I would like to begin with a huge thankyou to author Jonathan Peace and his publisher Hobeck Books for providing me with a copy of this book ahead of publication. I read the first book in this series, 'Dirty Little Secret' and I was hooked, you can see my review of that here.
I could not wait to read this second instalment of the Louise Miller series. Imagine my joy upon opening the book to see a quote from my own review in the front pages of the book!! As a reviewer there is no better feeling to find out that your words are meaningful to the author and I was humbled to find my own words jumping out from the printed page! Thank you for that. Now onto the book....
December, 1988 Christmas beckons What should be a time of excitement and joy is forever tainted when a teenager's body is found in the graveyard of Ossett's Holy Trinity Church. A suspected suicide As they respond to the devastating event, WDCs Louise Miller and Elizabeth Hines, together with psychologist Karla Hayes, each use their own experiences of suicide to help the wider community as it struggles to understand the terrible choice that was made. Another missing teenager Louise starts to believe there is something even more sinister behind the events.
Published: 12th July 2022
Well Jonathan, you have done it again! We are back with Louise and my what a journey she takes in this story. We find her investigating an incident which she thinks in her gut is a crime, but everyone else believes to be an open shut case. We learn more about her and her gut instinct in this book and that she will not give up when she feels there is more to be uncovered. Louise continues to be a strong female character. She is tough, hard, but beginning to show some more fragility which was a lovely side of her to witness. We still see the misogyny of the 80s and the way women were treated, however both Louise and Elizabeth are working hard to break that and fight for their own choices and beliefs.
The relationship between the officers and their Detective Inspector Manby is a great one, he is a fantastic character who fights in their corner, showing that not everyone believes that women should be hidden away at home. It is a still a challenge for the ladies, don't get me wrong, but they are fighting and gaining small wins along the way which shows some more progress.
I enjoyed meeting some new characters within the story who I hope to meet in future books, Catherine Hallum was one such character who I absolutely loathed but I feel could have some good storylines ahead! I look forward to finding out what will happen in the next books of the series, Jonathan left us a lovely teaser in the Epilogue and I for one will be reading on to find out what happens next!!
The subject matter of this book was very sensitive, it tells a tale of suicide, heartbreak, grief, despair and reactive behaviours. There were many devastating parts to this story yet I felt Jonathan wrote them sensitively and with respect. To see the reaction of some of the characters to the act was quite upsetting but this was the belief of many people at that time and Jonathan wrote it well. The links to Dungeons and Dragons and the occult made me think of Damian Echols and the West Memphis three. At that time people were genuinely scared of these 'worshipping cults' and believed they were corrupting the youth. They thought D&D had demonic messaging and was linked to terrible behaviour and some murders in the 80s. I thought the link Jonathan made was a very apt.
All in all this was a great sequel to the WDC Louise Millar series and I can't wait to see what comes next.
Has this piqued your interest? I hope you will be adding these stories to your TBR now!! It is out today so get buying!