Well it’s a long time since I’ve read a book set in a hospital, not my favourite of places, but I was intrigued about which direction the author was going to take this psychological thriller after all you don’t have to think too hard to imagine all sorts of mischief being committed with a setting so full people at their most vulnerable!
Min is Sarah’s foster mother, a woman she clearly loves, and having been injured she’s been taken to a busy NHS hospital in Manchester. The early descriptions of the hospital are accurate from the picture of a hospital that has grown piecemeal to accommodate the local population, the busy and harried staff and the patients in varying degrees of distress that inhabit the wards. Yet that isn’t enough for Linda Huber who gives these scenes that extra menacing edge already having ramped up the tension through an excerpt by the man who is clearly out to harm so from page one there is no doubt at all that something bad is going to happen! From that first visit Sarah is on edge, the hospital reminds her of the death of her parents and how she came to be in Min’s care in the first place.
While the plot is full of darkness there are also touching moments in it too as Sarah meets Frankie, the grandchild of another patient who has also spent time living with Min. When Frankie’s mother disappears things get complicated as she moves in with the recovering Min and Sarah while the police try to track her down. Throughout all of these major goings on there is also some missing money to track down and Sarah is determined to find out who took it and protect any other victims. Sarah is undoubtedly one of life’s ‘nice people’, as is Min but working out some of the other characters is far harder.
Linda Huber has come up with some complex storylines within this book and so you do have to have your wits about you, particularly at the beginning to ensure you keep track of who is who but it doesn’t take too long before the book really gets into its stride with the characters being quite distinct making the storyline far easier to follow than I first feared. There are a number of suspects for the anonymous voice that should you forget for more than a minute or so intones further feelings of dread throughout this novel.
The author has written a classic page-turner, I wanted to know who had murder in mind, I loved the palpable tension but I was less keen on the motive for the crimes being so obviously spelt out. My personal preference is for the motives to be revealed last in this kind of psychological suspense novel and because of my preference I found the motive to be less convincing than I may have done if it had been revealed later. If you want a dark tale and to see some of the stories you will have read in the news turned into a book, you couldn’t wish for much more from this little gem. I would keep well away from Brockburn General Hospital though!
I’d like to thank the author for allowing me to read a copy of Ward Zero and I’d also like to extend my apologies for the illness that prevented this review being posted prior to the publication date of 1 October 2016.
Previous Books I’ve read by Linda Huber
They stared at each other, and Maggie felt the tightness in her middle expand as it shifted, burning its way up… Painful sobs rose from her throat as Colin, his face expressionless now, reached for his mobile and dialled 999.
When three-year-old Olivia disappears, her parents are overwhelmed with grief. Weeks go by and Olivia’s mother refuses to leave the cottage, staring out at the turbulent sea and praying it didn’t claim her precious daughter’s life.
Not far away, another mother watches proudly as her daughter starts school. Jennifer has loved Hailey for five years, but the child is suddenly moody and difficult, and there’s a niggling worry of doubt that Jennifer cannot shake off. As she struggles to maintain control there are gaps in her story that even she can’t explain.
Time is running out for Maggie at the cottage, and also for Jennifer and Hailey. No-one can underestimate a mother’s love for her child, and no-one can predict the lengths one will go to, to protect her family. Amazon
A disappearance. A sudden death. A betrayal of the worst kind.
Ella longs for a child of her own, but a gruesome find during an adoption process deepens the cracks in her marriage. A family visit starts off a horrifying chain of events, and Ella can only hope she won’t lose the person she loves most of all.
Amanda is expecting her second child when her husband vanishes. She is tortured by thoughts of violence and loss, but nothing prepares her for the shocking conclusion to the police investigation.
And in the middle of it all, a little girl is looking for a home of her own with a ‘forever’ mummy and daddy…
How well do you know your own family? And who can you trust? Amazon