Posted in Books I have read

Follow The Leader – Mel Sherratt

Crime Fiction 5*'s
Crime Fiction
5*’s

When a man is stabbed to death by a canal DS Allie Shenton’s earliest thoughts go along the lines of that this is something more exciting than a domestic, this is something she can get her teeth into, she soon is eating her words as the ruthless killer stacks up the bodies in Stoke-On-Trent at an unseemly rate.

Mickey Taylor has been found with a magnetic letter E in his pocket the significance of which eludes Allie and the team. When a second man is killed a couple of days later a link is made, the two men had attended the same school, as did Allie’s fellow officer Perry and her elder sister Karen. Be warned this is a book where the reader knows who the killer is from the start, we get to see him back in the 1980’s and in the present day and therefore know far more than the police. Knowing the killer is a tricky device for the author to pull off, but I’m pleased to report that I felt no less suspense in this book than when I’m trying to solve the puzzle myself, in fact, if anything I was more eager than ever for the police to work out the scarce clues they had to hand, and foil the killer.

The switches between past and present were also expertly presented, there was no confusion whatsoever at the change-over points and the voices were authentic in both time periods. As the 1980’s is when I was at school any inconsistencies would have jarred but there weren’t any. Each of the characters, and there are a fair few to keep track of, particularly as those in the 80’s were often known by nicknames, were on the whole a sensible mixture of good and bad. I’m not a fan of outright goodies and baddies in books and it was almost like a school reunion seeing who had come good all these years later, and of course to wonder which of them were going to live to tell the tale!

Having recently read the first book in this series Taunting The Dead, the story of Allie and her elder sister Karen was already fresh in my mind. As with any good series the story arc continues in this book, as does her husband’s concern about Allie’s job, but in this book the conflict is handled with far more subtlety and thereby making it more realistic. I like Allie, she is a well-balanced police officer and her relationships with her fellow officers are cordial with a happy absence of ongoing conflict allowing the reader to concentrate on the crime at hand.

This book hit all the key points for a five-star read; a great mix of characters, a believable villain, a fantastic plot and writing that flowed despite the complexities of two different time periods. If you haven’t read Taunting The Dead ,in theory although the story-line in that book is alluded to in this one, you could easily enjoy this as a stand-alone, but why would you want to? My recommendation is that you buy both books and immerse yourself in Allie Shenton’s world.

Follow The Leader will be published on 10 February 2015 and I’d like to thank Amazon publishers, Thomas and Mercer, for allowing me to read a proof copy of this excellent book in return for my opinion.

Previous books by Mel Sherratt:

Taunting The Dead – book 1 in the Allie Shenton series
Watching Over You – a psychological thriller

Posted in Weekly Posts

Teaser Tuesday (February 3)

 

Kindle,jpg

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser this week is from Follow The Leader by Mel Sherratt

Follow The Leader

Blurb

A man’s body is found on a canal towpath. In his pocket, a plastic magnet in the shape of an E.
Days later, a second victim is found, this time with the letter V tucked into her clothing.
As the body count rises, the eerie, childlike clues point to a pattern that sends DS Allie Shenton and her colleagues into full alert.
The race is on. Allie and the team must work quickly to determine where the killer will strike next.
The rules are simple but deadly—to catch the killer, they must follow the leader.
From the acclaimed author of Taunting the Dead comes a flesh-creeping tale of a child’s game with a terrifying, grown-up twist. Goodreads


My Teaser

It was a strange feeling to be excited about being called out to the scene of a death Would it be suspicious? Would it be suicide? Maybe just a prank gone horrifically wrong? An act of violence gone to far? Or even murder with intent? She woundered what she would find today Couldn’t help the feeling of adrenaline building up inside her at the thought of a case to get her teeth into.

What do you think? Do you want to know more?
Please leave the links to your teasers in the comments box below
.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Musing Mondays (February 2)

Musing Mondays

Hosted by Should Be Reading
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

I am currently reading The Book of Lost and Found by Lucy Foley. I’m in need of something a little uplifting at the moment and this book which promises a sweeping classic romance, and from what I’ve read so far I can’t disagree and I love a story where the narrative dives into the past to tell the tale.

The Book of Lost and Found

Blurb

In many ways, my life has been rather like a record of the lost and found. Perhaps all lives are like that.
It’s when life started in earnest
HERTFORDSHIRE, 1928
The paths of Tom and Alice collide against a haze of youthful, carefree exuberance. And so begins a love story that finds its feet by a lake one silvery moonlit evening . . .
It’s when there were no happy endings
PARIS, 1939
Alice is living in the City of Light, but the pain of the last decade has already left its mark. There’s a shadow creeping across Europe when she and Thomas Stafford – now a world famous artist – find each other once more . . .
It’s when the story begins
LONDON, 1986
Bequeathed an old portrait from her grandmother, Kate Darling uncovers a legacy that takes her to Corsica, Paris and beyond. And as the secrets of time fall away, a love story as epic as it is life-changing slowly reveals itself . . . Amazon

I have just finished The Exit by Helen FitzGerald which features a young woman, Catherine, in her early twenties and Rose Price an elderly woman in her eighties who suffers from dementia. An intriguing read from the author of The Cry

