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4.52  ·  Rating details ·  73 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Ruthless, devious, and loyal, Zenka is a Hungarian pole-dancer with a dark past.

When cranky London mob boss, Jack Murray, saves her life she vows to become his guardian angel – whether he likes it or not. Happily, she now has easy access to pistols, knives and shotguns.

Jack discovers he has a son, Nicholas, a male nurse with a heart of gold. Problem is, Nicholas is a wimp.
Kindle Edition, 299 pages
Published November 6th 2017
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Average rating 4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  73 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Dash fan
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5☆ Thrilling, Exciting Crime Thriller with a twist of humour.

This Is my very first book by Alison Brodie but it will Definetly not be my last.
Fresh, funny, exciting, crazy, whole lot of fun. I can't wait to tell everyone about Zenka!!

I adored reading Zenka. At points I was in fits of laughter, Zenka is not a women to be messed with, shes a Hungarian pole dancer with an addictive accent, she's dangerous, sexy, has a killer instinct but under her steel she has a softer side.

Men and women equally a
Whispering Stories
Book Reviewed by Clive on

We all deserve to have some simple pleasure in our lives and whilst Zenka will never be categorised as classic literature, for sheer entertainment I found it excellent. Alison Brodie certainly knows how to build a story.

As I started reading her latest publication my first thoughts were that it was a little amateurish and stereotyped; an impression not helped by several typographic errors in my proof copy. However, within a few pages I was hooked
Sep 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alison Brodie has outdone her creative self with ZENKA in a very good way! ZENKA is certainly something different from her and that is a plus for us readers always on the hunt for something off the beaten path.

A mysterious letter, a London mobster, a shy and gentle young man and a feisty Hungarian pole dancer are at the heart of this comedic tale that will warm your heart, chill your bones and leave you asking, who IS Zenka? Is she something otherworldly, magical or is she just a woman with a c
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have loved previous work by Alison Brodie so when she mentioned her WIP as it was then about Zenka I jumped at the chance of reading an ARC.

One of my favourite song lyrics is at the beginning of the book so I was singing as I began reading! “You can’t light a fire without a spark” but as I went on the relevance of that quote sunk in.

Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a sweet romance, Zenka is dark black humour with a suspenseful kick ass heroine. Picture the scene Zenka is a pole dancer wi
Dec 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Alison Brodie

Received from Author

Before reading ZENKA I had no idea what a black comedy was. ZENKA is a Hungarian redhead who is a major bad ass with attitude. Her accent just cracked me up and I found myself snorting out loud at many parts in this hilarious story! ZENKA is also my first Alison Brodie book but it definitely won't be my last! I loved it from the very first page and had a hard time putting it down! I've had the ebook for quite some time, but have been swamped and couldn't ge
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars!

Dark, action-packed, and down-right funny!

In this latest novel by Brodie, Zenka, we are introduced to an extraordinary cast of characters, including a ruthless mob boss with a heart, a bashful administrator with a pet cat, a couple of goons who'll do anything for a little dosh, a Hungarian pole dancer obsessed with revenge, a slovenly roommate up for anything, and a male nurse who learns to fight dirty, and that's just to mention a few.

The writing is creative, fresh, and unique. And th
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
*****5 Crime Delicious Stars*****

This book was graciously gifted to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Well, Ms. Brodie did it again!! She took me on another wild and crazy journey through the eyes of a brassy character named Zenka!

Every time I read one of Ms. Brodie's books, I find myself mesmerized by her words and the story that she artfully pieces together. On a perfect day, I would stay home and have read this NON-STOP..but instead I found myself sneaking a few pages here and
Jack Murray is a London organised crime gang boss. Zenka is a Hungarian girl he saved, she know follows Jack everywhere. She is his self-confessed guardian angel. News reaches Jack that he has a 26-year-old son, Zenka wants to help bring them together. The son is Nicholas and he couldn’t be more different from Jack. Nicholas is caring, gentle supportive and a nurse, and to be honest a bit of a push over. Zenka is aware of his character as she has been watching him, so a series of”events” are put ...more
Alison Brodie is new to me and I am really impressed!! I look REALLY forward to what she has coming next. Alison, I will be staying with you for the ride!!!

ZENKA is fun, exciting, hysterically funny and filled with some pretty intense scenes!! It’s a wild and fun ride!! I was giggling, laughing, and snorting out loud throughout the book!! A bit awkward if you’re out in public. I loved the characters and really got invested. There were times I had tears running down my face (not from laughing) be
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*

Vell, vat vas a lot ov vun! Or, in non-Zenka style, that was a lot of fun!

