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Hard as Nails


What is more traditional at Christmas than warring families? Although, of course, things this year will be very different and scaled down, and we may well end up longing for those Christmases past where lively debate, fuelled by sherry and fizz, all added to the festive family experience.

So, if you’re missing the large family get-together, get stuck into Helen Black and her book featuring Leeds-based Liberty Greenwood and her family, who make the Corleone clan across the Atlantic look positively benign. Things aren’t going well for the Greenwoods since the shocking murder of their youngest, Frankie, a few months back. But when Liberty and her brother set out on the path of revenge, things don’t go entirely their way when they find themselves under attack: the Black Cherry club is firebombed and Crystal, their heavily-pregnant sister, is arrested.

Still, it’s all part of a day’s work for Liberty, who lets nothing stand in the way of seeing her family come out on top. Hard as Nails is perfect if you are a fan of Martina Cole or Roberta Kray . . . and love reading about – or are missing – big, dysfunctional families, of course!

Krystyna Green