Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for the fabulous new book by Mel Sherratt, Hush Hush. the book is the first in the brand new Grace Allendale series and I’d like to thank Sabah Khan for inviting me to join the tour and publishers Avon for providing an advance copy for review. Here is what the book is all about.
About the Book
A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders, and prove herself to her new team.
All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.
To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?
An unforgettable thriller that fans of MARTINA COLE and CARA HUNTER won’t be able to put down.
Well, I will say one thing. This book certainly grabs your attention from the start and once it has a hold it never let’s go. I practically devoured this book, charging from first page to last in no time at all. It really is an addictive read and looks set to start yet another cracking series from Mel Sherratt.
DS Grace Allendale has just accepted a promotion and transferred back to her home town of Stoke on Trent from Manchester. She has tried hard to forget her past, a rather horrid and abusive childhood at the hands of a father who harboured more than a few secrets of his own. She has a family she has never met, nor does she want to but as they both operate on opposite sides of the law, the reunion is inevitable. When her first case, a particularly brutal murder, brings her face to face with her estranged siblings Grace has to battle to keep her identity secret whilst stopping a vicious killer in their tracks. No easy task – given who the victim was and who they had worked for, the list of potential suspects could be long.
What I loved about this book is the way in which Mel Sherratt gave us such convincing and easy to like characters. Grace Allendale is a woman who is at the centre of a huge amount of personal and professional conflict. Her ties to the victim’s employers, her estranged half siblings, the Steeles, and their connection to organised crime make things all the more awkward in the office as well as at home. And yet she is steadfast in her conviction, her determination, to bring the killer to justice, even if that killer may share the same blood. I really liked Grace. She has had a hard past but it shapes rather than defines her and in spite of getting a hard time from her new team, especially when the learn who her father was, she still battles on, hell bent on proving everyone wrong. She has suffered loss and survived, just, and Stoke will be her new, and somewhat old or re-, start.
The team who work around Grace were all well developed and, although a mixed bunch, they were likeable. Well … mostly likeable with one or two exceptions. They may not have been wholly on Grace’s side at all times but that is up to her to win them over. As for her extended family. Gah. What a bunch. Her brothers, Eddie and Leon are hard and menacing. While Eddie has the ability to remain calm, there is no denying the way his presence is felt and the menace you can sense from the page. He is calculated and maintains a certain persona but you cannot doubt he is a man you don’t want to cross. Leon … he is vile, vying for position at the head of the business but lacking his brother’s sense. Mel Sherratt has created a pairing who will make you feel on edge, but Leon will also make your skin crawl just that little bit. Seeing how these two develop and what fresh hell they serve on Grace will certainly be fun reading going forward.
As for little sister, Jade, she is a touch manic and defiant when it comes to what her brothers expect of her. She is the only one to extend an olive branch to Grace and to look past what is printed on her warrant card. You get the feeling that between them, Grace and Jade may share more than just DNA, but you don’t know the extent of this until you read on. There are passages which give hints as to their shared history, scenes which will make your stomach churn and drive you to chew on those nails as we are brought into the world of a scared young child with their abusive father. Hard reading at times but very well handled.
The murders in this book are brutal but also quite topical. None of it is gratuitous in delivery but you will know enough to be able to picture the scene in as much detail as your mind should wish. That is one thing Mel Sherratt is very good at – setting the scene for her readers. Be it the descriptions of Stoke and the surrounding areas, or the picture she creates of the individual settings such as the Gym owned by the Steeles, you find a very vivid image appearing in your mind as you read, skilfully putting you at the heart of the action.
Fast paced, heart stopping at times and taking me to the very edged of my seat, I loved this book and I cannot wait to read of more from Grace and her team in the future. Top stuff.
If you would like a copy of Hush Hush it is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
Mel Sherratt is the author of ten novels, all of which have become bestsellers. In 2017, she was named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.
She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.
Follow the tour: