Synopsis: 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?
My Rating: 5/5
My Review: I am a huge fan of Mel Sherratt and especially the Allie Shenton books so was excited I finally got around to reading about this new character! I must say I read this book in record time. Historically as a book blogger, I could read a book in a day or two, however since my working life has got super busy I no longer have as much time. However, this book…I admit I made time (let’s hope my boss doesn’t read this:-)). The lead character Grace comes across as super aloof and a little on edge from the get go, however learning that she lost her husband recently and has now moved back to where she grew up you can get an idea of why. However, I had no clue that her family secrets were a lot more tricky than that!
The Steele’s are a notorious family however, when you learn as a reader they are Grace’s family it just made it SO engaging. When murders seem to be surroundign the Steele’s and their businesses Grace has to walk a fine line. In addition she is working with a new team all of whom have their own opinion. I was so pleased the author made it clear where Grace stood from the outset, it made me admire her all the more. However the beauty of a story like this is how it will pan out in future books too. I read this book in a day and moved straight onto book 2. Looks like I’m headed for a Mel Sherratt binge to get myself up to date. Massively reccomended….and frankly the perfect choice for my first read of 2021.
Synopsis: 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.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: I am a big Mel Sherratt fan, especially her Allie Shenton series. When I received a copy of her newest release She Did It, I was looking forward to reading a standalone. Tamara and Esther are two very different characters, however they both have secrets they are hiding. When Esther turns up with fake references to work for Tamara, Tamara is grateful that she has finally found someone she can rely on. Esther in turn plays her part and on the surface looks to be supporting Tamara at a time when her business really needs the boost.
Esther was a more engaging character for me and although it was clear she was extremely devious and had an evil streak she was incredibly engaging. Tamara less so and at tims I found her a little bland in comparison and at times naive. However after the halfway point my attitude changed somewhat and I realised I didn’t really know what either woman was capable of or why.
As the story progressed the plot thickened but elements of the past started to make an appearance and pretty soon everything just started unravelling. It was an easy book to get pulled in to and I certainly feel like this is a slight move away from her normal books and this falls more into the Psychological Thriller genre for me. It was certainly a good read and one that I think her fans will enjoy. I still remain a stout Shenton fan and am really looking forward to the next book in tthe series.
Synopsis: One warm spring evening, five teenagers meet in a local park. Only four will come out alive.
Six months after the stabbing of fifteen-year-old Deanna Miller, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more?
Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mount, goes missing, the case gets personal.
With the kidnapper threatening Jess’ life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?
Continue reading “BLOG TOUR: The Girl’s Next Door by Mel Sherratt (Eden Berrisford #1)”
Synopsis: Scars. Sometimes they’re visible. Sometimes they’re hidden deep within. After years of living as a single parent, all Donna Adams longs for is someone to make her smile, to share hopes and dreams with, to keep her warm at night. But when that certain someone gives her the attention she craves, true love doesn’t always follow the right path.
Home from the army, Lewis is a changed man. Angry and consumed by grief, troubled by nightmares and flashbacks, his mind is worse now than ever. Shutting out what he’s seen isn’t easy, but he risks losing everything he’s come back to if he doesn’t, including his sanity.
Megan Cooper hides her scars for fear of being rejected. Mary Marshall can’t always remember how she got hers. If the past could be erased to make a better future, we’d all want that, wouldn’t we? But life is never that easy for the residents of The Mitchell Estate…
Kat’s Rating: 4/5 Continue reading “Written In The Scars by Mel Sherratt (Estate #4)”
Synopsis: When Caren Williams finds herself back on the estate she fought so hard to get away from, little does she realise she’ll be living opposite her arch-enemy, Gina Bradley. Gina thinks she and her family rule Stanley Avenue so when Caren starts to become popular, she decides to hit her where it will hurt the most – she wants her husband. Lonely and depressed, Ruth Millington turns to drinking and self-harm to get her through the dark times but finds it’s a constant struggle. Spiralling out of control, maybe she should let Gina’s husband help her out when he comes calling. Twins, Rachel and Claire Bradley, took control of the girl-gang, the Mitchell Mob, when their leader was sent to a juvenile detention centre for assault. But Stacey Hunter is out now and wants to hold the position again. No one will back down – let battle commence. Brawling in the street, fighting on the square and conforming to peer pressure – it all comes down to holding your nerve. But this time not everyone will stay alive on the notorious Stanley Avenue…
Kat’s Rating: 5/5 Continue reading “Fighting For Survival by Mel Sherratt (Estate #3)”
Synopsis: Housing office Josie Mellor loves the community spirit of the notorious Mitchell Estate – when it doesn’t involve benefit cheats, aggression, or murder and mayhem, that is.
But it isn’t exactly a party for some of her tenants. Kelly Winterton thinks Josie is sticking her nose in where it’s not wanted. Her partner’s just been packed off to prison and she’s left worrying how to fend for herself and her young daughter. Charlotte Hatfield has fled from her violent partner. With four children in tow, she lives in fear of him finding her again. Amy Cartwright has learning difficulties. She finds it hard enough looking out for herself and her six-month-old baby without being taken advantage of.
