Follow the twists to a shocking end

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

No better birthday present (it’s today) for a book lover than a good book, and that’s just what I got! This psychological thriller/mystery book was impossible to put down. I could not guess who was to blame, and that is always exciting for me because it doesn’t happen often.

About the Book

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Fifteen years ago, he confessed to the murder of his wife and children.

As a teenager, Hayley DaSilva walked into a nightmare; discovering the bodies of her mother, twin brother, and friend all brutally slaughtered in her home… and her nine-year-old brother missing. Her father, Leonard DaSilva, confessed to the murders, but Ethan was never seen again.

He lied. But why?

Now, Hayley has fled her dreadful past in Thamespark – until the call from Detective Sebastian Locke. Little bones uncovered in a shallow grave belong to Ethan… and the investigation reveals holes in the case that prove Leonard’s confession was false. He didn’t kill his family. So why did he say he did?

As DI Locke and the squad realise that a killer has been hiding in plain sight in the sleepy commuter town of Thamespark, the previously cold case becomes an urgent investigation. But as the squad gets closer to the truth of who really murdered the DaSilvas, it becomes clear that the culprit won’t hesitate to spill blood to keep their shocking secrets hidden…

An absolutely unputdownable police procedural with a shocking twist, introducing Detective Sebastian Locke. Fans of Karin Slaughter, Cara Hunter, and Sharon Bolton will love this.

My Thoughts

This was a great mystery/crime read. I was entranced with the mystery of who committed the heinous crime at the center of the story. The relationship building between families, friends, and romantic partnerships, both in the present and in the past, was intense and intriguing. The author delved deep into those relationships, and that is something I always enjoy. Really understanding those relationships is often the root of solving a mystery, and that was no different this time.

I was thoroughly surprised by the culprit, and that is always a pleasant surprise for me. It isn’t often an author can completely surprise me, and I’m always excited when it happens. It means they’ve managed to hide their clues well, and I’ve either managed to be a little distracted while reading or it’s been an excellent read. I think this time it’s been the latter.

I was drawn in from the first chapter and pulled along throughout. I really enjoyed the dual POV, and it was handled the way I enjoy it best – no repeats of the storyline, just new information each time. I enjoyed seeing the view of the detective who the series will follow alongside the girl whose family died, who I assume we probably won’t see in further novels. Or if we do, she won’t be a main character.

I really enjoyed meeting DI Sebastian Locke and will enjoy reading more by him. The development of his relationship with his colleagues, a potential new love interest, and his daughter were all done so well. Seeing a single dad was a refreshing perspective I hadn’t read before. I’ve definitely known single dads, so seeing their stories represented is great. Also, you frequently see dads represented as bumbling or ridiculous, so it was great to see a good dad, handling life with his daughter, and meeting the tough stuff head-on. I look forward to exploring that relationship further in future books especially.

I am so grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me in this tour. I will absolutely keep up with this series and look forward to seeing more.

Who’s It For?

Anyone who loves a good psychological thriller and mystery should enjoy this book. It is fast-paced with short chapters that move quickly. The mystery is very solid with lots of twists and surprises. But I somehow didn’t realize some of the triggers when I read the blurb, so be sure to check those if you have concerns for those.

Content Warnings: This book deals with several topics that may trigger some readers including, but not limited to, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, adult situations, adult language, child death, murder, suicidal ideation, disregard for human life, menstruation, blackouts, betrayal, infidelity, relationship abuse, and more.

About the Author

NJ Mackay studied Performing Arts at the BRIT School. She holds a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Drama, and won a full scholarship for her MA in Journalism. A lifelong, avid reader she wrote her first novel in 2017. She also writes under Niki Mackay.

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