Category Archives: Mel Sherratt

The book review café book of the month **February 2020

6BEFEE4A-921E-4838-9A65-14EEDC7A978B

Whohoo March is here, and spring is in the air! (Well hopefully it is). It feels like I have spent the WHOLE winter, coughing and sneezing, and feeling generally unwell.  I’m seriously thinking of hibernating next winter!

58B4B5F4-339F-49F6-8EF6-F7FB84EB6CB1

As usual I’m digressing but as it’s March it means it’s time to choose my book of the month for February. I read some cracking books in February, but if I’m honest the book I’ve chosen was always going to be a contender for my book of the month, and it’s already one of my top reads of the year so far.

How do I choose my book of the month?

I choose a book I feel is particularly outstanding, a book that covers every aspect of what I look for in a read, an original  plot, great characters and a storyline that draws me in from the first page and keeps me in its grips until I reach the very last page. So without further ado here’s my book of the month for February.

I Am Dust by Louise Beech

D8160732-C01C-4612-BC14-46DCDB9E3D1A

Louise Beech is such an extraordinary author, she doesn’t just write a book; she gives each book a heart, a heart that gives life to her stories and her characters. I Am Dust takes you on a journey of magic and murder, love, ambition, jealousy and loss. It’s a ghost story entwined with a murder mystery, but it’s not the kind of ghost story that’s outside the realm of possibility, it’s plausible, heartbreaking, unnerving and creepy. You can read my full review here…I Am Dust by Louise Beech

Highly recommended

Full reviews can be found here…

The Other People by C.J. Tudor @cjtudor @MichaelJBooks #MustReads

The Guest List by Lucy Foley #BookReview #TheGuestList @lucyfoleytweets @HarperCollinsUK

Never Look Back by A. L. Gaylin #BookReview @Orionbooks

Liar Liar by by Mel Sherratt @writermels @AvonBooksUk #BookReview #BlogTour #LiarLiar

The Dilemma by B A Paris #BookReview @BAParisAuthor #TheDilemma @HQstories

The Murder House by Michael Wood #BookReview @MichaelHWood #CrimeFiction @0neMoreChapter_ #TeamDarke @HarperFiction #MustReads2020

Books I’m hoping to read in March

I have a couple of books to read for book blog tours, but apart from that I’m hoping to read some up and coming book releases, plus a couple of my own book shelf reads.

 

 

 

Liar Liar by by Mel Sherratt @writermels @AvonBooksUk #BookReview #BlogTour #LiarLiar

Today I’m thrilled to be opening the blog tour for Liar Liar by Mel Sherratt, alongside my partner in crime (excuse the pun!’) Kaisha, you can find her review at https://thewritinggarnet.wordpress.com/. 

Liar Liar is published today so you don’t even have to wait to get your hands on a copy, just one click and it’s yours. Before I share my thoughts, here’s the book description…..

A7EBCDF7-E47D-4C17-9DAB-15D9726653B1

The truth can be a dangerous thing…

When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.

Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…

2438174E-96CF-4483-8ED2-CEB41DAD0F86

Mel Sherratt’s back! with Liar Liar the third instalment in the DS Grace Allendale series. As the title suggests there are so many lies, and half truths buried within this story, Grace has her work cut out that’s for sure! The book opens with a shocking scene when a young boy called Tyler falls from a balcony in a block of flats. From the start of the investigation it’s apparent the boy’s parents are being evasive, their story doesn’t quite ring true, but why would they lie? Did Tyler fall over the railings? Or is there a far more sinister reason behind his accident? The author leads the reader a merry dance through a tangled web of lies and deceit. As I mentioned this is the third book in the series, however Liar Liar could be read as a standalone, although if you are anything like me I prefer to read books in order! It’s won’t be any hardship as it’s shaping up to be a cracking crime series. 

