their stake in a multimillion pound criminal organisation. Coupled to that is Alfie’s first love Bree, desperate to escape her abusive and violent gangster husband and things become more complicated.
I think if you enjoy authors such as Martina Cole, Mandasue Heller and Roberta Kray you will probably really enjoy this one. It didn’t quite work for me but it was certainly well paced and violent but perfectly in keeping with the world Jacqui Rose is writing about. While there were obviously back stories for several characters in previous novels, this in no way detracted from following what was happening in this one. The characters all worked although personally I really only empathised with Bree, and while there were some who seemed more of a cliché than others, it all fitted together and felt convincing.

Cathy Petersen

Welcome to the underworld of Essex. It is time to find out who is the greatest, strongest and most terrifying leader of Essex. Johnny has been trying hto get this place but Alfie & Vaughan have returned to reclaim this status and then you have a Eddie who wants this status from the background. Throw a concealment that everyone wants and let battle commence.

It was supposed to be easy for Alfie and Vaughan to return, buy a planned business and set up as the leaders in Essex but when there cash never arrives they need to find another way to get some money and fast. They take over a concealment and find that there was a much greater deal than the drugs expected. The only downside is that other people are looking for the package and they are not people you want to cross. An old girlfriend and a sister are in relationships with the other parties and no one knows who they can trust.

In the end it shows that most people cannot be trusted but some will try & do what’s right. It was a bit longer than needed and then the ending was probably more rushed to bring an end to the solution but there is a twist that means the journey may not have finished.

Cathy Small

Jacqui Rose Press Reviews

Praise for Jacqui Rose:

`Gritty and gripping - by a star in the making.' Kimberley Chambers

`A thrilling and gripping novel.' Roberta Kray

`A cracking good read.' Jessie Keane

`A captivating read from one of my favourite emerging authors' Mel Sherratt

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780008287283
Publication date: 12/07/2018
Format: Paperback

View All Editions

About Jacqui Rose

Jacqui Rose is a novelist who now lives in London, although she hails from South Yorkshire. She has always written for pleasure but the ideas in her book have come from her own experiences.

More About Jacqui Rose

More Books By Jacqui Rose

View All Books By Jacqui Rose

Share this book