Today I’m delighted to share my thoughts on book two in the Mark Turpin series by Rachel Amphlett, Her Final Hour. I love Rachel’s writing and this is shaping up to be another absolute cracker of a series. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
What if the perfect friend was hiding a deadly secret?
When a championship jockey discovers the body of a young woman during a cold morning’s training ride, the local racing community is shocked to its core.
Everyone says she was the perfect friend, the perfect daughter and the perfect fiancée.
However as Detective Mark Turpin delves into the girl’s fateful last hours, he discovers a past full of lies and mystery.
Investigating the truth behind her savage death, Mark uncovers jealousy and ambition within the tiny community, accompanied by a disturbing reluctance to help the police.
When another death takes place only days later, Mark realises he is running out of time to stop a killer who will do anything to keep a dark secret hidden…
If you like a kind of good old fashioned Detective thriller, one with a pretty rural setting, where secrets and lies dominate and the story will keep you one hundred percent engaged from start to finish, then you really do need to sit down and start the Mark Turpin series by Rachel Amphlett. Although it’s still early days for her newest Detective, the more time I spend with him and his partner, Detective Constable Jan West, the more I like them. I mean, it’s no secret that I’m a fan of the author’s writing, and I’ve yet to start a book I haven’t enjoyed, and this series is no exception. From the off we get the tension, the atmosphere, the mystery, and importantly, at least for this story, the murder.
This time around we find our Detective duo in the village of Harton Wick investigating. the murder of a local student, Jessica Marley. Her body is found on a track used for the training of horses from the local stables and with no clear motive for her murder, or any indication of how she came to be on the gallops in the first place, Turpin and West have a difficult job ahead of them.
One of the things that Rachel Amphlett really manages well is creating characters that you are able to become completely invested in. I really like Turpin and West as the lead characters in this. Turpin has a difficult past, a fractured family caused, largely, by his job and is starting over in Oxfordshire. west is very much a family woman, her husband and sons understanding of the demands of her job – perhaps more than she is herself. She is still one hundred percent dedicated, but that mothering side of her comes out on the odd occasion and it works well alongside Turpin’s character. Beyond the police team we have a varied cast of characters, all multi-dimensional and believable, and all of whom fall under suspicion at some stage or another. You get. that sense of them keeping things back, of not being completely honest or open with the police, and that building sense of intrigue and tension as a result.
No matter what the location Rachel Amphlett also really manages to put you at the heart of the action. Be it a working stables or a country pub, I really could picture it very clearly in my mind, And in this case the setting really plays into the storyline, that sense of the closed community who are united in trying to discover who hurt one of their own, but not above keeping secrets from the outsiders. It just remains to be seen if those secrets are why Jessica had to die.
The pacing of this was spot on for both the story and the setting, with both tension and excitement building as Turpin and West drew closer to the truth. This is another series I am really looking forward to reading more of and I’m glad that we have been drawn into this fictional world. It’s not gratuitous in terms of violence or language – it doesn’t need to be. I am fully engaged as a reader without needing the excessive shock factor. If you love the Kay Hunter series, you will love this one too. Definitely recommended.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Detective Kay Hunter British murder mystery series, the Dan Taylor spy novels, the English Assassins series, and a number of standalone crime thrillers.