Zenka is a Hungarian pole dancer and she works at a club owned by Cockney gangster Jack Murray. Now, it turns out that Jack has a son he's desperate to get to know, to be a father to, and Zenka is going to help him with this rather unconventional mission.

She's going to befriend Nicholas, Jacks long lost son, possibly seduce him in the process, and get him toughened up to be the son of a gangster. A man to fear.

What follo
Charlie Elliott
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Brodie nails it again. Great read.

Lost behind a desk for 17 months, a sealed letter’s contents puts the wheels of change into motion for a madcap group of characters.

Jack Murray, a local mobster with various shady and legitimate businesses under his ownership, is the recipient of the lost letter written by Lakshmir, the only love he had ever known. Lakshmir, a wheelchair-bound invalid, wrote the letter 26 years after their last contact to let Jack know that he has a son, what would be his only
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A dark romantic comedy with marvelous characters. Once you get to know Nicholas and friends, and perhaps some not so much friends, you won't want to put this book down.
Your perception of right and wrong, good vs evil may be turned on its ear.
Joanne Robertson
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
There was quite a buzz on social media about Alison Brodies last book Brake Failure so I was keen to read Zenka especially as it sounded right up my street genre wise. But this urban crime thriller had an unexpected black humour that kept me far more interested than I had expected.

Zenka is a Hungarian redhead with attitude! The letters she sends to her friend gives us an insight into how she has come to lead the life she is living now and her plans for the future. When her life is saved by gangs
Linda Zagon
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
MY REVIEW OF “ZENKA” by Alison Brodie

WOW! Thank you to Author Alison Brodie in “ZENKA” of bring her unique wit and dark comedy to a suspenseful novel. The genres of “Zenka” are Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Dark Comedy and Satire.

Alison Brodie describes her colorful characters as complex,, complicated, confused, mysterious, strange, quirky, and dysfunctional. Zenka is supposedly a Hungarian Pole Dancer who is rescued by Mob Boss Jack Murray, and has dedicated herself to being “Ja
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
**RATING 4.5**

ZENKA by Alison Brodie is a mad-cap, crazy, whirlwind of a novel that is part crime fiction, part humour, and part romance, that will hold your attention from beginning to end.

Nicholas is a kind-hearted young man who works as a nurse and is gently spoken with everyone he meets. Because of this, he has a flatmate who drives him round the bend and a girlfriend who bullies him relentlessly, and he grieves for his beloved mother who abandoned him. But one day he wins a luxury car and i
DJ Sakata
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Favorite Quotes:

A man vith a face like crumpled McDonald bag takes us outside.

He glanced around, dismayed to see all the seats were taken by tattooed teenagers who looked as if they were bored with stabbing people.

Jack says I have “balls” - this means man’s testicles. This is compliment. He also calls me “spitfire”. This is a plane that shoots the Germans in the Second Vorld Var. This is also compliment (I think).

Nicholas sang as he pulled the bath plug, raising his voice to compete with the gur
Susan Hampson
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read one of Alison Brodie’s books previously I knew before I even began this book that it would be a super read and she definitely didn’t let me down. After Jack Murray, a feared London gangster, saved Zenka from a prospect of a terrible life in the hands of another gang, she swore her alliance to him. Now a pole dancer in one of Jack’s clubs she has the protection of Jack, who is more like a father figure to her than anything else. Jack definitely has a soft spot for her and she gets awa ...more
Book Inspector
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More reviews can be found at

Even though the name of this book is Zenka, she is not the main character in this book. The main character in this novel was Nicholas, a very good-hearted nurse, who works with old people and is a coward. He is scared of any conflict and does everything to please people. Jack is a mob boss with principles, and when he finds out that he has a son, Zenka and him, decide to make Nicholas a “real man”, and that is where all the fun beg
Dee-Cee  It's all about the books
When I read the description for Zenka I had a feeling this was a book I was going to enjoy. I didn’t realise though just how much I would enjoy it and it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting.
Hungarian Zenka is rescued and her life saved from a terrible gang by London gangster Jack Murray, she then vows to be his guardian angel and I have to say I immediately took to Zenka. Straight away you see she’s gutsy and has balls but she also has a heart of gold. Jack is Zenka’s hero and also a father f
Yesha- Books Teacup and Reviews
You can read all my review on Blog - Books Teacup and Reviews

Zenka was lighthearted, entertaining mafia/ mob family drama and romance that revolved around, Zenka, Jack, Nicholas and Trevor. It was full ride of suspense, twists, actions, romance, humor, love, betrayal and secrets with quirky characters and unique writing style. That blurb says all about the book.


