Yes folks. It is my absolute pleasure to be one of today’s tour stops for the latest instalment in the brilliant Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett, One to Watch. I will be sharing my review with you in just a moment, along with a guest post from Kay Hunter herself! Ever wonder what happened to Sid at the end of Scared to Death? Well read on to find out. First of all though, here is what this book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
Sophie Whittaker shared a terrifying secret. Hours later, she was dead.
Detective Kay Hunter and her colleagues are shocked by the vicious murder of a teenage girl at a private party in the Kentish countryside.
A tangled web of dark secrets is exposed as twisted motives point to a history of greed and corruption within the tight-knit community.
Confronted by a growing number of suspects and her own enemies who are waging a vendetta against her, Kay makes a shocking discovery that will make her question her trust in everyone she knows.
What happened to Sid?
By Kay Hunter
So, by now you’ve probably heard that my other half, Adam brought home a snake a few months ago.
The owner had to leave Sid with Adam as he’d booked a holiday to Budapest and couldn’t cancel at the last minute. Adam, being Adam, offered to look after Sid until his owner got home.
As he’s a vet, I’ve got used to the fact that he’ll bring home an animal every now and again. Most of the time, it’s a cat expecting kittens or a guinea pig that needs round the clock care.
I don’t mind those. They’re cute. Fluffy.
That snake, though?
Talk about pushing the relationship.
I’ve had to deal with some things in my time, I’ll tell you. I’ve been spat on, sworn at, punched, choked – I reckon I can deal with most things my job throws at me, but Sid was something else.
I was okay – sort of – while he was safely ensconced in his glass case, even if Adam had put it on the kitchen worktop. I avoided the bottom drawer of the refrigerator where Adam had stashed the frozen mice Sid snacked on every two days, and when Adam wasn’t around I ate my dinner on a tray in the living room.
Besides, my mind was on other things – putting a sadistic killer behind bars.
It wasn’t until I came home the night after the team successfully solved that investigation that it all went wrong.
Adam and I hadn’t been out of the house much in previous months – we’d suffered a personal tragedy, and after I’d been put through a Professional Standards investigation at work at the same time, it was all we could do to drag ourselves out of the house to go to work, to be honest.
So, when Adam suggested a meal out at a favourite restaurant of ours to celebrate my return to form at work – and my determination to seek out those who had wronged me – I jumped at the chance.
The problem was, as we were getting ready to leave in the taxi that had just arrived I discovered the lid to Sid’s case had toppled off – and there was no sign of Sid.
After I’d yelled the house down, Adam came running into the kitchen and tried to calm me down. I ended up sitting on the kitchen worktop with my feet well away from the floor while Adam searched for the snake.
In between that, the taxi driver gave up honking the car horn to let us know he was getting impatient waiting for us, and decided to bang on the front door, so you can imagine what it was like with me yelling at Adam to find Sid, the taxi driver calling through the letterbox to let us know he was ready to go, and Adam crawling around on his hands and knees looking in cupboards and behind kitchen appliances to try to locate Sid.
“Bedlam” doesn’t do it justice.
After what seemed an age but was probably only ten to fifteen minutes, Adam finally found Sid behind the refrigerator – he thinks once the snake escaped from his glass case, he realised how cold it was and found the warm motor of the refrigerator to curl up next to.
We did finally make it out to the restaurant, though – and Sid’s owner returned home from holiday the next day, none the wiser for his pet’s mini escapade…
© 2017 Rachel Amphlett
Now, if you have followed my blog at all (and if you have I apologise) then you will probably know that I am a teeny bit of a fan of Rachel Amphlett’s Kay Hunter series. Books one and two – absolutely fabulous. So when the opportunity came up to get my sticky mitts on an early review copy of book three… well I could hardly say no now could I? So the only question is, did the book live up to expectations?
Well duh. Of course it did.
Now this is very different in tone from the previous two novels in the series. Whilst a murder occurs in the opening scene, and its discovery is harrowing, it is in no way as frenetic in pace as the first two books. There is no race to the last with a will they won’t they save the potential victim in this book. It is way more sedate and perhaps all the more shocking in its execution as a result.
That is not to say that the suspense is not kept high throughout the book but whereas in the previous books there were multiple victims, this whole story centres around one sole victim, the teenage bride to be, Sophie Whittaker. But who would want to kill the young girl at her own engagement party, and why do her parents and future parents in law seem so hesitant to help Kay get to the truth?
This feels more like a psychological thriller than perhaps the previous two books and we are faced with no end of possible motives and suspects for the crime as we navigate our way through the tale. To all intents and purposes Sophie appears to be the perfect teenager, one who had just pledged to stay pure and remain virgin until her wedding day. But, as they say, appearances can be deceiving and there is something which is not quite right about the all too idyllic scene that is first laid out. What that is and how it led to Sophie’s death… well you’ll just have to read for yourself now won’t you? But believe me when I say that Rachel Amphlett has done a brilliant job of creating an array of untrustworthy and suspicious characters who float in and around the investigation. From the wealthy in-laws, to the less than open best friend, even to the Pastor who leads the unorthodox group meetings of which Sophie and her family are a part, I didn’t feel I altogether trusted any of them. And it was brilliant.
As for Kay… Well her life is no less complicated now than when we left her at the end of Will To Live. If anything it appears to be getting more complicated by the day. She is stuck in the middle of a web of deceit and somebody continues to be intent on ruining her career. Just who and why are unclear but perhaps in this book she will come closer to finding out the truth. Or, perhaps not. You’ll only know by reading. Her relationship with Adam continues to grow on me and I love this pairing so much. It is so nice to see a couple so invested in each other and not being driven apart by Kay’s job and the witch hunt against her.
I do love this series and for me it continues to go from strength to strength. I think what has really sold me on it is that with this book, Rachel Amphlett has moved away from the need for high stakes action in order to hold the reader’s attention. I read through this in just two sittings, separated only by the need to feed myself. I was pulled in, not through pacing but through the quality of the writing, the way in which she engaged me and had me invested in the life that had once been Sophie’s. I was intrigued to understand why it had been ended so abruptly. And the truth behind it? Disturbing in its simplicity.
From the way we leave Kay in this book I am dying to read book four which thankfully should be out later this year. Cannot come soon enough.
My thanks to Rachel Amphlett for an advance copy of One To Watch. Thanks also to Rachel and to Emma Mitchell for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. The book is out on 8th June and is available to order from the following retailers.
Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.
She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.
An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.
You can purchase books one and two in the Kay Hunter Series from Rachel’s page on Amazon. And if you’re not sure what they’re about you can read my reviews here:
If you are on Facebook, why not join the launch party on 6th June by following the link here. There are some brilliant prize up for grabs and the opportunity to ask Rachel all those burning questions about what is next for Kay. And be sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in the tour.