Publisher: Joffe Books
Release date: 17/07/17
Snail Rating out of 5:
On the Hobfield Housing Estate, a teenagers body is found in the boot of a car; a loan shark is found dead and new evidence opens up a missing child case from seventeen years ago. Together, Detectives Tom Calladine and Ruth Bayliss will unravel these mysteries, revealing a web of lies and pain, in this fast-moving and gripping crime mystery.
I love, love, loved this book! I haven’t read any of Helen’s previous books, but I felt like I was stepping into a world that was both familiar and exciting… as much as murder, missing children and angry loan sharks can feel ‘familiar’. The crimes were believable and the setting gritty. It was exactly what you might expect during a real-life police investigation. There is no doubt that each character has been developed with both love and care and I felt I was easily able to catch up with the ongoing relationships and personal lives of the characters of which I had no previous knowledge.
What I enjoyed the most, was the way each strand of story so easily intertwined, and I felt comfortable, feeling that Helen knew exactly what she was doing when she wrote this novel. The plot feels solid; well constructed and with enough – but not too much- backstory to catch me up to speed with the previous novels. This was particularly important, as the death of Ruth and Tom’s ex-colleague Imogen caused tension and grief which I would have been oblivious to otherwise. I also like that mid-way through the book (around 50% on the kindle) the return of an old character meant that Helen offered a recap of all that had happened so far, in the form of a debriefing by the detectives – which is incredibly useful in crime fiction!
Furthermore, I enjoyed how the descriptions were gruesome in places, and I found myself having to put the book down to eat lunch a couple of times to save myself from feeling nauseous… which is of course in no way a criticism – who doesn’t love a bit of gore!
One thing I would say, was that despite being up-to-speed with the characters and feeling like they were well-rounded and believable individuals, I found I did struggle a little when it came to really relating to them. This may be due to coming in late in the series, or perhaps because I was so intrigued by the plot, I didn’t invest enough time or thought into them. This was bad on my part, I know, although I liked the changes in points of view which switched from detective, to suspect, and vice versa.
All in all however, I was am a massive fan and expect I will find myself reading the rest of the series!
*From the media pack*
HELEN H. DURRANT
I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.
I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!
I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.
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