Thursday 25 April 2024

Her Deadly Friend (The Gloucestershire Crime Series Book 1) - Rachel Sargeant

A random sequence of murders rocks West Gloucestershire. First one, then another. From calculated and clinical, to opportunist and frenzied. As the body count tops five, Detective Inspector Steph Lewis’s investigations point to Amy Ashby as chief suspect for the rampage.

Steph and Amy were arch enemies at school.

Amy, still seething with fury about what Steph did back then, refuses to let the detective stand in the way of her current hunt for a new man and a fresh start. This time, it is for keeps.

As the evidence mounts, Steph is convinced of Amy’s guilt. But is Steph obsessed with a schoolgirl vendetta that could wreck her career and destroy her family? Or is she closing in on a deadly killer?

Her Deadly Friend is the first book in the Gloucestershire Crime Series, featuring DI Steph Lewis, a spirited, no-nonsense detective with secrets of her own.

What did I think?

Wow!  This book is absolutely fantastic!  Even better, it's the start of an exciting new crime series and I'm already chomping at the bit to visit the fictional town of Gleveham again.

The story begins with a bullying incident at school.  Steph and her friend appear to be bullying Amy, but you get the feeling that you're not quite seeing the whole picture...and indeed you're not.  Rachel Sargeant cleverly puts an element of doubt in your mind, making you wonder what really happened and who is telling the truth.  Almost 30 years later Steph and Amy are about to cross paths again and sparks are sure to fly.

There is so much going on in this book; it has more hooks than a fisherman's tackle box and I was hooked from page one.  There's more to the bullying story from the past than meets the eye, both Steph and Amy are unknowingly being stalked and Steph is investigating a series of murders.  Murders that lead Steph to Amy's door and old wounds are reopened.  Is Steph targeting Amy once again?

I just couldn't read Her Deadly Friend fast enough.  I tore through it at a rate of knots and enjoyed every minute of it.  The writing is flawless and the plot is so twisty and original that I didn't see any of it coming.

Unpredictable and unputdownable, Her Deadly Friend is a fantastic police procedural and an outstanding start to an exciting new series.  Very highly recommended.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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