Zenka was a red haired Hungarian pole dancer. She was feisty, smart and devious, protective for Jack and called herself Jack
Bloggers From Down Under
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
** Provided on behalf of the author for an honest review **
** Review by Kylie from Bloggers From Down Under **

As I've read some of Alison's earlier books, I jumped at the chance to read her newest release, Zenka.

Right from the get-go, I knew this story was going to be vastly different to Alison's previous work.

Without giving too much away, I will say, this story is a glorious mixture of comedy and edge of your seat thrills.

But most of all, it's a love story, unlike any love story I've ever read
Lauren Sapala
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is on a very short list of books that made me laugh so hard by the first page that I almost spit coffee all over my Kindle. And it only got better from there.

Zenka combines a few different elements that make for a stellar book: Characters who have no problem kicking down the front door and don’t take no for an answer, a storyline buzzing with suspense, a wide streak of twisted humor, and a few plot curveballs you never saw coming. It has the feel of something Tina Fey and Simon Pegg mi
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story takes place in England with ALL the Cockney words (there are translations before you start reading) but even without them--I, at least was able to get the gist of it! It is essentially the story of a mob boss who wants to go totally legit because he thinks he found the son he never knew knew he had. Now this guy wasn't all that bad--he did save a bunch of women from the Romanians who had kidnapped them. Zenka, the Hungarian whirl wind with a temper to match and a heart of pure gold de ...more
Karen Cole
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved the premise of Zenka; when mob boss, Jack Murray discovers he has a long lost son, Nicholas he is desperate to make up for lost time but he wants to make sure his enemies are out of the way before he makes contact. In the meantime he follows Nicholas but is dismayed to learn his son is hardly a chip off the old block - he's a community nurse described as an angel by his patients but pushed around by his girlfriend and his flatmate, and is unable to stand up for himself in conf ...more
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 5-star-reads
*Received as an ARC from the author*

After reading and loving another of Alison's books Brake Failure I jumped at the chance when she offered to send me her new book Zenka!

Admittedly I was a little hesitant going into this book as I aren't really a big fan of mob stories however although the main story is about the son of a mob boss the main story is about so much more than that.

Zenka's accent is prominent throughout the book when she is talking and at the start I wasn't too sure of it but I thin
Caroline Vincent
Nov 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Combine a London mobster with a feisty Hungarian pole-dancer, a soft-hearted male nurse and many more crazy, likeable, over-the-top characters et voilà you have ZENKA: a quirky, dark, and romantic comedy.

| Introduction |

What have a London mobster by the name of Jack Murray, an exotic Hungarian pole-dancer named Zenka, a soft-hearted male nurse Nicholas, Trevor, a frustrated accountant and a couple of tough guys in common? And there is more… For instance, Jack never knew he had a son but sort o
Rabid Readers Reviews
The eponymous Zenka is not the leading voice of the piece. She is a native Hungarian whose voice is written in cultural patois. Jack’s is a Cockney voice and there is a listing of London East End slang at the start of the work. Most were familiar to this native Michigander having watched an episode or two of Eastenders in my time but some were new. Zenka and Jack meet when he rescues her and other women who have been sold to a Romanian gang but a sure to be poorly fated woman named Olga. Zenka o ...more
Cristina Hodgson
I'd previously read "Brake Failure" by Alison Brodie and loved it, so I knew I was in for a great read with ZENKA and Ms Brodie did not disappoint. I absolutely loved the way she brought the characters to life playing with the Cockney slang and Zenka's Hungarian accent. Brilliant word play and very enjoyable plot. Thoroughly recommend. But not just this novel, all Brodie's work. A very talented author who will have you in stitches from start to end. ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love how Zenka Valentina Varga asks 'How is the family?' at the end of each of her letters; this novel ended up having a decent location atmosphere. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and got an ARC in exchange for an honest review. ...more
Wall-to-wall books - wendy
Wow! Fantastic read! This was a great way to spend my holiday. This book was funny, a little creepy, heartwarming at times, while always keeping me on the edge of my recliner.

I fell so in love with all of these zany characters I was still thinking about them during dinner (and no, I don't read during dinner). I absolutely loved Nicholas. He was such a sweetie, a mixed up, naive, wimp of a sweetie, but you just can't help but fall for him! Zenka with her - hard shell on the outside soft in her co
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7 book bloggers have chosen ZENKA in their *Best Reads of 2017* -Being Anne, Ali the Dragon Slayer, Dash Fan Reviews, Book Dragon Girl, Wall-to-Wall Books, Lauren Sapala, A Reader's Review.

THE DOUBLE: “Proof of her genius in writing fiction” -San Francisco Book Review.

BRAKE FAILURE: “Masterpiece of humor”–Midwest Book Review


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