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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)

What listeners say about The Black Widow

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fantastic read!!!

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

3 people found this helpful

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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.

2 people found this helpful

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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....

1 person found this helpful

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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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Good story

interesting tale although you may feel that some of it is a little hard to believe.

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Authentic narration preferred!

I wish the author had read as if she was telling the story, not how it was written. Some of the words used didn’t feel natural to a true blue cockney. Really enjoyed the story though.

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Couldn’t put it down!

Wow! I loved Linda’s biography, such a strong lady who’s been through so much. Thank you for the insight into your life x

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A heart gripping, must LISTEN!!

Linda, who also narrates puts her heart and sole in to this book, you can hear it in her voice. Without putting to much in here and giving away any plot she is putting the wrongs to rights.

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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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  • 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.