For the residents of Harrison House there’s a familiar mantra around the investigation ‘I never saw nothing, ‘I never heard anything’ seems to be the favourite. Residents don’t trust the police, hell they don’t even trust their neighbours! Living day in, day out,  alongside crime, the residents have their own code, ‘you never tell the police anything’, after all no criminal wants to be labelled a ‘grass’! The book alternates between chapters that follow one of the main characters past, and the present day investigation, sometimes I find that dual time lines get over complicated, but that wasn’t the case with a Liar Liar, but it’s these past chapters that provide the reader with an insight into one of the characters, and their motivation for the choices they make. 

Liar  Liar’s focus is set firmly On the back story of its characters, Grace has a much smaller part to play in this book, which worked really well, as the main plot wasn’t overshadowed by police procedures and the investigation. Thinking about it Liar Liar felt very different to the last two books in the series, but I mean that in a good way as it’s great to see an author not stick to a specific formula for each book. One of Mel Sherratt’s strengths is her capacity to delve into the darkest corner of the criminal world and create unlikable, violent and authentic ‘shady’ characters. The tension ramps up as the lies begin to unravel, and more crimes are committed. Liar Liar made for a gritty, hard-hitting read, and although I wouldn’t consider this a fast-paced read, there’s plenty to keep the crime lover eagerly turning the pages.

  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (10 Feb. 2020)

Buying link:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧

About the author

9AF06F88-3AB7-4F56-AE53-1B4F3E911199

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books.

I’m not sure which I am most proud of – being on the list of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 most influential people 2018 or after years of rejection going on to sell over one million books.

Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

I regularly appear at festivals, conferences and events across the country – my favourites being London Book Fair and Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.

So that’s me in a nutshell. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow the blog tour….

7AEC8EE8-9645-40E8-8715-CFCA06444C6A40B2C727-DD0D-48A5-96E3-E8EF103BB537

Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt @writermels @AvonBooksUk #BookReview #BlogTour #TickTock

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt. Tick Tock is the second book in the DS Grace Allendale crime series. Read on for my review…..

30E2DBFF-E517-49F8-9BF2-7679D87E0552

TICK…

In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.

TOCK…

Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.

TIME’S UP…

DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…

Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?

2C15D952-FF75-44D5-A1CE-F13DFC975D11

I’m one of those readers who likes a start of a book to grab me I’m not one for a slow buildup, I need to have my interest piqued from the start. Author Mel Sherratt knows how to deliver an opening chapter, one that’s shocking, it triggers the reader’s interest, as well as promising an exciting and heart thumping read.  Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt is the second book in the DS Grace Allendale crime series, and although it could be read as a stand-alone there are references to the first book in the series Hush Hush , so personally I would read them in order.

Grace and her team are called in to investigate the murder of a teenage girl murdered whilst on a cross-country run with her school. Was it a random attack? or was she specifically targeted? When the body count rises it really is a case of Tick Tock the clock’s ticking as the team are in a race against time to find the person responsible. Grace is one of those characters you can’t help but warm to, like any good detective she’s relentless in her quest to solve the crimes, but she’s also very aware of the victims family and friends distress and shows great empathy, as each death reminds her of her own loss. Her relationship with journalist Simon causes some conflict between the pair, but you can’t help hoping they are able to work through their problems. 

When I read a crime book, I’ve come to expect graphic crime scenes, I don’t necessarily want them, but more often that not they are there. What I really liked about Tick Tock is the fact the author doesn’t include graphic crimes to sensationalise her story, she concentrates more on the “after”. For me this made the read far more authentic, you sense the devastation and horror family and friends feel, their outpouring of grief, anger and disbelief, which give this novel a far grittier touch than any crime scene can convey. As you would expect like any good crime thriller, there are many red herrings and surprises to lead you astray on the path to the truth. 

The last quarter of the book really picks up the pace as Grace and her team move closer to finding the killer, and OMG I never seen that one coming!  I found Tick Tock to be a gritty, authentic, heart thumping read, Mel Sherratt’s writing goes from strength to strength with each book she writes. Highly recommended to those who enjoy a fast-paced, authentic crime thriller. 

