Monday 8 January 2018

Book Reviews: My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland & Close to Home by Cara Hunter.

As a bit of a True-Crime-Podcast fanatic (currently listening to Beyond Reasonable Doubt? – check it out!) I knew that My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland, which follows a group of true crime fanatics as they attempt to hunt down a serial killer known as ‘The Lover,’ was sure to be right up my street.  Spoiler alert: I was right. This one is a total page-turner!

As someone with a whole lot of secrets and a very dark past, Clementine Starke doesn’t let people into her life all that easily. She also knows it’s probably not a good idea to join a group of online true crime fanatics in their quest to uncover the identity of ‘The Lover’ before the police do. Clementine is not comfortable with revealing her location (required for participation in the group). She’s not all that comfortable with IRL meet-ups either (ditto). But she needs in with the group. Why? Well, that’s got something to do with that dark past of hers…

DI Dominic Bell is in a race against time to catch the killer the tabloids have christened ‘The Lover.’  The pressure mounts as the body count increases – yet Bell is no closer to uncovering the identity of the killer. It could be that ‘The Lover’ is meticulous in leaving no trace evidence behind. It could also be that Bell is distracted. An internal investigation into a botched police operation has raised some doubts in Bell’s mind - doubts that lead him down a dangerous path of police corruption and dirty cops.

Will Bell catch the killer before he strikes again? What on earth was Clementine thinking when she offered up details of her location to a man who goes by the internet moniker ‘Death Stalker?’ Could he be the killer? Could Clementine be next?!

Read My Little Eye if you like: Serial and/or Line of Duty (As the Starke & Bell series progresses I have a feeling it could deal in police corruption that goes all the way to the very top!)

Four Stars -- Very good read. Liked it a lot. Recommended.
Published November 2nd 2017 by Trapeze


Tasked with investigating the disappearance of Daisy Mason, an eight-year-old who vanished without a trace from her parents’ summer barbeque, DI Adam Fawley knows that he faces a race against time if he is to find Daisy alive. He also knows that it’s very likely that Daisy was taken by someone known to her. How else could this girl, who reads as intelligent and wise beyond her years, have vanished without a trace, without a sound, from a garden party where she was surrounded by friends and family? Something’s not adding up. Then, there’s Daisy’s family: far from being eager to bring their daughter home, Daisy’s father is reluctant to make a televised appeal for her return while her mother, a cold-as-ice woman who is more interested in her appearance than her missing daughter, refuses to let the police conduct a search of their house. Strange behaviour indeed.

Compelling and multi-layered, Close to Home is one of those books I enjoyed pretty much all the way through, only to be left disappointed right at the end. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Actually, I find this happens quite a lot in crime fiction and psychological thrillers. I guess a satisfying ending is a very difficult thing to get right. Also, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. This will work for many, I’m sure. However, it didn’t work for me. I want my crime fiction to be twisty and unpredictable, of course, but I want it to be believable too. That’s not the case here.

A book about lost children, not just Daisy Mason, but all the children who are lost through neglect, illness and death, and the effect of these losses on those left behind, Close to Home is an ultimately worthwhile read with an ending that will surely divide readers.

3.5 Stars -- Good read. I enjoyed it pretty much. Worth checking out.
Published December 28th 2017 by Viking
Received for review


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