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Summary

If you think you know everything about the East End's toughest gangsters, think again. Meet Linda Calvey, a.k.a. the Black Widow. 

Growing up in the East End of London, Linda falls in with local gangsters including the Krays, Freddie Foreman and Ronnie Cook. When the love of her life, Mickey Calvey, is gunned down on a job gone wrong, Linda resolves to carry on his work. But in 1990, after years of living in fear of her lover Ronnie Cook, Linda finds herself accused of his murder in a trial that shocks the nation. Still, Linda sticks to her code of honour, refusing to confess. Until now.... After 18 years behind bars alongside notorious names including Rose West and Myra Hindley, she is released. This is the final truth about her life and what happened the day Ronnie Cook was murdered. 

©2019 Melanie and Neil Calvey (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

Critic reviews

“'What a fantastic read, but not for the faint-hearted!'” (Martina Cole)

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fantastic read!!!

Absolutely loved this book. Good luck for your future Linda I wish you all the best.

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Very interesting and insightful true story

This was an interesting insight into a life story and good to know that Linda has decided to turn her life around. It was clearly written with feeling and passion.

Mixed feelings about the narration, having the London /Essex accent and occasional chuckle when a memory was read was touching, but sadly I did find that there were a number of duplicates sentences as well the use of “darling” repeatedly and a number of incorrect pauses were quite irritating at times and sadly deflected from the book- which was a shame.- but considering the narrator was the writer not a professional narrator- I imagine it’s to be expected.

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  • EJ
  • 11-11-20

Disappointed

Sadly gave up around Chapter 5.
I'm sure the story would have got a bit more interesting as it went on, but it was very 'samey', and I am afraid to say, read quite poorly, with pauses in the narrative which spoiled the flow of the story.
Pity....

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Hard to listen to

Sorry but would have preferred someone else to read it as it felt rather flat

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Great at Robbing Banks - narration not so much

She maybe great at robbing banks but narration is not one of Linda Calveys strengths. I did really enjoy the story but the monotonous narration was a definite negative. However don’t let that put you off listening, I managed to get to the end by increasing the speed to x1.25.

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Honest

A lovely honest account of an eventful life. I enjoyed listening to Linda tell her story in her own words.

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Excellent

Absolutely brilliant. I loved reading Linda's story, I couldn't stop reading. Thank you Linda x

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Interesting

Interesting insight into the life of a gangsters moll and of Linda's time at HMS.

The part about meeting Myra Hindley & Rose West in prison is interesting too.

Linda even did Myra's hair, although not through her own choice as she hated her and on one occasion slapped her in the face.

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An interesting and gripping listen

Really enjoyed listening to Linda tell her story. Sad that the love of her life was killed and that she was later wrongly convicted of killing the monster responsible for orchestrating her husbands death. Well read by the author. Looking forward to hearing her read her fiction offerings.

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Much better than I thought

I wasn't sure at first as I didn't know if I would enjoy the author reading it but it was actually very entertaining and I really enjoyed it.
It gives a good insight into life in the Blagger and Gangster era.
Will recommend 👌

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-06-21

Snapshot into an unimagined life...

Fascinating book. Linda Calvey certainly lived a very unconventional life. Often drawn to her, often repelled its such an interesting walk through the type of life that is more familiar in fiction. Linda was a fabulous narrator and writer. Really a worthwhile listen!

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  • elizabeth c dings
  • 13-03-20

Interesting

Linda Calvey is brave and interesting. She generously shares her life story. I highly recommend this book, it is clever without being gory or too graphic.