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Release Date: 5th September 2019 / Publisher: Bookouture

She said she’d gone to a sleepover. But she never made it. Someone must know why…

When Detective Natalie Ward is called to the home of fourteen-year-old Roxy Curtis she can’t help but empathise with Roxy’s distraught mother Cathy. Roxy hasn’t come home, last seen heading next door for a sleepover with her best friend Ellie. As the mother of two teenagers herself, Natalie knows that this is every parent’s worst nightmare.

But when Roxy’s body is found in the basement of a beautiful Victorian mansion on the other side of town, Natalie’s darkest fears are confirmed. What was Roxy doing there? The people who knew her best should know – but Cathy seems evasive, and Ellie refuses to talk. Natalie is determined to find out what secrets they are keeping…

Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears. 

When her body is found two days later, Natalie is forced to face the fact that Roxy’s loved ones are in real danger. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. Is Ellie hiding something about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

The story jumps straight into the action with the death of 14 year old Roxy.  Roxy told her mum she was going to stay at a friend’s overnight, but then her body is later found in the burnt out shell of a house belonging to two local nightclub owners.  Detective Inspector Natalie Ward takes on the case, and as her team investigate they appear to come up against brick wall after brick wall.  When the body count starts to rise, Natalie tries to discover if the cases are all connected….but how?

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My Review

Woo-hoo!!!  Welcome back Natalie!  I love this series of books and each one just keeps getting better and better.  This is book #4 of the series, and whilst it does make sense to read the books in order, it can be read as a standalone book.

I love Natalie’s character and with each book it’s like meeting up with an old friend!  Natalie is her usual tenacious self, determined to crack the case and not letting any of the suspects get the better of her.  At work she is gritty, clever and well respected by her team, but Natalie’s personal life is the complete opposite.  I’ve never liked her husband David from the very first book, and I dislike him even more in this one!  An out of work compulsive gambler who is taking a shine to one or two drinks as well, David seems to blame everyone else for their problems rather than take the responsibility himself.  Every time I read one of these books, I just want to shout at Natalie to kick the lazy bum out, but she hasn’t….yet!!  I can live in hope!!

All of Natalie’s usual team – Murray, Lucy and Mike – are back and add a little light-heartedness to an otherwise tense thriller!  I love Lucy’s character, and really hope that we have more about her personal situation in the forthcoming books.  I have also, in the other books, liked Mike and have really wanted Natalie to rekindle the spark that has been waiting there patiently to be lit.  However, Mike seems to have his own problems in this book and I have to admit that I initially was getting a bit annoyed with him, although he did redeem himself later in the book!!!

The storyline itself was fabulous!!  The death count was rising by the chapter and the list of suspects was endless.  I think I accused every one of them until it was revealed exactly what was going!!  The author is an absolute genius at producing dead ends, introducing red herrings and leading us up every single garden path to make sure that we don’t guess who the killer is before the author is ready to tell us!!  The writing leaves me on tenterhooks at the end of every chapter and I can’t help but turn just ‘one more page’ until I’ve finished it!!

Whilst the mystery of what happened to poor Roxy was solved and all the loose ends tied up, Natalie’s personal story is still open-ended, leaving it to continue (hopefully!!) into the next book in the series!  Part of me really wants Natalie to get her ‘happy-ever-after’ but then if that happens, that’ll probably mean the end of this series – I mean, no one wants a happy, settled and loved-up detective!!  Keep Natalie with her personal problems which give her that raw grittiness and make her the great detective that she is…just for a few more books yet!!!

Absolutely fantastic, highly recommended and roll on book #5!!!

The Author

Carol Wyer is an award-winning author and stand up comedian who writes feel-good comedies and gripping thrillers.

Her book, GRUMPY OLD MENOPAUSE won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.

Carol moved to the ‘dark side’ in 2017 with as series of thrillers. LITTLE GIRL LOST became the #2 best-selling book on Amazon, #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible and a Top 150 USA Today best-seller.

The DI Robyn Carter and DI Natalie Ward series have sold over half a million copies, earning her acclaim as a crime writer.

2019 sees the release of two romantic comedies and three DI Natalie Ward novels, including the much anticipated THE DARE and THE SLEEPOVER.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.

To learn more about Carol, go to www.carolwyer.co.uk or follow Carol on Twitter: @carolewyer
Carol also blogs at www.carolwyer.com