Top critical review
Must read the first books in the series before this one.
12 August 2019
*thank you to Allen & Unwin for an ARC of this book*
2.5 stars (but I'm rounding it up to 3 stars since Goodreads doesn't do half star ratings.)
I was pretty confuses at the beginning of this story. I realised that it was probably because this is book three in the series and I had not read the first two. It took me quite a while to figure out who was who and establish a connection with each character. I did have to re-read a lot of the first few chapters as parts didn't make sense to me. But once I got further into the story, characters and events fell into place a bit more and it became an easier read. I believe that if you are wanting to read this book, then reading the first two first, would be best, if not important, as this book seems to start already in the middle of events.
Because of this lack of connection to the characters, that held on throughout the whole book and made it very hard to really get into the story as deeply as I am use to. I struggled through it for this reason but I could still tell that if I had of read the first two books, then this would have been given more stars from me. Maybe someday I'll go back and read this whole series from start to finish. It is not really, in my opinion, a series that seems to be able to jump in with at any stage like some series you are able to. But I am trying to put all of that aside and focus on the other points of this book.
I felt that the ending wasn't such a surprise for me. It felt a bit flat. I had a gut feeling from near the start of the story, who to focus on as the real suspect. While there were a couple obvious clues, there was still some I hadn't thought of. I still did like the path the author, Sarah Bailey, took us down. I liked Ben probably the most. He is DS Gemma Woodstock's son. The other characters I could give or take but I would like to read another book about Gemma as I did like her too.
I am definitely in the minority with this book. So obviously it's more that this wasn't for me than this being a bad story. Because it's really not bad. I just made the mistake of thinking it was one I could jump into and have the characters background and history explained to me a bit more than it was. So for that reason, I would recommend this but I would have to say that you really do need to read the first books in this series before starting this one. I also have to add that I really like the cover for this. The colours are spot on and the illustrations and placing of the words are eye catching.
I wish this book all the best.