  • Paperback: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (2 May 2019)

Buying links:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧     Amazon US 🇺🇸

4AD78C3C-1126-4E1C-ADB1-252206A4002D

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books.

I’m not sure which I am most proud of – being on the list of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 most influential people 2018 or after years of rejection going on to sell over one million books.

Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

I regularly appear at festivals, conferences and events across the country – my favourites being London Book Fair and Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, Harrogate.

So that’s me in a nutshell. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Follow the blog tour…….

41E6A413-B685-4792-872B-AF221D50D1D2.jpeg

 

 

**Blog tour** #HushHush by Mel Sherratt @writermels @AvonBooksUk #BookReview

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt. Hush Hush Is the first book in a exciting  new police procedural series featuring DS Grace Allendale. Before I share my review here’s the book description…..

27F4292A-AF07-4FAC-ACD6-A00B48551E46

A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.

All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.

To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?

E1F3660A-E5FA-4419-8451-16F1D13B7348

I’ve long been a fan of Mel Sherratt’s writing, she is such a versatile writer, and proves it by writing books in a wide range of genres whether it be a psychological thriller, crime fiction or suspense you are always guaranteed a cracking read. When I picked up Hush Hush the first book in a new crime series featuring DS Grace Allendale I was hoping she would incorporate her trade mark “grit lit” into the story, something this author does so well. I’m thrilled to report I personally think this is the author’s best book to date and had so many aspects that made Hush Hush such a gripping read. 

DS Grace Allendale  has recently returned to her home town of Stoke-on-Trent. Grace’s early years were spent living with a violent and abusive father, which ended when Grace’ s mother left him. Now he’s been murdered and Grace newly promoted feels able to return to the town she grew up in. On her return she finds herself investigating a murder, which is complicated by the fact The Steele’s a family who are well known for their criminal activities also happen to be Grace’s half brothers and sisters. As the old proverb goes  “blood is thicker than water”, but there’s always an exception to any rule,  which is certainly the case for Grace and the Steele family, loyalty is tested and conflict arises.

Grace like many fictional detectives has baggage, she’s a loner, she’s reserved but Grace is also a strong character, the brutal and disturbing chapters that describe her abusive childhood help the reader to understand the complexities of the “grown up” Grace. Alongside the investigation and on going problems with her family, she also has difficulty fitting in with her new team, they still miss their old boss Allie Shenton (featured in previous books by the author) and they also have trust issues which is hardly surprising considering who she is, but all these issues add to the overall tension.

Hush Hush is a solid start to this new crime series, with misdirection, suspense, and a dysfunctional family at its core this is undoubtedly a not to be missed crime thriller. There’s a gritty realism within the author’s books that some crime thrillers can lack, I found the chapters that delved into Graces past very disturbing and heartbreaking to say the least, but Mel Sherratt isn’t afraid to tackle uncomfortable subjects head on and in doing so has written a crime thriller that is a worthy addition to any crime thriller lovers bookshelf. Highly recommended. 

  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (18 Oct. 2018)

Buying link:   Amazon UK 🇬🇧

E0AB674C-25D3-44A2-A3A7-8528A19B2C8A

0FE827A4-0A05-410A-A98A-8BDCE9052242

My novels take you to the heart of the crime. I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and crime dramas – fiction with a punch. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes. 

Since 2012, I’ve sold over one million books. All eleven of my crime novels have been bestsellers, each one climbing into the Kindle UK top 10 and I’ve had several number ones. I’ve also had numerous Kindle All-star awards, for best read author and best titles.

My latest book, HUSH HUSH is the first in a new series featuring DS Grace Allendale. It’s a police procedural which finds Grace returning to her hometown of Stoke-on-Trent and coming face to face with her estranged family during her first murder investigation. It’s a story of ‘is blood thicker than water’ and being stuck between a rock and a hard place. And there’s a serial killer on the loose… 

SHE DID IT is a standalone psychological thriller, and my first novel set in London. I wanted to write about a character who was nice to everyone using one persona but out for revenge with another side to her that she tries to keep hidden away. The reader knows exactly what she is up to – but not the reason why. 

