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Vicious Rumer

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  85 ratings  ·  53 reviews
‘An exhilarating read’ – SFX

‘Introduces a truly badass heroine to the world of YA’ – Book Riot

Rumer Cross is cursed. Scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency, she lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorised London for over a decade.

Raised by foster families who never understood her a
Kindle Edition
Published April 24th 2018 by Unbound
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Average rating 4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  85 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars

"I've killed more people than I can count but I never meant to."

Vicious Rumer is a dark, gritty thriller featuring a 19 year old girl named Rumer who believes she has been cursed since birth by her notorious assassin mother who disappeared after Rumer`s birth. Everybody that gets close to Rumer dies, forcing her to live in the shadows until she is suddenly thrust into the very world her mother dominated.

"The dark's comforting. The shadows are an ally.
I'm one of them and they embrace me
Liz Barnsley
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A new author to me and I thoroughly enjoyed this rather dark, but bang on “Urban Fantasy come horror” tale from Joshua Winning – with a mad good main protagonist in Rumer who is highly engaging with an, erm, interesting past.

I loved the “horror movie” vibe the author brings to this horror thriller mash up – Rumer reminded me of one of those bad ass heroine’s running from the man with the axe in any number of 80’s horror films, as she attempts to extricate herself from a tangled web, in which the
Rumer Cross has been cursed all of her life. She was not meant to survive as a child, and therefore everyone she loves or encounters suffers from the curse that is her life. Her mother, Celene Cross, died shortly after Rumer's birth, but her memory lives in history as one of the most violent criminals London has ever seen. Celene, nicknamed the Witch Assassin, has left her reputation for Rumer to deal with long after she perished. As Rumer grew up in-and-out of foster families, she grew a thick ...more
Susan Hampson
Jan 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-reads
There is only one thing worse than trying to live up to the expectations of a parent and that is trying to live down who they were. Rumer tries but fails to keep her head down, she knows who she is and when people hunt her down then she has to protect herself, so people get hurt or killed. Her mother was top of the league in the criminal world and had dumped her as a baby.
Trouble always found Rumer and it was going to get worse. She had tried to make good and worked in a detective agency but con
Ligia Perez
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This dark humorous story has you rooting for a very well rounded, down on their luck in life, and CURSED character.

We follow Rumor through past and present chapters of who she is, why now and what lead her through life to be who she is. Rumor through some not so pleasant past experiences grows up to be a London detective who gets kidnapped by the mob who are looking for an ancient relic that grants immortality.

With a little bit of Horror,Fantasy, and Badassery whats not to enjoy about this rea
Amy Walker
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Vicious Rumer is an upcoming crime horror book from author and film journalist Joshua Winning.

The book is written from the point of view of Rumer Cross, a nineteen year old girl living in London. Rumer begins the book working for a detective agency, where she is employed to follow people around, catching evidence of her targets cheating on their wives, screwing over their employers, or generally just being jerks.

Rumer had bounced around between foster homes and the streets growing up, which has
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a ride this book is; from the opening chapter to the last you are grabbed by your throat and dragged on an exhilarating (and often brutal) journey. Cursed at birth and abandoned by her ruthless mother who was known as the “Witch Assassin”, you could say that Rumer has had an unsettling start to life. Bouncing between foster homes and misunderstood by those around her she becomes a recluse, a shadow. Her skills at being unseen soon gets her employment within a London detective agency. Things ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A tense and violent thriller with surprisingly sympathetic characters and surprises at every turn, Vicious Rumer will be a hit with readers who like their stories on the gritty side.

