Review: Come and Find Me

March 20, 2018 in Book Reviews, Crime, Thriller

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Come and Find MeCome And Find Me by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #5
Published by Headline on 22nd March 2018
Genres: Crime, thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.

DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She's finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn't able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.

As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him - and is about to pay the ultimate price.

There are no spoilers in this post – for this book or the previous four!

When I’m asked who my favourite authors are, Sarah Hilary is always on the ensuing list. So whenever I get one of her new books in my hands I’m both tremendously excited and fairly nervous. I worry in case I won’t love her work as much this time around – please tell me that I’m not alone in doing this?! But every single time Sarah wows me, reasserting her position in my favourite writers’ list. Come and Find Me is no different.

This is the fifth book in Hilary’s DI Marnie Rome series, and I’m convinced that somehow she is getting better and better – she needs a star rating of her own!

As ever, Hilary’s writing is captivating as she throws Marnie and Noah into a new case. I love that along with each new case we follow Marnie and Noah’s own personal journeys – their own stories add a whole other dimension to these novels.

What’s more, unlike other series where I have to familiarise myself with the ongoing tale once more, I never have to do that with Hilary’s books. These characters and their stories are always just ‘there’ in my mind, waiting to continue where they left off. Personally, I think this demonstrates the incredible characters and partnership that Hilary has created.

If you haven’t yet started this series, I envy you. You have five stunning novels awaiting you! Go get your hands on a copy of her first book, Someone Else’s Skin, right now and get reading. You won’t be disappointed!

Come and Find Me is a novel full of the twists and tension that we’ve come to expect from Sarah Hilary. It’s a fascinating storyline, written with her incomparable style and care.

When can we have book six, please? I need more Marnie and Noah!

five-stars

Review: Quieter Than Killing

March 7, 2017 in Book Reviews, Crime

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Quieter Than KillingQuieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #4
Published by Headline on 9th March 2017
Genres: Crime
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

It's winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie's family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it's personal.

Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.

For the past few years, my most-anticipated release list has included Sarah Hilary’s latest works. We’re now onto the fourth book of the DI Marnie Rome series and Hilary never fails to impress me. Her storytelling sweeps me up, diving into her books is like meeting up with old friends – and I love it!

The case in this book is compelling. There has been a series of attacks and Marnie and Noah are tasked with finding the culprits. Are the attacks connected? One again Hilary has woven her narrative, teasing and tripping me up along the way.

For me though, what I really enjoyed most about this book was spending more time with Marnie and Noah. I feel that by now, book four, we have a good handle on their characters, we know their histories and Hilary ensures we become even more invested in our protagonists.

I feel that I say this after every Hilary book, but Sarah handles the issues involved in Quieter Than Killing with great respect. It’s one of the things I love about her writing; she takes care and consideration with any issues she addresses, yet doesn’t detract from the story or lose any of the impact. If anything, it adds more impact!

I could sit here and gush about Sarah Hilary’s novels all day long. Her stories are realistic and believable, her characters relatable. Hilary references real-life news events to anchor her stories into our lives. I love her ongoing development of Marnie and Noah’s lives, and feel we are being drawn in closer with each passing page.

All in all, Quieter Than Killing is a fantastic addition to the series. It will raise many questions, but not all of them having answers!

five-stars

Review: Tastes Like Fear

April 4, 2016 in Book Reviews, Crime

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Tastes Like FearTastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #3
Published by Headline on 7th April 2016
Genres: Crime
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.

A runaway who doesn't want to be found, she only wants to go home.

To the one man who understands her.

Gives her shelter.

Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.

He's the head of her new family.

He's Harm.

DI Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl's disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she's about to face.

Because when Harm's family is threatened, everything tastes like fear...

As ever, I close the final page of a Sarah Hilary novel and I am in awe. It’s not just the plot that leaves me feeling this way but her writing. I can see each of her books so clearly in mind’s eye and Tastes Like Fear is no different. I’m left feeling more like I’ve watched a movie than read a book.