TAUNTING THE DEAD is my best selling book. It’s part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It was standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as the main character to create a trilogy. FOLLOW THE LEADER is book two and ONLY THE BRAVE is book three.

THE ESTATE SERIES is a mix of psychological suspense and family life with a sprinkling of grit and a dash of menace – where drama meets crime. There are four books, available individually or you can read the first three as a box set. 

DETECTIVE EDEN BERRISFORD works in a community intelligence team and helps to gather information and intel for investigations. THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR is the first book, followed by DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU. 

WATCHING OVER YOU is another standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turn into murder.

I also write women’s fiction under the pen name of Marcie Steele. Stirred with Love, The Little Market Stall of Hope and Heartbreak and The Second Chance Shoe Shop are out now. 

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and make liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website http://www.melsherratt.co.uk or I’m on Twitter at @writermels 

Follow the blog tour……

DF863CF5-DBBD-472E-A5E4-67BEA31F68C9

 

 

#SheDidIt by Mel Sherratt #BookReview @writermels & author interview

IMG_2748

Today I’m thrilled to have Mel Sherratt pop by and answer some questions about her new psychological thriller She Did It, which is published tomorrow and it’s a book I would highly recommend. So without further ado here’s my interview with the awesome Mel Sherratt……IMG_2790

Hi Mel and welcome back to the book review cafe I’m thrilled to have you here, and can I just say how much I enjoyed She Did It. 

For those readers who haven’t yet heard of you or your book She Did It can you provide us with an introduction.

Hi Lorraine – great to be back. Thanks for having me. I write novels that take you to the heart of the crime. I write psychological suspense, and crime dramas – fiction with a punch.

She Did It is my eleventh crime book, but my second straight psychological thriller. In a nutshell, it’s about two women – one is a murderer and the other one knows. It’s about whose blames who.

Where did the idea for She Did It come from?

I had an idea back in 2014 but was already contracted to write other books so it had to go on the backburner for a while. It started off around the idea of two couples – one of the four is murdered and the other three are all lying to cover everything up. From this it became two women. I do have a strong urge to write that first idea now though.

What was the hardest part of writing She Did It?

It’s the same with every book. When I am drafting out a book, I want to be editing and when I am editing, I want to be working on something new. It’s all hard work – I procrastinate terribly at times. I just have to sit down and do it. There is something great about getting to end of that first messy draft though.

Oh, actually there is a hard part – trying to keep everything in my head, say, when I am 60% through a rewrite and can’t remember everything I have changed.

In She Did It you mention book bloggers and social media. How important do you think both are for authors? 

For me personally, having been a book blogger for four years before being published, I think they are a crucial part of the industry. Book bloggers are so passionate and give up their free time for no more than their love of books. They share their own work, as well as their fellow bloggers, and push awareness about a book around publication time, and afterwards too. I’ve had some fantastic reviews from lots of them. I love the crowd of book bloggers I know and have had the pleasure of meeting a lot of them too.

Why did you decide to write a psychological thriller, rather than “grit lit”?

As I’ve now written fourteen books, my writing style has inevitably changed as I’ve grown. I really enjoyed writing Watching over You – it’s my most controversial book – and for a long time, I wanted to write something different again. One of the characters in She Did It, Esther, wouldn’t leave me alone. When I finally got the chance to sit down and write, her story poured out of me.

I also wanted to write something that was based in a place where most people would know (it’s set in London.) Don’t worry, though, as my love of grit lit will never go. I have the first in a new police procedural series coming out next year. It’s set in my hometown of Stoke-on-Trent and has a serial killer in it. So, there will be plenty of the dark stuff.

Do you have any strange writing habits or rituals?

