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4.3 out of 5
84
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  • 8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    Brilliant new series with a twisted killer

    Returning home from holiday, Tony and Yvonne Richards receive a terrifying phone call. Their daughter Melanie has been taken, the kidnappers only willing to reveal her whereabouts on the payment of a ransom. Keeping the kidnapping from the police, their only focus is to bring their daughter back safe and sound. When their search turns to tragedy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter and Detective Constable Ian Barnes are called to the scene. Fighting back from a difficult turn in her career, Hunter is relieved to be appointed Deputy Senior Investigating Officer, at least until she reaches the scene. The facts of the case soon become clear but what initially looks like a kidnapping gone wrong begins to irk Kay. Something about it just doesn’t ring true and the post mortem soon confirms some of her worst fears. When their search leads them to a local courier company, and a young man with links to the company is found dead with the ransom money still in his flat, it looks like the case is all wrapped up. But everything still seems just a little too neat for Kay, despite her DCI’s conviction that the case is closed. When a second girl is taken, the killer begins to taunt the police. Kay and the team soon face an uphill battle to piece together all of the evidence and track down the girl before she becomes another victim of a sadistic and unremorseful monster. … From the very first chapter, this book grabbed my attention and didn’t let it go. With ‘Scared to Death’ Rachel Amphlett has created a high stakes, fast paced thriller in which motives are hidden and the perverse nature of the perpetrator is almost as twisted as the plot lines. The sense of jeopardy, of panic, which hit me in the opening pages, was absolutely brilliant and much like the Dan Taylor series, another fine example of Rachel Amphlett’s skill in creating a tense story line. I won’t say too much more about the plot as you really need to read it for yourself. Needless to say, the bad guys are very, very bad, and the heroes, for once, likeable and not overly flawed. Kay Hunter is a cop with a troubled past, as all good crime genre Detectives typically are. But far from being responsible for the current state of her reputation, Hunter is a victim herself, set up for something she didn’t do. The nature of her secret is not revealed until part way through the book, keeping the reader guessing, but it is the source of one of her greatest conflicts, her DCI Angus Larch, who was the person responsible for the internal investigation against her. With DI Devon Sharp on her side, she is not entirely alone, but you know that Larch will never fully trust her, and this alone will force Hunter to stay one step ahead of the game. The characters in the book are very well developed which is no less than I would expect from this particular author. Kay is a very likeable character, as is DI Sharp. Kay’s relationship with her husband is also refreshing. Far from the conflict you normally see in fictional police marriages, this one seems extremely strong. This is despite the internal investigate and a rather upsetting personal tragedy which would in other stories have ended the marriage. Kay’s husband Adam provides an almost humorous interlude at times, particularly when considering his animal clientele – including one very slippery customer. I really liked the dynamic between the couple and look forward to seeing more of it in future books. The police team are also well rounded, and I found myself engaged by Devon Sharp and his working relationship with Kay. As I said before, the plot line in this book it seriously twisted. The motives of the perpetrator are nothing short of psychotic, and even though we know who was responsible for the kidnapping very early on in the story, you can rest assured that nothing is as straightforward or simple as it may seem. There are hidden sides to all the characters, making me as a reader feel an element of empathy for people I wouldn’t have expected, and pushing me to question the innocence of others who should ordinarily garner sympathy. Ultimately the killer is just that. A killer. But what is it that has driven them to kill, and can it ever be forgiven? I absolutely loved this book. Full of nail biting moments, I was fully engaged and invested in the lives of the victims and the heroine from the off. From the action packed opening, the pace steadies as the investigation gets underway. But as the story nears conclusion, it begins to ratchet up again and storms to a dramatic and somewhat unexpected conclusion. I raced through this book so quickly, it was such an enthralling read. With Kay, with Adam’s support, determined to set right the damage which was done to her career, there are plenty of questions still to be answered as the series progresses, and I for one am very hungry to read more. A brilliantly twisted, tension filled 5 stars.
  • 5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4+ Stars! Clever Thriller!

    Disturbingly clever, highly suspenseful, and incredibly creepy! This story is the first book in a new series that introduces us to the tenacious, intelligent detective, Kay Hunter, and takes us along as she pursues a serial killer with no conscience and a penchant for afflicting fear. The writing is clear and precise. The characters are complex, flawed and fascinating. And the plot is an intense, intricate tale of abuse, bullying, manipulation, vengeance, and murder. As you know I never like to give anything away, but what I will say is this is definitely an intriguing, absorbing page turner with multiple twists and turns and surprises that will keep you enthralled and engaged until the very last page.
  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    Fantastic novel

    I couldn't put it down. A fast paced, action packed novel with excellent character developement. A fantastic novel that will keep you turning the pages!
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    Scared to Death

    A good start as a mystery author. Writing a bit rough at the beginning. Good characters. Will try her second .
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    Scared to death

    Good read. Enjoyed reading this book from a new author to me. I will buy the new book, and recommend that others should purchase other books by this author
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