Today it is my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Somebody’s Daughter, the latest in the Natalie Ward series by Carol Wyer. I love this series, and having taken us on an emotional rollercoaster for the past two books, I was interested to see if Carol Wyer was going to give Natalie a break this time around. My thanks to publisher Bookouture for providing an advance copy of the book for review. Here’s what the book is about:
About the Book
One by one the girls disappeared…Available from: Amazon
When the frail body of a teenage girl is discovered strangled in a parking lot, shards of ice form in Detective Natalie Ward’s veins. As Natalie looks at the freckles scattered on her cheeks and the pale pink lips tinged with blue, she remembers that this innocent girl is somebody’s daughter…
The girl is identified as missing teenager Amelia Saunders, who has run away from home and her controlling father. Natalie’s heart sinks further when it becomes clear that Amelia has been working on the streets, manipulated by her violent new boyfriend Tommy.
A day later, another vulnerable girl is found strangled on a park bench. Like Amelia, Katie Bray was a runaway with connections to Tommy, and Natalie is determined to find him and track down the monster attacking these scared and lonely girls.
But when a wealthy young woman is found murdered the next morning, the word ‘guilty’ scrawled on her forehead, Natalie realises that the case is more complex than she first thought. Determined to establish a connection between her three victims, Natalie wastes no time in chasing down the evidence, tracing everyone who crossed their paths. Then, a key suspect’s body turns up in the canal, a mole in Natalie’s department leaks vital information and everything seems to be against her. Can Natalie stop this clever and manipulative killer before they strike again?
An unputdownable crime thriller from an Amazon bestselling author that will have you sleeping with the light on. This gripping rollercoaster ride is perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Rachel Caine. Prepare to be totally hooked!
Okay. First things first. I am glad to report that, this time at least, Carol Wyer has been just that little bit kinder to Natalie. A little bit. Her personal life is finally settling after the tragedy that changed everything and with her professional life taking a rather dramatic turn at the end of the last book, we pick up with Natalie now promoted to DCI at the helm of a new division, with Lucy Carmichael now taking on the DI role. And what a case she is handed to make or break her new career. A young woman found murdered in a little used carpark notorious for its links to prostitution. But who is she and who could possibly want her dead? These are just two of the questions facing Natalie and co as the case grows and takes a very unexpected turn. The body count starts to increase, but how do you track a killer when there is no clear link between the victims?
Like all other Natalie Ward stories, this book had me from the outset. It is not your most usual of openings to a crime novel perhaps – a fight between two siblings – but one which soon leads to the real crux of the story and a tragedy that is set to devastate a family. But things are never quite as simple as they seem, and Carol Wyer is adept at creating a story which has more twists and turns than spaghetti junction and that will keep you guessing right to the end. As we slowly settle into the investigation, we are left with a very varied cast of suspects, characters all clearly hiding something. We have to wait some time to find out what, the author keeping that under wraps until just the right moment, using the reveal to surprise and, in some cases, shock the reader. I’m not going to lie, whilst not gratuitous in terms of violence, the implications of what happens to lead us to these murders is not particularly palatable, and it is hard to feel sympathy towards most of the people involved.
As is typical of this series, there are a number of scenes which are told in a kind of flashback, scenes which go towards explaining some of what happens through the course of the investigation, as well as moments of reflection by the main characters. Again, these are not your uplifting, heartwarming chapters, but they do start to clear some of the fog that has been thus far been hindering the investigation. All handled carefully, all sadly too credible, but certain scenes are definitely a precursor to what comes to pass.
One of the key successes of this series has to be the characters that Carol Wyer has developed, of how well the team work together and how invested in them we have become over the course of the first five novels. Due to the changes in rank and structure, it adds a new perspective to the team, new tensions and challenges, and this serves to freshen up the team dynamic. With Lucy promoted there is a kind of unspoken there for Murray to prove himself worthy of recognition, and even Natalie finds it hard to adapt, having to step back and not overstep Lucy’s authority. Even Lucy is struggling, the promotion coming at a time when she also has a newly extended family to think about adding a layer of pressure and doubt that she could have done without given all the attention her first high profile case as SIO is receiving. It all felt authentic and I am looking forward to seeing what this means for the team as they all move forward.
I will admit that when we first met Natalie back in book one I wasn’t sure about her as a character. She seemed quite tense to begin with, especially if you compared her to the more down to earth character of Robyn Carter from the author’s other crime series. She has definitely grown on me over the course of the series, the situations she has found herself in, the tragic course of her life making her feel much more human and approachable. She is still efficient, still focused, bit overall more relaxed and give all that has happened to her, that is good to see.
The pacing in the story really picks up in the final third of the book. As the killer’s motives start to become clear, and certain facts are revealed, the author helps readers navigate their way through scenes in which the tension starts to build and the overwhelming sense of jeopardy approaches a really critical point … But if you want to know what that is and what happens to our favourite team, you are going to have to read the book, aren’t you.
A definite must read for fans of the series. It feels like the beginning of something slightly new, but with all the familiarity of the team which has come to know and love and I can’t wait to see how the series evolves from here on in.
About the Author
Winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer is an award-winning author and stand up comedian who writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.
A move to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST, the #2 best-selling book on Amazon, #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible and Top 150 USA Today best-seller.
A second series featuring DI Natalie Ward quickly followed and to date her crime novels have sold over 600,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets, including Norwegian, Italian, Turkish, Hungarian Slovak, Czech and Polish.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’ featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.
She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.
Author Links: Website | Twitter | Blog
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