I did a thing I don’t normally do: I accepted a review request directly from an author, and I actually had a blast reading his book! I had seen
Michelle B
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Rumer is a damaged 19 year old trying to survive in a lonely and dangerous world.
The book begins with a chilling start, a hammer attack. Rumer is screaming and holding a hammer. How did she find herself in this situation?
There is no lapse in the energy and tension throughout. The book jumps back and forward in time which works really well, thanks to the skill of the author. We learn the reasons why Rumer is so damaged and so alone.
I hope that there will be a sequel to this book, Rumer is a bril
Angie Rhodes
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rummer Cross, was born dead, ok that sounds strange, but so is Rummer feisty. dark, and the type of girl you'd want on your side, in any kind ,and everywhere Rummer goes, trouble follows..
A dark, horror/ fantasy, Vicious Rummer, is not your run of the middle fantasy/ horror story, it's so much more, it's about family, and finding yourself, oh yes and a curse..
Humour,(dark) Black Magic, friendship, it's all here, along with a little bloodshed...Loved it.. Thanks Pigeonhole x
Becca ♥︎
This is the first novel I've read by Joshua, and I can see straight away that I like the way he writes Rumer's character. There's something jagged and edgy about Rumer - and the writing style - that comes across as nitty and gritty and just so-very-readable. The story is about Rumer Cross, a young adult from London. The opening scene is quite striking (I won't give away any spoilers only that it involves a hammer) and from the get-go, I'm reeled into her story, her choices, values and how she go ...more
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Excerpt from my review - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Never a dull moment. A damaged lead you can root for.
Cons: The short-sentence style probably fits the book, but may not work for everyone. The main villain is a bit over-the-top.
WARNING! Violence and gore.
Will appeal to: Readers who like action and unhinged but resourceful heroines.

First off...DISCLAIMER: I was offered a review copy by the author. This didn't influence my review.


I don't read a lot of modern thrillers -
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have heard so much about this book and was super excited to be given the chance to review it! “Vicious Rumer is by Author Joshua Winning.
“Rumer Cross is cursed. Scraping by working for a dingy London detective agency, she lives in the shadow of her mother, a violent criminal dubbed the ‘Witch Assassin’ whose bloodthirsty rampage terrorized London for over a decade.
Raised by foster families who never understood her and terrified she could one day turn into her mother, Rumer has become detached
Jonathan Smith
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brutal Neo Noir thriller.

When I began reading this book I could tell from the very beginning that this felt very noir. The way the heroine (Rumer) spoke was a little different and yet I loved it. She is a great character and I honestly hope this becomes a series.
This book is set in London and from page 1 it takes off and only slows down in my opinion when it does flash backs. The flash backs themselves give great character backstory but slowed down the pace of the story just a little bit. Ea
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
You know when you think you’re cursed - well meet Rumer who quite possibly could be.

I read this a while ago and you really do feel the sense of danger (and smells) Rumer gets in when Joshua Winning takes you on a whirlwind, blood riddled journey through London in this consuming crime thriller.

You see Rumer is, well like you. She has a job but not for the faint hearted. She’s a private detective see (see what I did there) but whereas we all have a past, Rumer’s is steeped in the occult and the cr
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real page-turner of a book.

Rumour Cross is a kid with a complex history. She believes that her mother who was also a violent criminal cursed her. She ended up in the foster care system but as soon as she is able to, she escapes and disappears.
A suspicious character, she doesn’t allow anyone to get close to her.
She works for a private detective but one day she is kidnapped by a crime boss who wants an item that he thinks that Rumour has.
Lots of twists and turns throughout the book have you w
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Vicious Rumer was a really fun and exciting read! With almost nonstop action from the very first page its a really quick read and I got really invested in the story really fast. Winning does a great job of setting the scene and fleshing out the characters. The descriptions are very old school noir and while they occasionally miss their mark, the style was overall enjoyable. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a fast paced, action packed mystery or to someone who enjoys a dash of the occult ...more
Dave Richards
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this, I'm a sucker for noir and this kept the noir feel all the way through. Rumour is a deeply flawed character but well written, so even when I was shouting at her for making bad decisions I completely understood why she made them.

I would definitely read a prequel - I would like to see more of Rumour's shadowing ability, which was mentioned but not shown much in this story. One of the strongest parts for me was Rumour infiltrating the mansion towards the end, showing off some of
Apr 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: pigeon-books, 4-star
Vicious Rumer by Joshua Winning is a roller coaster of tough girl loner setting right the wrongs wreaked on society by criminals, top of her list being her mother. If you like chases, fighting, gory scenes and give as good as you get, this book will appeal to you.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is such an amazing debut novel!!
So amazing, captivating and thrilling and I absolutely LOVE Rumer Cross!
Really really good book, there's no denying it!
Can't wait to see what else Joshua Winning has up his sleeve :D
R Y Fowler
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
A book that gets its claws in and drags you with it to the end! A bit depressing overall for my taste, but very compelling.
Eli Allison
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
A high paced novel whose main character is dark and exciting, she's been driven to the edge by a cruel and brutal world. I really enjoyed it.
Lynn Worton
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review 4.5 rounded up to 5*

This is an intriguing crime thriller set in London, England. I loved it!

