Today I am pleased to be hosting my stop on the blog tour for Mel Sherratt’s latest novel Tick Tock.
Tick Tock begins with the discovery of a girl’s body. She went missing during a school cross country race and is then found having been strangled in broad daylight. A couple of days later a young mother is abducted, later discovered murdered in the local park. DS Grace Allendale is leading the investigation but it seems hopeless with no connection between the victims, until a third person is targeted and the clock is ticking.
I have read a number of Mel’s books before and always enjoy them and this was no exception.
In Tick Tock the story goes along at a good pace and there are plenty of red herrings thrown in to keep you hooked. I particularly thought that the portrayal of the teenage friends of the first victim, one of whom is the daughter of Grace’s boyfriend, was very natural and their changing emotions swept the story along. The tension builds up throughout the novel, until it reaches an ending that I didn’t see it coming at all.
Grace is an interesting character, she has a complicated family life and although she seems to have a perfect boyfriend on the surface, he is a local journalist. This causes tensions between them as he obviously wants to have the inside scoop on the killer, yet Grace is a professional who doesn’t want to jeopardise her case. As a character I very much like her and felt that she had a real empathy with those around her which is unusual for female detectives who are often portrayed as hard and uncaring.
Although the book can be read as a standalone I do think that you would benefit from reading the first in the series, Hush Hush, as it helps fill in the background. Tick Tock is a great read that will grab you from the opening scene and doesn’t let up until the end and I was very pleased to be part of this tour.
To find out what others thought of the book don’t forget to visit the other stops on the tour.
To celebrate the launch of BritCrime’s first free online crime fiction festival, 11-13 July, I have teamed up with BritCrime authors to give away one fabulous prize.
You could win a gift bundle of ten print books, including new releases by Colette McBeth and Sarah Hilary, and MJ McGrath’s Gold Dagger longlisted White Heat. This giveaway is open internationally. One lucky winner will win all ten books.
Please complete the entries in the Rafflecopter before midnight 9th July for a chance to win.
To learn more about the BritCrime festival, please visit http://www.britcrime.com/ and sign up to the newsletter. There will be giveaways and live Q&As with bestselling British crime fiction authors hosted on BritCrime’s Facebook page 11 & 12 July.
The Magpies + What You Wish For by Mark Edwards
No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary
The Life I Left Behind + Precious Thing by Colette McBeth
White Heat by M J McGrath
Beyond the Rage by Michael J Malone
Follow the Leader + Watching Over You by Mel Sherratt
The Harbour Master by Daniel Pembrey
a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was given a copy of this via netgalley.
Mel Sherratt has written a number of novels and was at last year’s festival. This is the second in her series starring DS Allie Shenton. As Allie and her husband return to work after their Christmas break a body is found with a magnetic letter on it. Soon a second body this time female is found, again with a letter. This starts a hunt for a serial killer where the clues seem few and far between. Alongside this investigation we are introduced to Patrick both his thoughts in the current day, and with flashbacks to his childhood at school.
This was an unusual book in that right from the start the reader knew who the killer was and why he was doing the murders. Yet this didn’t distract from the story at all. I didn’t feel it was the most original storyline, but was written in an unusual style which made up for that. We are all profoundly affected by our school experience and it is a fine line as to whether we become better people for it or it ruins us. This is a story of what happens when it goes wrong.
There were some bits I thought were a bit odd, for example people hear something on the radio about someone being killed. In order to find out who the victim is they wait until the next news bulletin rather than just look it up on their phone like most people do now. However as I always say, books are fiction, and the use of poetic license to move a story on is never a problem.
Putting my slight reservations aside I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was an interesting style in that there would be a chapter of flashback that told what happened to Patrick in the 80’s and then the main culprit in that chapter would be re-met in present day. This added a different dimension to the usual serial killer books I read and made it a real page turner.
Although this is the second in the series it works as a stand alone novel as well. There is some element of back story references but Follow the Leader can still be enjoyed with no knowledge of them. The characters within the story all seem very believable and the strand with Allie and her sister was incredibly sad.
This novel ended on a cliffhanger that means I can’t wait to hear what happens next and am looking forward to the third in the series from Mel.