Only that I have to have new notepad for each book. It’s more about stationery porn really. I can’t walk past a stationer’s without going in and buying at least one notepad. I have a lot of them that I will never use as they are too nice to spoil! (They aren’t really.) One can never have enough notepads, I say.

Have you always wanted to be an author, and when did you first realise you wanted to write?

Yes, for as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to write books. I moved house last year and my mum’s best friend came to see us and as I showed her my office, she said she remembered when I was 9 and she had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said an author then. It took me a fair few years to realize my childhood dream!

Do you write an outline before you start writing? 

Yes, I write a brief story arc for each main character, and then I marry them all together and start writing. I write a very quick and dirty draft (I call it draft zero) of around 50,000 words to get to know the story and the characters and then I do several more drafts to add words, fill in the gaps etc. Things always evolve and the middle might change, but the beginning and endings tend to stay pretty much the same.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

Gosh, writing gritty realism gets me a lot of poor reviews. I am used to them now, and think of them as only one person’s point of view. I have over 2000 reviews on Amazon – 85% are 5 star and 4 star but it’s the one star vindictive ones that get to me, especially when a new book goes out. When The Girls Next Door was published last year, one reader who had the book for free gave me a one star on publication day because she hadn’t liked it. It was like someone blowing candles out on my birthday cake! I know I can’t please all of the people all of the time, so now I let it ride over me.

My best compliment is when a reader says they don’t want the book to end as there will be a wait for my next one, and also that they can see it as a TV program as my characters seems so real. That’s awesome for me.

Rapid five

Can you describe yourself in five words? 

Sincere, sensitive, driven, friendly, Northerner.

Favourite food?

Spaghetti bolognaise.

Favourite drink?

Peach schnapps and vodka.

Favourite place?

Kefalos, Kos. My home from home, I’ve been there so many times.

Favourite book? 

Misery, Stephen King.

Thank you Mel for answering my questions and good luck with She Did It, although not that you need it I’m sure it’s going to do really well. 

About the author

IMG_2807

My novels take you to the heart of the crime. I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and crime dramas – fiction with a punch. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

Since 2012, all ten of my crime novels have been bestsellers, each one climbing into the kindle UK top 20 and I’ve had several number ones. I’ve also had numerous Kindle All-star awards, for best read author and best titles.

DETECTIVE EDEN BERRISFORD works in a community intelligence team and helps to gather information and intel for investigations. THE GIRLS NEXT DOOR is the first book, followed by DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU.

TAUNTING THE DEAD is part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It was a standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as a main character to create a trilogy. FOLLOW THE LEADER is book two and ONLY THE BRAVE is book three.

THE ESTATE SERIES are a mix of psychological suspense and family life with a sprinkling of grit and a dash of menace – where drama meets crime. There are four at the moment, available individually or you can read the first three as a box set. WRITTEN IN THE SCARS, is the latest in the series to be published.

WATCHING OVER YOU is a standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turn into murder.

I also write women’s fiction under the pen name of Marcie Steele. Stirred with Love, The Little Market Stall of Hope and Heartbreak and The Second Chance Shoe Shop are out now.

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and make liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website http://www.melsherratt.co.uk or I’m on Twitter at @writermels

Design

Book description

Work colleague. Friend. Killer.
A successful businesswoman, Tamara enjoys her champagne lifestyle to the full. At least, that is the front she displays to the world. As well as being lonely, she’s running out of money. A promising new member of staff brings the injection of fresh blood needed to win the contract that will turn things around.

Working for Tamara is a perfect ruse for Esther. But, along with fake references and qualifications, she also has a plan for revenge.

 

Sensing Tamara’s vulnerability, Esther uses their acquaintance as a way of getting close to someone who hurt her in the past.
Tamara is keeping things secret. Esther has a dark side she is trying to hide. For both of them, lying is a habit.

But when mistakes begin to catch up with Esther, and people start dying, Tamara realises she’s chosen the wrong person to trust as a friend.