In the midst of it all, Josie has secrets of her own. Trapped in a loveless marriage, she struggles to escape her controlling husband and, as her home life deteriorates, she realises only a thin line separates her from the people she’s trying to help. Can Josie save herself and return the estate to relative normality when a spate of burglaries causes havoc and deadly violence erupts? Or will both she and her tenants become victims of violence that no one will see?
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Kat’s Review: It’s funny how when you haven’t read something for a while you forget the reason you loved it in the first place. I am certainly a fan of Mel Sherratt, however when I realised book 4 was due for release I caught up with book 3, only to realise I also hadn’t read book 2! Thankfully all the reasons I like these books came rushing back and this one was no different. Book one I thoroughly enjoyed, book 3 was an absolutely brilliant read as was this (although book 3 has the edge). Josie Mellor seems to be the heart of these books (although not necessarily the main focus of stories). As the Housing Officer for the Mitchell Estate where these books are set, she is a pretty central and important character.
In addition to Josie in this book we meet Kelly Winterton who is a charming woman although young and a little naïve. She and her daughter are now fending for themselves after her boyfriend is sent to prison. Her boyfriend, is certainly a character you can love to hate. However, I liked the way that multiple stories are told and we get to see another Tenant Amy Cartwright try to make her way as a young mother with learning difficulties. Add on top of this the death of a resident and multiple burglaries on the estate and you have lots of drama at every turn.
The nicest thing about this particular book is that Josie actually plays a larger part in it than in book 3, and you get to see a lot more about her personal life, which makes for an exciting plot line on its own. It took me only a couple of sittings to finish this and I really did enjoy immersing myself in the gritty worlds of the tenants living on the Estate. I think the only thing that made finishing this book less depressing, was knowing that I have book 4 lined up and ready to go.
Kat’s Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion. DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies. As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.
*Please note that due to this book being part of a series, if you haven’t read the previous books and plan on doing so then don’t continue to read the review as it will inevitably contain spoilers*
Kat’s Review: I was so excited to get an early copy of the new Mel Sherratt, and especially pleased that it was another ‘Allie Shenton’ book. Taunting The Dead and Follow My Leader are books 1 and 2 respectively and I would strongly recommend you read the books in order. Allie is back and facing the worst possible scenario in her personal life. Her sister was attached 17 years prior and life has never been the same for her since. It seems that now, the person who attacked her sister is now targeting Allie. In addition to this the body of Jordan Johnson is found and typically it seems he has links to Terry Ryder (featured in previous book).
The big difference in this latest book is Allie herself. She seemed somehow more vulnerable than usual and maybe not as strong as in previous books (which isn’t always a bad thing). On the other side of the fence we meet all the neighbours living in the flats where Jordan’s body was found. It seems before long that there are numerous candidates and it seems there is more double-crossing going on than you can shake a stick at. The endless list of people who could be potential suspects are brilliant and I could picture each and every one of them. The other difference with this book is that it’s set over 24 hours so the chapters are started with the relevant time frame. I’m not that much of a fan of short time span books but this one worked well and had loads of pace and momentum.
Overall this was pretty much packed with all sorts of goings on and kept my interest right the way through. There are two storylines running throughout and for once this book finishes on something of a complete note. Hopefully this means that Allie will return fighting fit for another book and another new case. There is only one small thing that I consider a negative in this and previous books and that is Allie’s husband Mark. He doesn’t seem that prominent and to be honest would prefer that she got rid of him. I haven’t really felt like I connected with him as a character and he seems far too boring for her. The danger element of a man (such as in the last book) worked like a charm in my eyes. This is just a personal opinion but one that bugs me. Aside from the extremely boring husband another cracker for Mel Sherratt!
Availability: Paperback, Audio, Kindle, Nook and Kobo (Released 10.02.15)
Synopsis: 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.
Kat’s Review: Allie Shenton is back in the follow up from ‘Taunting the Dead’. I have to say I was rather pleased that I could get stuck in as the last book ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger. A man’s body is found on a canal path and in his pocket is a magnetic letter. Allie Shenton and her colleagues start the investigation and before long the body count rises. The killer is front and centre and immediately gave me the creeps.
Allie and her team quickly spot a pattern and it seems to be a bit of a race against time to get to the victims before the killer does. Allie seems a little bit more in control of her life in this second outing, and for that I was glad. It was also nice to see the references to Terry Ryder (from book 1) pop up again, albeit in a subtle way.
Because we get to see the killer in action we also get to see his reasoning behind the murders. This makes it more intriguing because you wonder how long it will take for the police to catch up. In addition we see flashbacks in time which features both the killers and victims and the layers begin to unpeel.
I once again thoroughly enjoyed this book and think that it has a slight edge over the Estate Books (although that maybe isn’t fair as I have only read one!). I like Allie, and am dying to see what happens to her, and her family in the next book. I think my only disappointment was that once again, a certain element of the story was carried over. In one sense it’s great because the reader then wants to go on and read the next book, but for me…well I’m just an impatient one! I certainly should have started catching up with Mel Sherratt’s books sooner as they are a pleasure to read.