Sirens by Janet Fox
When Jo Winter’s parents send her off to live with her rich cousin on the glittering island of Manhattan, it’s to find a husband and forget about her brother Teddy’s death. But all that glitters is not gold…
Caught up in the swirl of her cousin’s bobbed-hair set—and the men that court them— Jo soon realizes that the talk of marriage never stops, and behind the seemingly boundless gains are illicit business endeavors, gangsters, and their molls. Jo would much rather spend time with the handsome but quiet Charles, a waiter at the Algonquin Hotel, than drape herself over a bootlegger. But when she befriends a moll to one of the most powerful men in town, Jo begins to uncover secrets—secrets that threaten an empire and could secure Jo’s freedom from her family.
I love that Sirens addresses the darker side of the twenties - the gangsters and their gun molls, the shady business in the back of every speakeasy. Danny Connor’s character scared me a little - how cold he was, what he was capable of. I was scared of what he would do to Jo.
Lou was realistic in her jealousy, but at times I thought it was overdone. It was very obvious that Jo wasn’t interested in securing Danny for her own, and increasingly obvious that Danny was just using her. She didn’t even seem that bothered by the way Danny treated her.
Jo herself was a little disappointing at times. She took too long to pick up on the last hint; there was no dramatic irony involved, she just didn’t get it, when it seemed plainly obvious. But maybe that’s just me. Other times I couldn’t feel enough of her; things didn’t seem to affect her as deeply as it seemed like they should.
In all fairness, though, Sirens was a very good read. The plot line was a little convoluted at some points, but overall it held my attention and was full of suspense. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in the 1920s or the gangsters of Prohibition.
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