As with her previous books, Hilary tackles an emotional and challenging subject in her plot. Once again she handles it with great care and respect. This is, for me, one of the reasons that Sarah Hilary is such a fantastic writer.

DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake (I like to think of them as ‘The Dream Team’) are back with a new case to solve – the disappearance of a teenage girl. When a young girl causes a fatal car crash and disappears from the scene, Marnie and Noah are called to investigate. Is this the girl they’ve been looking for?

This incident opens up their case as they realise that it’s not just one girl that in trouble, there seem to be more.

In fact a man, Harm, collects runaway girls. He keeps them ‘safe’ – unless they break his rules.

The topic of runaway teenagers is obviously an emotional one. Hilary not only captures the mindset of the runaways but she examines the families that they leave behind.

There’s more to Hilary’s work than a ‘who dunnit’. She makes us care about her characters, consider their lives and the situations they find themselves in. She gives us a glimpse into the minds of the victims, their families and the criminals themselves.

She does all this while weaving an intricate plot with carefully crafted prose.

Naturally, I enjoyed catching up with Marnie and Noah. As ever, I like the way Hilary takes us into their personal lives, as well as professional. It’s this, for me, that really bring home how real these scenarios are. It’s easy to forget that police have their own lives. Professionally they may have to deal with murders, accidents, assaults, deaths, but at the end of the day they still go home to a partner, a beer and a meal. Personally, I’ve always felt that Hilary doesn’t glamorise her fiction, she keeps it very real, which makes it all the more powerful.

Yes, I’ve not really discussed the plot but I’m not going to – you’ll just have to read it! What I will say though is that you haven’t read Someone Else’s Skin and No Other Darkness yet then get reading as this is a series of books you don’t want to miss!

Let me finish with a rather bold statement – Sarah Hilary is my favourite crime writer. If you’re a fan of the genre you need to read her books. Tastes Like Fear is a stunning third novel in a tremendous series.

five-stars

Review: No Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary

March 14, 2015 in Book Reviews, Crime, Fiction, Thriller

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: No Other Darkness by Sarah HilaryNo Other Darkness by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #2
Published by Headline on 23rd April 2015
Genres: Crime, thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Two young boys.
Trapped underground in a bunker.
Unable to understand why they are there.
Desperate for someone to find them.
Slowly realising that no-one will...

Five years later, the boys' bodies are found and the most difficult case of DI Marnie Rome's career begins.

Her only focus is the boys. She has to find out who they are and what happened to them.

For Marnie, there is no other darkness than this...

 

In Brief

5 words

BRAVE, EMOTIONAL, GRIPPING, INSIGHTFUL, BRILLIANT

Things I liked

 * the writing style

* the emotion

* the twists and turns

* the bravery of the subject matter

* the continuation of the Marnie Rome series

Didn't Like

* NOTHING! I honestly can’t think of anything.

Who Should Read It

* Anyone that likes a gripping, dark story

* Fans of crime & thrillers

* Fans of Someone Else’s Skin

Rest of the series

Definitely. I can’t wait for book three!

My Thoughts

Sarah Hilary’s new book No Other Darkness is out next month and thanks to BookBridgr I’ve been able to read an ARC.

Last year I reviewed Hilary’s debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin (see here). I thoroughly enjoyed it and have been waiting patiently (sort of) to get my hands on her second.

No Other Darkness sees the return of the brilliant DI Marnie Rome. She has a new case to solve; identifying the bodies of two young boys, as well as discovering exactly how they died.

Through her investigations she comes across some links to the death of her parents, a crime for which she is still searching for answers from Stephen Keele, their murderer.

Hilary bravely (and brilliantly) tackled the issue of domestic abuse in Someone Else’s Skin. No Other Darkness sees her confront another sensitive issue… one which I’m not going to tell you about here for fear of spoilers, but it’s an issue which I admire Hilary for bringing into the forefronts of our minds in this novel. I found myself not only consumed by the enthralling mystery of the book, but also being educated.