My review

I’m a huge fan of Mel Sherratt’s and love her style of writing, She Did It is very much a psychological thriller and errs away from the “grit lit” I’m used to reading by this author, but OMG I’m not going to beat about the bush and it’s going to sound cliched but this is definitely her best book yet. She Did It has all the elements I look for in a psychological thriller, unreliable characters, a plot that messes with the head, and a constant sense of intrigue and malice that keeps the reader on their toes.

From the beginning I became very suspicious of the two main characters Tamara and Esther, different as chalk and cheese they come together to launch and promote a novel for Dulston publishing. It soon becomes apparent Esther is using the work as a ploy to get close to someone who hurt her in the past. On first appearances both women appear vulnerable and fragile, their friendship appears to thrive, unfortunately it’s a friendship based on lies and manipulation, never a good thing in my opinion. Whilst reading She Did It I couldn’t help but thinking there was something sinister a foot and I questioned which of the two women were the more reliable, although at time I must admit I was convinced neither were to be trusted.

Like any good psychological thriller this isn’t a fast paced read, instead the author spends the time enticing the reader with her unreliable characters and slow revealing plot, I found myself constantly wondering where the plot was leading but Mel Sherratt plays her cards close to her chest and reveals just enough to maintain the suspense throughout this gripping book. She Did it is a tale of lies, deceit and misdirection, a constant sense of foreboding makes this an impossible book to put down. Would I recommend this book? You bet I would and I’m already waiting for Mel Sherratt’s next book with baited breath.

Buying links:  Amazon UK 🇬🇧       Amazon US 🇺🇸

Print Length: 162 pages

Publisher: Blood Red Books (19 Sept. 2017)

 

**Blog Tour** Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt @bookouture @writermels

img_1298

Today I’m thrilled to be on the blog tour for Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt, I’m a huge fan of Mel’s books and I’m going to stick my neck out here and say in my opinion this is the authors best book yet, it’s gritty, dark and very disturbing and one I would highly recommend to Crime/police procedure thriller lovers. And the best news? It’s out now so you don’t even need to wait to get your hands on a copy you can just pop over to Amazon and “click”, but before you do feel free to read my review of this gripping book

Book description

She got into bed but sleep didn’t come easily. Every creak in the house made her alert. She was waiting for him to come and get her.

The small city of Stockleigh is in shock as three women are brutally attacked within days of each other. Are they random acts of violence or is there a link between the victims? For Detective Eden Berrisford, it’s her most chilling case yet.

The investigation leads Eden to cross paths with Carla, a woman trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to a cruel and abusive man ended in unimaginable tragedy. Her husband Ryan was imprisoned for his crimes but, now he’s out and coming for her.

As Eden starts to close in on the attacker, she also puts herself in grave danger. Can she stop him before he strikes again? And can Carla, terrified for her life, save herself – before the past wreaks a terrible revenge?

An absolutely gripping and chilling police procedural which will hook fans of Angela Marsons and Rachel Abbott.

img_1258I have eagerly been waiting for Don’t Look Behind You, the second in the Detective Eden Berrisford crime series since reading The Girls Next Door, and OMG it was certainly worth the wait. I’m actually going to say this is definitely the authors best book to date. Don’t Look Behind You is dark and very disturbing and at times I found it damn right harrowing which I have to say I wasn’t expecting. What I love about this authors books is her ability to take very credible plots and give them a gritty realism that make her books impossible to put down. At times I became so involved in the plot my heart was racing, I felt anxious and I’m sure at times I was having palpitations as the author expertly weaved her gripping tale.

Three woman are attacked in the most brutal way, as each act becomes more violent it’s up to our protagonist Detective Eden Berrisford to find the perpetrator before he strikes again. Eden is your typical fiction Detective, feisty, passionate about her job and the victims, she’s also very determined, but what makes her standout from other fictional detectives is her back story, a single mother with a husband gone AWOL you learn more about her in this book and you can’t help wondering as more details emerge when is her past is going to come back and bite her on the backside. Eden and her team make a credible one and I hope as this series progresses we will learn more about her team. What I love about this authors writing is her ability to create characters that are very true to life. I became emotionally involved with Carla a woman who suffers terrible abuse and unbelievable heartbreak, her character unfortunately was very credible, as were the rest of the woman in the refuge.

