Roxy had a secret. Now she’s gone.
When fourteen-year-old Roxy says she’s going for a sleepover at her best friend Ellie’s house, Cathy sees no reason to check her daughter’s story. The two families are neighbours, and the girls are in and out of each other’s homes every day.
It is a decision she will regret. A day later, Roxy is found murdered in exclusive Linnet Lane, miles across town, in a house owned by two brothers with no apparent connection to Roxy. Detective Natalie Ward, called to lead the investigation, is determined to get to the bottom of why Roxy was in the basement of this grand Victorian mansion when she should have been eating chocolate in her pyjamas with her best friend.
As Natalie begins to look closely at Roxy’s stepfather and three brothers, she discovers that Roxy had recently been admitted to hospital with suspicious injuries. Her mother Cathy seems very jumpy and Ellie refuses to talk. Who are the people that knew Roxy best in the world protecting?
Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears.
When Cathy’s body is discovered close to where her daughter was found, Natalie is forced to face the grim fact that the killer is just getting started. She is troubled by the reaction of Roxy’s brother Seth to the tragedies and when his alibi falls through she brings him in for questioning, certain she is making headway.
But while Seth is in custody, one of Roxy’s school friends is found murdered and Natalie knows she must cast her net wider. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. What is Ellie hiding about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?
With every new instalment of the DI Natalie Ward series, I
become more and more addicted.
Not once have I figured out whodunnit before this author has felt good and ready to reveal the conclusion, which is very gratifying when you’re having the clues revealed to you at the same time DI Ward learns them.
The character development across this series is unreal, in both the work and domestic lives of every member of DI Ward’s team – the focus has shifted a little this time, more on the characters that took a back seat in the last book. I find myself being genuinely excited for the character who is waiting for the birth of her first child, and WANTING NATALIE TO MURDER HER HUSBAND IN COLD BLOOD AND GET AWAY WITH IT BECAUSE SHE’S A DETECTIVE. I have an ongoing hatred of that man, it’s only getting worse…
The other thing that sets this story apart from the earlier instalments in the series is that the characters are from a poor background and people seem to care considerably less when locals turn up dead, even when they’re teenage girls. It adds a new dimension and makes it all sadder, despite the reactions of some of the characters.
There’s something special about these murder investigations because everything sounds very realistic, not least because the audiobook is narrated by Diana magic-jukebox Croft. Her accents and voices are amazing, it really is hard to believe that there’s only one voice at work here.
So yeah – in conclusion: this book is amazing, listen to the audiobook and thank me later.