This is the third book in the enthralling and frankly scary Allie Shenton series and in my opinion this is a series that needs to be read in order to get the full Allie Shenton experience.
Set in Stoke-on-Trent the plot of Only The Brave starts with the murder of a man in the early hours of the morning. A woman stumbling home in the early hours of the morning literally falls over the body of the dead man but leaves him lying there. When the body is found later by an elderly dog-walker (you have to wonder would the crime levels fall if dog-walkers didn’t exist) Allie and the team kick into action, the only problem is the estate where the body was found is famous for keeping information to itself. Finding out who did it isn’t likely to be an easy task.
The local criminals are also twitch as a substantial amount of money has gone missing causing all the local brutes to flex their muscles, and worse, to expedite its return. This only causes more suspects to be drawn to Allie’s attention.
Alongside all of this Allie is worried she is being watched and a gift delivered to the hospital where her older sister Karen is being treated only seems to confirm her view. Karen was brutally attacked seventeen years previously and one of Allie’s goals is to arrest the man who ruined her life. Having read the first two in this series I feel almost as invested in finding out who attacked Karen as Allie.
I enjoy this series because Allie is a real woman, and a decent one at that. She can have maverick tendencies but these are mainly kept under control and she gets on well with her fellow officers who are all watching her back. Her home life while containing the daily reminder of the devastation crime can cause is on the whole happy with her husband being supportive for the most part.
This book is told over a mere forty-eight hours with each chapter clearly marked with the time as the detectives follow leads and mis-leads. We also get to see behind the scenes at the estate with the residents playing their own games – as the reader we know who is telling which part of the truth and willing Allie to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The tension is maintained because although we have more details than the detective we don’t have the answer either although I had my suspicions!
Once again the denouement is simply terrifying, and my heart was in my mouth and my fingers crossed for a good outcome which made turning those pages very difficult. An exceptional finish which was satisfying and even better it looks like we haven’t heard the last of Allie Shenton!
I’d like to thank the author Mel Sherratt for giving me a copy of this book for review purposes. Only The Brave is due to be published on 26 May 2015 so if you haven’t already done so I suggest you pick up the first two in the series.