Today I’m delighted to share my review of Come and Find Me, the latest Marnie Rome thriller from Sarah Hilary. I’m a big fan of this series and alway looking forward to the next book. We’ll take a look at my thoughts on the book in just a moment, after we’ve seen what it’s all about.
About the Book
On the surface, Lara Chorley and Ruth Hull have nothing in common, other than their infatuation with Michael Vokey. Each is writing to a sadistic inmate, sharing her secrets, whispering her worst fears, craving his attention.
DI Marnie Rome understands obsession. She’s finding it hard to give up her own addiction to a dangerous man: her foster brother, Stephen Keele. She wasn’t able to save her parents from Stephen. She lives with that guilt every day.
As the hunt for Vokey gathers pace, Marnie fears one of the women may have found him – and is about to pay the ultimate price.
Okay. I give in. I cannot review this book. Why? Because it is a) too good and b) impossible to discuss in the way I want to discuss it without leaving spoilers. Therefore I am just going to do what I threatened on Twitter the other day and say
It’s bloody brilliant. Just bloody read it!
What? You think I’m joking? I’m seriously not. Not at all and those who have read it will understand what I mean.
I am a fan of Sarah Hilary’s work and a fan of Marnie Rome. Somehow Sarah Hilary manages to tap into the very base fears that we have, find a way to capture that raw emotion of both her protagonist and their antagonists, while captivating the reader, dragging us to places we may not always want to go and reflecting ourselves, in varying degrees, straight back at us whether we like to admit it or not. No, we have not all been dangerous killers, well at least I know I haven’t. I can’t speak for you lot 😉 However, inside of each murderer, each convict, each police officer, there is a human being and much of what makes them tick we can recognise in our own personalities. We don not always act upon it, certainly not in the ways that Ms Hilary portrays in her books, but we are certainly aware of it and certainly see these kinds of situations played out in society day after day.
I think this is probably the reason behind the success of the Marnie Rome series. It is grounded in reality. While certain circumstances may be exaggerated for the sake of ‘entertainment’ – engaging the reader in the game of what it – it is not beyond all belief that the kinds of stories Sarah Hilary creates could actually happen out in the real world. They already are. And this is perhaps what makes this latest story so chilling. It is in no way grotesque or violent and yet it is clear from the outset that violence has occurred. There is just enough detail provided and yet the core events, the things which precipitate this story, are kept off the page, protecting the reader to a certain extent. In doing this Sarah Hilary allows the reader’s imagination to take over, and often this is a far scarier place than any writer could dream of. Strange but true.
In simple terms what the reader is faced with, what Marnie Rome is investigating, is the escape of convict Michael Vokey. Vokey is a man who instills terror in those around him and yet he remains a chameleon. Many things to many people but someone who they struggle to get a clear description or picture of. Is he man or monster? Does the legend and reputation which surrounds him come from truth or fiction? Rather cleverly this confusion is captured in the story as the reader never really gets a clear picture of what Vokey is accused of, not before, during or even after his escape, not until much later in the story. Marnie and Noah’s investigations lead them to a strange place, one where women and men alike hero-worship Vokey whilst others live in fear. But who or what are they worshipping or fearing?
Nothing in this book is as it appears. We are led up blind alleys, fed half-truths and kept in the dark, just as Marnie and Noah are in their investigation. Sarah Hilary skilfully twists the story, omitting key information, creating a world in which nothing can be believed and the most honest of interactions and reactions can easily be disbelieved. Whilst the main part of the action follows the various threads of the investigation, there are chapters which are memories told from the point of view of Vokey’s cellmate, a man who was caught up in the violent and deadly events which led to Vokey’s escape. Events which also see Marnie’s foster brother Stephen’s life in danger. These memories inform the action but slowly and surely, building a clearer picture with each page turn of what actually came to pass.
I loved catching up with Marnie and Noah again. Both are wonderfully diverse characters who I have grown to love over the past four books. Both have their demons – Marnie with her brother Stephen, a conflict which looks set to be forced to an abrupt end – and Noah with his bother Sol, a young man who Noah had to betray in order to try to save him. Their complicated personal lives cannot help but affect the choices they make in work and yet do not stop them from pushing themselves to their limits in order to discover the truth. Their conviction and determination makes them highly relatable and their humanity, ultimately likeable.
Okay. So maybe I did lie just a little. I have found some word but believe me, they aren’t enough. Not what I really want to say. I can’t say that without you working out the crux of this book. But I will say that this is a book which will challenge you, much as it challenges Marnie and Noah. It will force you to think about perception. What we see versus what we think we see. It will make you think about the words which are not said. The truth which hides between and behind the lines we draw. And it will bloody well entertain you and suck up several hours of your life as once you lose yourself in Marnie’s, and even Vokey’s, world, you won’t want to walk away. Not until you have to.
As I said – It’s Bloody brilliant. That’s why I’m giving it one of these …
Yup. My read hot reads badge as this is one book you do not want to miss.
My thanks to publishers Headline for providing an advance copy via Netgalley for review. Come and Find Me is available from today from the following retailers: