Today I am handing the blog over to my guest reviewer Mandie. Mandie has a review of The Bad Sister by Anne Penketh as part of the blog tour. Thanks to publishers Joffe Books for inviting her to be included in the tour and providing an advance copy of the book for review.
Before we see Mandie’s thoughts, lets take a look at what the book is about.
The Official Book Blurb
DI Sam Clayton is called to a murder scene in Holt, not expecting to find his estranged sister at the scene. Her husband, Henry Lambton, has been murdered. Clayton is taken off the case and DS Julie Everett continues the investigation.
Clayton focuses on a vicious arson attack in Norwich. The fire killed a Polish family in their home. It seems to be part of a series of racist attacks connected to an extremist group.
The two crimes stretch the team and both come dangerously close to home. And can Clayton forgive his sister for what happened over twenty years ago?
In a thrilling conclusion, they race against time to prevent more attacks and get justice for their loved and not so loved ones.
THE BAD SISTER is the second in a new series of page-turning crime thrillers set in an atmospheric part of Norfolk. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, Mel Sherratt, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.
The Bad Sister is the second book that features DI Sam Clayton and his team. Having come across the first book in the series purely by accident I jumped at the chance to read the next instalment.
At the start of the story Sam and the team are called upon to investigate the murder of a Polish shopkeeper and his family. Initial investigations lead them to suspect that it may be a hate crime. As they delve into the local community however all is not as it seems and it looks like there could be other things in play. While investigating this Sam is called away to the murder of Henry Lambton. When he gets there he is surprised to find that his sister is the murder victim’s wife. Having not seen her for over 20 years and not being her biggest fan, he immediately suspects she is somehow involved. Due to the conflict of interest he gets himself removed from the case. This means that the team are split over the two investigations. DS Neil Pringle stays on the possible hate crime case and DS Julie Everett joins DI Hewitt on the Lambton case.
When the investigations lead to a possible leak within the force Sam does not give up, even when it implies one of his team may be involved.
When I started reading the book and saw that it would be investigating hate crime, I was not sure if I would enjoy it as the topic seems to be coming up in a lot of books at the moment. I was also not sure if I would be able to cope with the 2 very different storylines at the same time. Thankfully I didn’t need to worry. The fact that Sam was liked to both investigations kept the book together.
This time round you learn a lot more about the lives of the detectives investigating the cases, something that is cleverly woven into the story due to the fact that Sam’s sister is a suspect. Sam is a bit gruff with a few anger issues, also still bitter from his relationship breakdown. He resents his sister and blames her for the fact that he moved away from home at an early age after the way she tormented him growing up.
Julie is still getting over the death of her first child and although she now has a healthy 8 year old, she has developed OCD tendencies that she is still trying to get over. There is a tension between DI Hewitt and Julie, but as he is married and has a bit of a reputation she is determined for the relationship to remain on a professional footing.
Neil is very ambitious and with several children to support he is determined to progress up the ranks. You get to see just how far he will go to achieve this and it even gets him on the wrong side of his DI.
I thoroughly enjoyed this latest instalment in the series and I hope that the author writes another book as I would love to see how the team deals with the fallout from what happens in this book and how the dynamic changes.
The Bad Sister is available now from the following retailers.
About the Author
I’m a Lancashire lass but for most of my career, I’ve been a foreign correspondent. I’ve reported from all over the world on some of the most cataclysmic events of our time, including the Egyptian revolution and the collapse of the Berlin wall.
These days I’m based in Paris and concentrating on fiction writing. The first in a series of crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Sam Clayton, Murder On The Marsh, is out now. My first novel, Food Fight, was published in 2015.
I’ve reported from Paris mainly for The Independent and The Guardian, but I also contribute to France24 television and Monocle radio. (I was The Independent’s Diplomatic Editor, while based in London). As a freelancer, I’ve written for The New Zealand Herald and The National (Abu Dhabi), as well as the LA Times, the New York Times, the Radio Times, the Oldie, Monocle magazine, Quartz, and Spark News.
Between 2009 and 2012, I headed the Washington office of the British American Security Information Council (BASIC), a trans-Atlantic NGO focused on nuclear disarmament, during which time I was also a blogger and columnist for The Hill commenting on foreign affairs.
During my ten-year stint on The Independent I was one of the few journalists to report from Iran, North Korea and Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, I was a staff foreign correspondent with the French news agency, AFP, which posted me to Moscow during the incredible Gorbachev years. I also reported for AFP from France, and New York where I covered the United Nations.
I started my journalistic career in Canada, arriving with two suitcases to seek my fortune in Montreal, from where I reported for British newspapers before getting a job on the Montreal Gazette.
Before that, I was a postgraduate student at University College London whose French department nurtured my lifelong love of French literature. As a result, my own books include a dash of French spice.
You can follow Anne on Twitter
Do make sure to check out some of the other brilliant bloggers who have been taking part in the tour.