This book has a hidden depth which really makes it such a compelling read as it’s a disturbing study of domestic abuse which as you can imagine at times makes for a very difficult and uncomfortable read. Mel Sherratt expertly adds snippets of past events in Carla’s life and it paints an ugly picture of domestic abuse, not just physical side but the emotional abuse that starts off subtly, beating them down until they are a shadow of their former selfs. It doesn’t make for a pretty read but it most definitely makes for a believable one as the author doesn’t shy away from describing domestic abuse, in fact she paints a very credible and disturbing picture although it never felt superfluous.

Gripping from the first page, Don’t Look Behind You will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to its heart stopping conclusion. Mel Sharrett has written a roller coaster of a thriller for sure, but this novel is also a rich and harrowing story of domestic abuse. As far as I’m concerned this authors writing goes from strength to strength and I would read her next book without hesitation, Mel Sharrett has the unique ability to write about difficult subject with empathy and sensitivity and adds her own unique style which make her books a very worthwhile read.

Would I recommend Don’t Look Behind You? hell yes I certainly would especially if you are a fan of crime fiction that’s gritty but authentic, in fact I would go as far to say this is one book you don’t want to miss.

5⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Print Length: 252 pages

Publisher: Bookouture (31 Jan. 2017)

Amazon UK 🇬🇧         Amazon US 🇺🇸
img_1259

Mel Sherratt writes gritty crime dramas, psychological suspense and fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as she calls it. Shortlisted for the CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in the Library Award 2014, she finds inspiration from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante and Elizabeth Haynes. Since 2012, all nine of her crime novels have been bestsellers.

Four of her books are published by Amazon Publishing’s crime and thriller imprint, Thomas & Mercer and she has a new series out with Bookouture.

Mel lives in Stoke-on-Trent, with her husband and terrier, Dexter, named after the TV serial killer, and makes liberal use of her hometown as a backdrop for some of her books.

img_1377

Links:  Website      Facebook       Twitter: @writermels

Don’t forget to check out the blog tour, details below….there really are some awesome bloggers on this tour whose reviews you don’t want to miss 

img_1360

**Weekly Wrap Up**

image

Oh woe me 😢😢 I have read zilch this week! What sort of book blogger does that make me? I would say a pretty rubbish one. I have had a very stressful week, basically I started a new job I managed eight shifts and resigned! Never in my 33 years of working have I ever walked away from a job, I won’t go into details but it’s suffice to say it wasn’t for me! But on the upside I’ve got an interview on Monday for another job (I don’t hang about), so fingers crossed. Hopefully I will get to read at least one book next week or I will have to rename my blog The lots of books but no reviews café 

ARC’s I received this week

Despite not reading anything I still managed to find myself on the dreaded NetGalley and got improved for Four books 🙈🙈

img_1364

 

Description
Lori Golden’s family have had more than their fair share of troubles. But through it all, Lori and her sister, Jessie, have always supported each other. Then Jessie is killed. And Lori’s world turns upside down.

Devastated, Lori struggles to cope with her loss, and to learn to live in a world without her bright, bubbly sister by her side. Around her, her already fractured family start to fall apart. And, as Lori and her mother try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives, secrets long thought buried are coming painfully to light.

Faced with the unthinkable, Lori is forced to ask herself how well she really knows those who are left behind…

img_1365

 

Description

DCI Matilda Darke is the perfect heroine’ Elly Griffiths The third book in Michael Wood’s darkly compelling crime series featuring DCI Matilda Darke. Perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid. Feared by the people of Sheffield, Starling House is home to some of Britain’s deadliest teenagers, still too young for prison.

