The #Bookvent Calendar 2018: Day 15


My day fifteen #bookvent selection is the first in a brand new series by an author whose work I love. I was addicted to her first Detective series featuring Robyn Carter, partly because the setting was extremely local to me – some 14 miles up the road in fact. When I heard she was writing a new series I was really excited to read it and was not disappointed. The storyline is difficult to read at times, the execution of it brilliant. Featuring a brand new female lead, I can’t help feeling the author’s writing goes from strength to strength. My day fifteen choice is …

The Birthday

By Carol Wyer

One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

Two years later, Ava’s body is found and another little girl, 
Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is
 Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre 
Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

I get nervous when an author starts writing a new series. Not only because I know I will miss the old protagonists, but because I wonder if I will like the new series as much. I needn’t have worried in the case of the Natalie Ward series from Carol Wyer as from the very beginning of the book I was hooked, and I raced through it in no time flat. Investigating the grim discovery of some human remains at an old Garden Centre site takes DI Natalie Ward and her team back to a cold case – that of a young girl who went missing at a birthday party in the once popular animal farm at the site. This is a case which is full of misdirection, a multitude of possible suspects and an increasingly tense and jeopardy filled reality which sees more children in the killers sights. There was something very creepy about the passages in the book where we are privvy to the life of a young boy whose recollection of his childhood is unnerving and chilling to say the least. Couple this with the way in which Carol Wyer has expressed the emotional impact of the young girl’s disappearance on her parents, and you will find yourself almost worn out at the end of reading it. And as for the new protagonist, Natalie Ward, I really liked her. Haunted by her past and troubled by her family relationships, she is still one tough gal who fights for justice with all she has. Her team are supberd and I look forward to reading more about them in future books (book 2 – Last Lullaby – is also fab btw), in particular Lucy Carmichael who is a headstrong and feisty character you can’t help but love. All in all this is shaping up to be another cracking series and I am desperate to read book 3 as soon as I can. Loved it.

If you’d like to read my full review of The Birthday you can find it here. The book is available to purchase from the following retailers:

Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

Happy #bookvent reading all


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