Hilary has a way of writing that sucks me in. I truly never know what to expect next. Once again I find her delivering unforeseen twists and turns in No Other Darkness.

Before I picked up the book I was a bit worried that it might not live up to the high standards of Someone Else’s Skin. My worry was unfounded. This is a spectacular read that will absorb you from page one and release you onto an emotional rollercoaster ride.

I thoroughly admire Hilary for the subjects she has tackled in her first two books, and for the style in which she has broached the subjects. What’s more I love her writing style. I love how she intersperses the odd chapter told in the first person to enhance the mystery – plus it really creeps me out!

I genuinely cannot wait to embark on more journeys with the brilliant DI Marnie Rome. I highly recommend No Other Darkness, but if you haven’t read Someone Else’s Skin then make sure you read it first to get the most from this book.

about the author

About Sarah Hilary

Sarah Hilary lives in Bath, where she writes quirky copy for a well-loved travel publisher. She's also worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy.

An award-winning short story writer, Sarah won the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2012.

She is currently working on her third Marnie Rome novel. Her first novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, was published in 2014 and was a Richard & Judy Autumn 2014 Book Club pick. Her second, NO OTHER DARKNESS, will be published in early 2015.

five-stars

Review: Someone Else’s Skin

January 15, 2014 in Book Reviews, Crime, Fiction

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Someone Else’s SkinSomeone Else's Skin by Sarah Hilary
Series: DI Marnie Rome #1
Published by Headline Genres: Crime, thriller
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Dependable; fierce; brilliant at her job; a rising star in the ranks. Everyone knows how Marnie fought to come back from the murder of her parents, but very few know what is going on below the surface. Because Marnie has secrets she won't share with anyone. 

But then so does everyone. Certainly those in the women's shelter Marnie and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake visit on that fateful day. The day when they arrive to interview a resident, only to find one of the women's husbands, who shouldn't have been there, lying stabbed on the floor. 

As Marnie and Noah investigate the crime further, events begin to spiral and the violence escalates. Everyone is keeping secrets, some for survival and some, they suspect, to disguise who they really are under their skin. 

Now, if Marnie is going to find the truth she will have to face her own demons head on. Because the time has come for secrets to be revealed...

There are some cracking books due for release in 2014 and this is definitely one to add to your wishlist. Someone Else’s Skin sees the crime debut of author Sarah Hilary. She has created an unusual character in Detective Inspector Marnie Rome. Rome’s own parents were murdered, and while she works on case after case of violence, abuse and murder we see two sides to Marnie: a police Detective Inspector, and a daughter. She’s an interesting character, clearly very clever, yet perhaps guarded and harsh with her colleagues. Despite this she is very likable. What’s more Rome is a character that I, personally, want to read more about – pretty much perfect for the first book in a new series!

This book grabbed my attention from the first chapter. I was immediately intrigued, encouraging me to read more….and more….and more! Someone Else’s Skin deals with cases of domestic abuse. This might not be a subject that all would be keen to read about, but Hilary is not afraid to tackle the subject through DI Marnie’s cases. When DI Marnie & DS Jake visit a women’s shelter to interview a witness, we walk into a world that ordinarily the majority of us might never consider. Hilary builds up her characters carefully. She uses these cases of domestic abuse and the women’s shelter to create an emotional aspect to the novel. I, personally, found myself absorbed as much by this aspect as I was by the main storyline itself.

While, as readers, we are trying to discover the truth, what is underneath the skin of the characters, I feel the same could perhaps be said of the book as a whole. We gradually peel away layers, finding surprises, twists and turns, and the truth underneath.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s a clever book that keeps you thinking…..and I can tell you that hardly any of my theories whilst reading turned out to be correct! I like that in a crime novel, you shouldn’t be able to guess the end of the book from the first few chapters. Someone Else’s Skin will keep you reading and speculating the whole way through. It might just open your eyes too.

Someone Else’s Skin will be published by Headline on 27th February 2014 – a date for your diary!

An advance copy of this book was received from the publisher for our consideration. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
five-stars