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When the Evil Waits – M J Lee

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I have read all of the D I Ridpath series by this author and they have all been brilliant.  Another absolutely amazing read and D I Ridpath is definitely my favourite detective character at the moment for a whole host of reasons but maybe to do with his imperfections.  Although this is one in a series it is easily read as a standalone.

D I Ridpath is part of the Greater Manchester Major Incident Team (MIT) and was seconded to the coroner’s office allowing for a recovery from cancer which still plays a part in his life even though it is now in remission.  The last novel finished on a cliff hanger and this one begins with Ridpath returning to work after a few months’ leave.

Instead of being eased in gradually he is involved in investigating the murder of a seven-year-old boy who has been sexually assaulted and left near the river Mersey. The boy is found by two dog walkers, who were somewhere they shouldn’t have been. This is written to include Covid restrictions and some of the relevant comments from the police were real and witty. This, for me, gave it an added authenticity.

Another fast-paced novel, with strong, droll and clever characters who show their vulnerability at times. Astute, intriguing with numerous twists and turns and this author is never afraid to address difficult issues head on.

Personally, I cannot wait for the next instalment as they keep getting better.

Thank you to NetGalley, Canelo and M J Lee for my ARC of When the Evil Waits in return for my honest review.

Exceptional read and highly recommended.

The Silent Suspect – Nell Pattison

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This is the second book I have read by this author and it is part of a series with Paige Northwood as a British Sign Language interpreter who occasionally helps the police and works part time for a social worker, Sasha, who is deaf. Although previous relationships are referred to it is easy enough to read as a stand-alone.

As with the previous book I found the storyline and plotting brilliant as the beginning finds Paige being called by Lukas, an individual who is part of Sasha’s caseload, saying his house is on fire and he believes his wife, Nadia, is inside.

There are many twists and turns and Paige’s relationship with Max is high on the agenda as is her behaviour with the policeman, Rav Singh.

Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books and Nell Pattison for my ARC in return for my honest review.

Good read, recommended.

The Wild Girls – Phoebe Morgan

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I have read all of Phoebe Morgan’s previous novels and thoroughly enjoyed them so was delighted to receive my ARC of The Wild Girls. It did not disappoint and I raced through this in a day.

The story centres around four friends- Felicity, Grace, Hannah and Alice – who were close growing up and going through university until one evening it all went wrong and they haven’t been in touch for two years. I could relate to the friendships and how it is easy to grow apart over a ‘situation’, so found this part exceptionally well written.

Felicity moved to New York at that time but has now invited the other three to a luxury retreat in Botswana, all expenses paid for her birthday. They all decide to go and the descriptions of the lodges and the environment were brilliant.

The story is told from multiple perspectives covering the friendships and how they have changed along the way; all the time drip-feeding twists and turns into the storyline as the narrative goes from present day Botswana to that night two years ago.

All the characters are flawed but the portrayal left me with a soft spot for all except one of them. Entertaining and cleverly plotted.

Many thanks to NetGalley, HQ, General Fiction (Adult) and Phoebe Morgan for my ARC of The Wild Girls in return for my honest review.

Another superb read from this author.  Highly recommended.

Her Last Holiday – C L Taylor

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I have read all of C L Taylor’s previous novels and have always loved her cleverly crafted plots and how they weave in and out. This was no exception.

Fran’s sister, Jenna, went on a wellness retreat, SoulShrink, in Gozo two years before and did not return, having been declared as dead by way of suicide.

Fran, encouraged by her mother, Geraldine, is encouraged to go on the latest retreat run by the same couple as the leader, Tom Wade has just been released from prison charged with the deaths of others on that same trip. Fran intends to find out what happened and if her sister really did kill herself or had she been murdered.

The story is told from Kate (Tom’s wife), Jenna and Fran’s perspective alternating between the present and the past. It is clear that not everybody is telling the truth but there are numerous twists and turns throughout, a few of which left me gobsmacked.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books UK and C. L. Taylor for my ARC of Her Last Holiday in return for my honest review.

Excellent Read. Recommended.

The Friend – Charlie Gallagher

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This is my first read of Charlie Gallagher and will not be my last. A hugely entertaining thriller which kept me turning page after page; unable to stop. 

D I Joel Norris is coming back from an illness and is paired with D S Lucy Rose who seems to have little faith in her superior officer.

Danny and Sharon Evans are desperate for answers as to why their teenage daughter tried to take her own life, leaving her in hospital fighting to survive. Danny, somewhat of a local hero is approached in a bar by a stranger who tells him he knows the reason and the people responsible. For his daughter’s attempted suicide. A chain of events starts and Danny finds himself in right the middle of it.

The body count rises, including an undercover police officer, and initially there appears to be no connection.

Many thanks to NetGalley, Avon Books and Charlie Gallagher for my ARC of The Friend in return for my honest review.

Thrilling, face paced and cleverly plotted. Highly recommended.