Today it is my absolute pleasure to share my thoughts on the latest book in the Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett, A Darker Place. I love this series so any chance to catch up with Kay and co is always welcomed. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
The frozen body of a man is discovered in a used car yard on the hottest day of the year, his face contorted by fear and pain.
Detective Kay Hunter and her team are assigned the case, but when they find out who their victim is, their worst fears are realised.
There is another man missing – but is he a victim, or a killer?
With time running out and witnesses afraid to talk, Kay is thrust into one of the most challenging investigations of her career to date.
A Darker Place is the tenth book in the Detective Kay Hunter series by USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett, and perfect for readers who love fast-paced crime thrillers.
Oh I do love reading a Kay Hunter thriller. Well, any book by Rachel Amphlett to be fair, and with this latest offering, A Darker Place, she did not disappoint. Full of mystery, the frustration of a particularly perplexing investigation, and with the usual blend of focus and banter that I’ve come to expect from this team of characters, I found myself lost in a story which kept me hooked from the off and seemed to pass by in a flash. These really are the kinds of books that once I start, I don’t want to be disturbed because my intention is just to read, read, read. And I did.
Short stories aside, it’s been a wee while since we’ve spent any decent time in Kay’s company, but the beauty of these books is that once you start reading it really is like you’ve never been away. Yes, there is a slightly altered line up this time around as far as the team goes, and anyone who read the book’s predecessor, Turn To Dust, will have known it was coming. But I liked DC Laura Hanway. Not the first time we’ve met as she also featured in the last book, but she’s very much a fully fledged part of the team this time, proving to be a perfect partner for Gavin Piper. They’re both impetuous to a degree, both super keen, but I have a feeling this is a pairing that will definitely be fun to watch. And that is one of the skills of this author. Giving you characters who feel like friends, ones you can root for, as well as making the less desirable suitably loathsome without becoming caricatures.
Speaking of characters you can root for, I don’t think I could ask for a better pair than DI Kay Hunter and DS Ian Barnes. They’ve proven time and time again to be an entertaining, funny, but totally dedicated pair, and the friendship and banter between the two makes me love reading these books. Add in the odd cameo from some of Kay’s partner Adam’s fluffy (and sometimes scaly) clientele, I could honestly read about this team for years and be extremely content.
The story this time is a confusing one, the chilling murder of a delivery driver. The way his body is presented is definitely staged, the circumstance of his death highly unusual. The motive … well that is one which is kept hidden from readers until late on in the book, as we make the discoveries of important clues side by side with the police. This is one that may have presented readers with a few suspects, and as we slowly uncover the truth you may think you know where the story is leading, but you might still be wrong. You’ll be presented with almost a menu of choices as to who the guilty party might be, yet we don’t find out right until the end as to whether the killer is going to get their just desserts.
I do love this series and I think this one has been one of my favourites. Yes – some of it gave me nervous tick flashbacks to previous careers (tachographs – bleurgh), but it was a story that seemed to pass by in a flash, the pacing spot on as usual. Setting is always key and I love the way in which Rachel Amphlett embraces the Kent landscape making it as important to the story as the murders and characters themselves. From high tension adrenalin kicks, to laid back smile inducing moments, this book, and the author, has hit the magic formula for me yet again. If you love a good Detective series you really need to catch up with Kay Hunter. It makes for brilliant reading.
About the Author
Rachel Amphlett is a USA Today bestselling author, best known for her fast-paced crime and thriller novels.
Her debut thriller, White Gold was released in July 2011 and features British secret agent Dan Taylor. The series established Rachel as an author to watch and spurned three more novels before Rachel turned her attention to a new character, Detective Kay Hunter.
The Kay Hunter crime thrillers are based in Maidstone, Kent and feature a tight-knit team of detectives. Praised for their authenticity and attention to detail, the books are also much loved by readers for their page-turning plots and devious twists with comparisons to TV shows NCIS and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The first book, Scared to Death was published in 2016 and won praise from Robert Bryndza (The Girl in the Ice, Shadow Sands) and Angela Marsons (Silent Scream, Deadly Cry).
More recently, Rachel created a new crime thriller series based around the central character Mark Turpin, an Oxfordshire-based detective. The first book, None the Wiser, received critical acclaim from Adrian McKinty (The Chain) and Jo Spain (With Our Blessing, The Confession), with the follow-up book, Her Final Hour being praised by the creator of the DCI Banks series, Peter Robinson.
In addition to her detective stories, Rachel also writes the English Assassins series featuring female assassin Eva Delacourt, and a number of standalone crime thrillers, psychological thrillers and conspiracy thrillers.
A keen traveller, Rachel holds both British and Australian citizenship.