My review will follow later this week

The Exit

Next up I am going to read Follow The Leader by Mel Sherratt, the second in the DS Allie Shenton series which started with Taunting The Dead, a gritty crime novel set in Stoke-On-Trent.
Follow The Leader


Blurb

A man’s body is found on a canal towpath. In his pocket, a magnetic letter in the shape of an E.
Days later, a second victim is found, this time with the letter V tucked into her clothing.
As the body count rises, the eerie, childlike clues point to a pattern that sends DS Allie Shenton and her colleagues into full alert.
The race is on. Allie and the team must work quickly to determine where the killer will strike next. The rules are simple but deadly—to catch the killer, they must follow the leader. Amazon

What are you reading this week? Please share in the comments box below.

Posted in Weekly Posts

Friday Finds (January 9)

Friday Finds Hosted by Should be Reading

FRIDAY FINDS showcases the books you ‘found’ and added to your To Be Read (TBR) list… whether you found them online, or in a bookstore, or in the library — wherever! (they aren’t necessarily books you purchased).

It’s been a while since my last Friday Finds and I have some great additions to share with you. Through NetGalley I have been lucky enough to receive copies from three authors whose previous books I’ve enjoyed.

Firstly, Second Life by S J Watson, the author of Before I Go To Sleep which I awarded 4 stars to back in 2011 and has recently been made into a film.

Second Life

Blurb

She loves her husband. She’s obsessed by a stranger.
She’s a devoted mother. She’s prepared to lose everything.
She knows what she’s doing. She’s out of control.
She’s innocent. She’s guilty as sin.
She’s living two lives. She might lose both . . NetGalley

Second Life is being published by Random House UK on 12 February 2015

Secondly, Follow The Leader by Mel Sherratt is being published by Amazon on 10 February 2015 and is the second in the DS Allie Shenton series, a shame because I haven’t read the first one, Taunting the Dead although I did enjoy Watching Over You last year

So I purchased Taunting The Dead Taunting The Dead

Blurb

Nine out of ten murders are committed by someone the victim knows. So when Steph Ryder has her head bashed in within earshot of her family and friends, D.S. Allie Shenton begins her investigation close to home.
Soon the lies, backtracking, and secrets multiply as each of the suspects tries to cover up their actions on that fateful night. Before long, Allie homes in on Steph’s ambitious and powerful husband, Terry. Convinced he’s hiding something, she interviews him again and again—only to find that she is falling, despite herself, for his smooth charms.
As the trail grows hotter, along with Allie’s feelings, the web of deceit pulls tighter and more bodies begin to pile up. Allie must race against time to uncover the shocking truth before she becomes the killer’s next victim. Goodreads

… to enjoy Follow The Leader

Follow The Leader

Blurb

A man’s body is found on a canal towpath. In his pocket, a magnetic letter in the shape of an E.
Days later, a second victim is found, this time with the letter V tucked into her clothing.
As the body count rises, the eerie, childlike clues point to a pattern that sends DS Allie Shenton and her colleagues into full alert.
The race is on. Allie and the team must work quickly to determine where the killer will strike next. The rules are simple but deadly—to catch the killer, they must follow the leader. NetGalley

And lastly The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer. Amazon kindly informs me that I purchased Blacklands by Belinda Bauer back in August 2010, I then read all of her subsequent novels including the fantastic Rubbernecker although I haven’t yet read The Facts of Life and Death which was published in 2014.

The Shut Eye

Blurb

Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
And now they are all his mother has left.
Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse? NetGalley

The Shut Eye will be published by Random House UK on 12 March 2015

I also have a copy of I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh which is due to be published by Little Brown Book Group UK on 23 April 2015.

I Let You Go
Blurb

A tragic accident. It all happened so quickly. She couldn’t have prevented it. Could she?
In a split second, Jenna Gray’s world is shattered. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape her past, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of the cruel November night that changed her life for ever.
DI Ray Stevens is tasked with seeking justice for a mother who is living every parent’s worst nightmare. Determined to get to the bottom of the case, it begins to consume him as he puts both his professional and personal life on the line.
As Ray and his team seek to uncover the truth, Jenna, slowly, begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating . . . Goodreads

I have also been lucky enough to receive a proof copy of Sarah Hilary’s second book No Other Darkness after her wonderful debut Someone Else’s Skin, the first in the Marnie Rome series (and one of the top ten reviews most read by you guys)

No Other Darkness

Blurb

No Other Darkness finds Marnie on a case that hauntingly echoes her own family tragedy. Detective Inspector Marnie Rome and her partner Detective Sergeant Noah Jake are investigating the recent discovery of two dead boys in a bunker beneath a London garden. Terry and Beth, under whose garden the bodies were discovered, have two children of their own, and are also fostering a difficult boy named Clancy. Clancy reminds Marnie of her foster brother Stephen, who murdered her parents. Is Marnie’s past blinding her to the truth? Only one thing is certain: when Terry and Beth’s biological children vanish, Marnie can’t waste a moment finding them. Goodreads

So that concludes my finds for this week!

What have you found to read? Please share in the comments box below.