Genre: Thriller, Crime Fiction
One warm spring evening, five teenagers meet in a local park. Only four will come out alive.
Six months after the stabbing of sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more?
Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mountford, goes missing, the case gets personal.
With the kidnapper threatening Jess’s life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?
Sherratt wastes no time and immediately jumps straight into the action with this one. A teenage girl, Deanna is murdered one evening in a park. Her killers? Other teenagers. Just typing that out gave me the chills. Now six months have passed and the teens involved are being held until their trial. But other local kids are suddenly and swiftly being terrorized and humiliated days before the trial is to begin. One even goes missing, is there a connection between all of these events? It’s up to Eden Berrishford to figure it all out.
This is the first book in a new series featuring Eden and I’m already fascinated by her character. She’s a single mom with a teenaged daughter, Casey. She’s not your typical detective character, she’s very family oriented and really cares about her community, she has a vested interest. Her ex husband Danny isn’t in the picture anymore, but there is definitely a big story there and one that I’m hoping Sherratt explores as this series continues. Eden has a sister, Laura, who also has a teenage daughter named Jess. She’s a widow and also has another older daughter, Sarah. When Jess goes missing, Eden is bound and determined to stop at nothing in order to bring her back home safe and sound.
This one is definitely more thriller than mystery, however I was still dying to know what would happen next. Will Eden find Jess before it’s too late? Is this case too personal for her to keep a clear and objective head? You get many various perspectives here, from Eden and Laura to Jess and more. The scenes with Jess during her ordeal were full of tension and anticipation and I felt like I was right next to her cheering her on and hoping she would stay safe. I really couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, I was utterly absorbed.
As I don’t want to discuss the plot too much, I’ll say that this is an excellent start to what I hope is a long series. I love the feeling I get after reading the first book in a truly enthralling new series and I felt it in spades here. Eden is such a relatable character, yes she’s a cop but she’s also a mom, sister and aunt just trying to do right by her family. Her and Laura are very close and their sisterly relationship was very honest and identifiable. I loved the relationships between her and her coworkers, they have a great and engaging rapport.
I really cannot wait to see where Sherratt takes this series next, there are so many possibilities here and so much to delve into. This is definitely a series with substance that you can sink your teeth into and the brisk pace coupled with the elaborate and well written plot make for one hell of a read.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to Bookouture for my copy in exchange for an honest review.