Today it is my great pleasure to be joining the blog tour for Cradle To Grave, the latest book in the Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett. I’m a huge fan of this series, and of the author’s work in general so have to say thank you for providing an advance copy for review. Thanks also to Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me to join the tour. Here’s what the book is about:
About the Book
When a faceless body is found floating in the river on a summer’s morning, Detective Kay Hunter and her team are tasked with finding out the man’s identity – and where he came from.Available from: Author Website | Amazon | Kobo | Googleplay | Apple Books
The investigation takes a sinister turn when an abandoned boat is found, covered in blood stains and containing a child’s belongings.
Under mounting pressure from a distraught family and an unforgiving media, the police are in a race against time – but they have no leads, and no motive for the events that have taken place.
Will Kay be able to find a ruthless killer and a missing child before it’s too late?
Cradle to Grave is the eighth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series by USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett, and perfect for readers who love fast-paced murder mysteries.
I’ve got to be honest. I’m actually running out of ways to describe how much I love this series now. Each book is brilliant – full of humour, tension, great characters and compelling storytelling in equal measure. Cradle to Grave is no different, with the author gripping your attention from the very start of the book.
And it’s a fairly calm opener to be fair. Father and child heading off for a day’s fishing. Learning new skills, bonding over the catch, that kind of thing. Completely inoffensive. Until, that is, said father spots a body floating down the river and this peaceful narrative turns very dark indeed. Not only are Kay and her team faced with the task of hunting down a murderer, when they finally discover where the body came from they come to realise things are far worse than it appears, as it looks as though a child may have been abducted. But who is the victim and why has no-one reported a missing child? Well … you’ll have to read the book as I’m not telling.
I love the characters in this series, the Detectives especially, with Kay, Barnes, Carys and Gavin making a great team. There is a brilliant blend of good humour and determination amongst them, and friendly rivalry between Gavin and Carys which helps spur things on. Kay is a cracking protagonist and a caring Boss, well respected by her peers and her superiors. If she has one flaw, it is putting herself too far into the action and caring too much, but it does drive her to keep digging until the truth is found. I love the chemistry between her and Barnes, they make a formidable duo, even of this wasn’t always the way.
Away from the police side of the story, you get some very real, very human and authentic characters on the periphery of the investigation, be they Kay’s own family or the people in the centre of the investigation. Rachel Amphlett has a real knack for creating characters you either believe and want to see come good, or loathe and want to see them get their comeuppance. Whether friend or foe, I become invested in their lives and find myself needing to know what happens, often racing to the end of the book as was the case this time around.
The pacing in the story is spot on. It’s not especially fast flowing, it’s not that kind of story, and there are a few moments in which the action slows, where the team are struggling to make headway on motive or murderer. This fits the story, the balance just right between keeping the reader engaged and allowing the story to feel real. There are moments of tension, moments where I could feel my pulse elevating, but it’s not that kind of a novel. The threat is far more subtle, the danger well hidden right until the end. The author has managed to keep the identity of the baddy hidden, and whilst you may have your suspicions, it’s not at all obvious what has happened.
Full of secrets, intrigue and emotion, especially as the case brings things very close to home for Kay and her partner Adam, this is another brilliant instalment and one I think fans are going to enjoy. As for the question of what Adam’s animal of the week is this time … Let’s just say it opens up a few options when it comes to breakfast choices for the pair.
About the Author
Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the fast paced Dan Taylor and English Assassins espionage novels, and the Detective Kay Hunter British murder mystery series.
After 13 years in Australia, Rachel has returned to the UK and is now based in the picturesque county of Dorset. She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.
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