Today it is my absolute pleasure to join the blog tour for the latest Grace Allendale thriller from Mel Sherratt, Liar Liar. I’ve been hooked by this series since book one and was thrilled to be asked to join the tour. Thanks to publisher Avon for the advance copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
The truth can be a dangerous thing…Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
When a young boy falls from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale witnesses the shocking aftermath of the tragic event. But strangely, no one will admit to seeing anything – and the parents will only tell the police that it was an accident.
Determined to sort the truth from the lies, Grace is thrown into a case that takes her to the darkest corners of the criminal world – and strikes closer to home than she could have ever imagined…
A gripping and pacey thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the moment you turn the first page. The perfect read for fans of Martina Cole.
The third book in the Grace Allendale series, this one has a very different tone and feel about it to the previous offerings. This time around we meet Grace as she is recovering from a couple of rather harrowing and very personal cases, having taken a secondment away from the murder investigations of Serious Crime team to the Community Intelligence team, working directly for reader favourite, Allie Shenton. It doesn’t make her work any easier to manage and in this book she is faced with a case that will make even the hardest heart ache.
This is a difficult story to read at times. A small child, only a couple of years old, fighting for his life after falling from a balcony. But why did he fall and what is it that his parents are hiding? Could they, or his older sister, have anything to do with what happened? The more we learn about the injuries, the more difficult it is to suspect anything other than fowl play, which is a most unpalatable thing to contemplate when it comes to deliberately hurting a child.
The story is well plotted, blending the emotional scenes with the family with an underlying sense of threat that permeates each chapter. It is a kind of dual timeline narrative as we follow the current investigation into what has and is happening at Harrison House and the estate it is based on, and the story of the mother, Ruby, and what led her to be living in Stoke. It is very clear from the start that she is hiding something, as is her partner, Luke. Unravelling the truth from the lies, and discovering what those secrets are is what drives the narrative from the harrowing start to the shocking and tense conclusion.
I really do enjoy reading these books, partly because Stoke, where these books are set is very close to me so I can picture the scene as I am reading. Perhaps not as well as a native, but it’s enough to give the whole thing context and Mel Sherratt has a love and understanding of the area that shows through in the books, even with a little artistic licence. Beyond that though, we are always treated to a story which is both exciting and emotional, full of mystery and drama and packed with characters that you can both love and loathe. Grace Allendale is a brilliant character and her partner in this investigation, DC Frankie Higgins, is someone I grew to like very quickly. They make a great pair, very much in tune with each other and that really makes you want to see them come good.
Some of the scenes from Ruby’s past are quite dark, but there . is nothing gratuitous in any of them. You know where the story is leading without the author even having to take you there on the page. Both the emotion and the fear experienced by the characters are clear, and the pacing varies to suit the kind of scene you are reading. There is an element of misdirection, and a whole lot of suspicion driven by the various motives that could be in play. The reality of what has happened and why is well hidden.
Ultimately, the story always brings Grace back to the one place she doesn’t want to be – caught up in the world of her criminal half brothers, the Steeles. Less so this time around, but their influence in and around Stoke is inescapable really. I’m intrigued to see where this series is leading and can’t wait to see what the author deals us next time around.
About the Author
Mel Sherratt is the author of thirteen crime novels, all of which have become bestsellers. For the past four years, she has been named as one of her home town of Stoke-on-Trent’s top 100 influential people.
She also works alongside the National Literary Trust as an ambassador on The Literary Project, to support their ongoing work in the city, aiming to raise literacy levels.
She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and terrier, Dexter.
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