Now the building’s latest arrival, Ryan Asher, has been found brutally murdered – stabbed twelve times, left in a pool of blood. When DCI Matilda Darke and her team investigate, they uncover the secrets of a house tainted by evil. Kate Moloney, the prison’s manager, is falling apart, the security system has been sabotaged, and neither the staff nor the inmates can be trusted. There’s only one person Matilda believes is innocent, and he’s facing prison for the rest of his life. With time running out, she must solve the unsolvable to save a young man from his fate. And find a murderer in a house full of killers…

img_1366

 

Description

The battle is on…

When gang leader Paddy O’Brien is stabbed in his brother’s famous nightclub, Manchester’s criminal underworld is shaken to the core. Tensions are running high, and as the body count begins to grow, the O’Brien family must face a tough decision – sell their side of the city to the infamous Boddlington gang or stick it out and risk losing their king.

But war comes easy to the bad boys, and they won’t go down without a fight. So begins a fierce battle for the South Side, with the leading Manchester gangsters taking the law into their own hands – but only the strongest will survive…

img_1367

 

Description

A daughter’s secret. A mother’s betrayal.

Every mother knows never to let their child out of their sight. But Freya has been distracted recently, and now her teenage daughter, Zoe, is missing.

Freya knows that the only way to bring Zoe back is to tell the truth, but when your whole life is built on secrets and lies, the truth could destroy everything.

Surely there’s no harm in telling just one more little white lie?

55Cs 100%

Description

1970s London has stopped swinging, but it’s not staying still.

Babs thought she had all the world ahead of her. Then she got pregnant and the father did a runner.

Salvation comes in the form of a man who’ll look after her. Or so she thinks.

But Stan Miller is the devil in disguise…and over the next twenty years, Babs will have reason to regret she ever met him. Can she protect her family – or will he get the better of her?

BLOOD MOTHER is the second thrilling book in the Flesh and Blood series, capturing a world very different from today but where some things still hold true: be careful what you wish for, and watch out for who you trust…

Books I bought this week

I only bought one book this week and despite my long suffering husband Andy offering to buy me some books to cheer me up when we went shopping, I actually looked but didn’t buy any, see I do have some self control, by the way Andy bought me some flowers to cheer me up instead, it may sound corny but he really is the best husband, well he’s got to be he’s put up with me for 29 years 😂😂

img_1456

 

img_1368

Description

In the summer of 2006, Emma Price watched helplessly as her six-year-old son’s red coat was fished out of the River Ouse. It was the tragic story of the year – a little boy, Aiden, wandered away from school during a terrible flood, fell into the river, and drowned.

His body was never recovered.

Ten years later, Emma has finally rediscovered the joy in life. She’s married, pregnant, and in control again…

… until Aiden returns.

Too traumatized to speak, he raises endless questions and answers none. Only his body tells the story of his decade-long disappearance. The historic broken bones and injuries cast a mere glimpse into the horrors Aiden has experienced. Aiden never drowned. Aiden was taken.

As Emma attempts to reconnect with her now teenage son, she must unmask the monster who took him away from her. But who, in their tiny village, could be capable of such a crime?

It’s Aiden who has the answers, but he cannot tell the unspeakable.

This dark and disturbing psychological novel will appeal to fans of The Widow and The Butterfly Garden.

Last week on the book review café

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/29/blog-tour-behind-her-eyes-by-sarah-pinborough-authorinterview-review-sarahpinborough-wtfthatending/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/27/tattletale-by-sarah-j-naughton-review/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/26/topfivethursday-with-bookblogger-noelle-holten-aka-crimebookjunkie-eeeek/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/24/blog-tour-little-girl-missing-by-carol-wyer-bookouture-carolewyer/

https://thebookreviewcafe.com/2017/01/23/blink-by-k-l-slater-review-kimlslater-bookouture/

Next week on the book review café

The Breakdown by B A Paris review

My Book of the month

Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt blog tour

The Day That never Comes by Caimh McDonnell blog tour