Rumer is a fascinating character. I found myself not only liking her, but also feeling sorry for her, though I also wanted to shake her at times too. She is nineteen years old, but seems more mature. This is due to her upbringing I think. She has grown up in foster care, knowing that her mother was a notorious assassin. Unfortunately, she believes herself to be cursed as everyone she comes to care
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first glance, Rumer Cross comes across as a brittle, acerbic type. She has had a tough upbringing, and this has left all manner of scars. As far as the rest of the world is concerned Rumer Cross is not a person to be messed with and she is quite happy with that arrangement. Her exterior may be hard as nails, but it becomes increasingly obvious that inside, Rumer is fundamentally broken. She feels a personal responsibility for all the deaths she witnessed in her short life. Is she truly cursed ...more
Miles Hudson
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've just finished reading Vicious Rumer by Joshua Winning. So how was it? Worth buying? I should coco. I suppose with the caveat that it's a pretty action-packed (the faint-hearted should read that as 'violent') and slightly creepy/dark psychological thriller. And I couldn't quite work out if it's intended to be YA or just has a teenage girl as the main character. Given that I normally hate YA, either the answer is no or it manages to be all things to all people!

A dark atmosphere overhangs Vici
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, 2018
I read an early copy of Vicious Rumer when Josh was starting up his Unbound campaign for the book. I was familiar with Josh’s other work, mainly the first two books in his YA series The Sentinel Trilogy. I really liked those, so I was excited to read his latest. And while I wasn’t disappointed, I do have to say that I was surprised, because Vicious Rumer is oh so very different from Sentinel and Ruins . It’s far darker and more violent and while its protagonist is still in her teens it is ...more
Lesley Ann Campbell
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This book has a huge Jessica Jones style feel to it, and I do love Jessica Jones. The kick ass, straight talking, attitude filled private eye. Rumer Cross is no different. Except for that rather than having super strength, she is, or believes she is cursed. She has read tales of her mother, an assassin, a killer, a woman who terrorised the streets of London. She believes that she was cursed when she was born, and that everyone she gets close too dies.
I don’t believe she was really cursed, I fee
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, young-adult
I received an e-ARC from NetGalley and Unbound Digital.

This review was originally posted at

I’ve never read anything by Joshua Winning before picking up this eARC of Vicious Rumer. His writing style was completely new to me and I was blown away by it. This book is so pure, dark and with rough edges.. I didn’t even know I liked this sort of novels until now.

Vicious Rumer is the story about Rumer Cross, a 19 year old girl who lives in London. It all starts with Rumer standing in fr
Maria Logan-Montgomery
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Abusive foster homes, mean girls at school, the effort to live down a parent's criminality, some belief in the supernatural, multiple attempts on her life – Rumer Cross experiences it all, and more. In Vicious Rumer, by Joshua Winning, this nineteen-year-old girl believes she is cursed, and that she wasn't wanted to survive infancy.

Rumer spends her young life trying to live down her assassin mother's reputation, while the son of a man her mother, Celine, murdered is on the hunt for Rumer. Celin
Ieva Strupisa
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was approached by the author, Joshua Winning, as he was interested, whether I’d review his book on my blog. The summary with three sentences, that Joshua provided, grabbed my attention as it was promising a bad-ass heroine, so I agreed to post my honest review in exchange for a book. Joshua is an author and film journalist. Vicious Rumer is the third book written by the author. When asked, what inspired Joshua to write this book, he answers: “A lot of things inspired me to write the book, but ...more
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Joshua Winning is an author and film journalist who writes for TOTAL FILM, SFX, GAY TIMES and RADIO TIMES. He has been on set with Kermit the Frog, devoured breakfast with zombies on The Walking Dead, and sat on the Iron Throne while visiting the Game Of Thrones set in Dublin. Jeff Goldblum once told him he looks a bit like Paul Bettany.

In 2018, Joshua’s YA thriller VICIOUS RUMER was published by

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