BOOM! 💣 It’s my stop on Caroline Mitchell’s TRUTH AND LIES blog tour and I am over-the-moon to be sharing my review of this explosive read today! Huge thanks to the author and Thomas Mercer for inviting me on the tour and providing me an ARC through Netgalley! Let’s start by finding out a bit more about the author and this novel!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shortlisted for a number of awards both in the US and in the UK, a USA Today bestseller and no 1 on Amazon in the US, Australia & the UK with over 30k followers on Twitter, a former police detective, Caroline Mitchell uses her in-depth knowledge of police procedures to create complex and suspenseful psychological thrillers. Caroline worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with the vulnerable victims of domestic abuse and serious sexual offences. The mental strength shown by the victims of these crimes was a constant source of inspiration. A working mother of four, Caroline started writing due to the stress of dealing with such serious incidents and a way of processing the crimes she witnessed. Born and brought up in Ireland, she is happily married with four children and lives in Essex.
The adopted daughter of a highly respected police officer, DI Amy Winter, is keen to follow in her father’s footsteps. But when she receives a letter from the prison cell of Lillian Grimes, one half of a notorious husband-and-wife serial-killer team, Amy finds out something that sends her whole world into disarray.
Responsible for a string of killings decades ago, Lillian is nothing short of a psychopathic murderer. And also Amy’s biological mother. She tells Amy that she is ready to unveil the location of three of her victims, but only if Amy plays along with her sinister game.
While her fellow detectives frantically search for a young girl taken from her mother’s doorstep, Amy must confront her own dark past. Remembering an older sister who sacrificed herself to save her, Amy faces a race against time to uncover the missing bodies. But what if Grimes has been pulling the strings even tighter than Amy thought from behind bars? And can she overcome her demons to prevent another murder?
Well HOLY friggin SH*tBALLS! Where do I start? Set in Essex the reader is faced with a chilling past, nature vs nurture, relationships; family; loyalty; manipulation; control; accountability; corruption; secrets; and a search for the truth / justice.
Eeeeek! What a prologue! Spine-tingling, goosebump territory – and I certainly wanted to carry on! I was immediately hooked as I love true crime and the author blended fact with fiction in this creepy police procedural – Fred/Rosemary West as well as Ian Brady and Myra Hindley immediately crept into my mind as this macabre tale unfolded. The plot was perfectly paced, complex and compelling whereby 100,000 WTAF’s must have escaped my lips! I thought the characters and narrative were equally intriguing and I found myself pulled from pillar to post wondering whether or not DI Amy Winter’s secret would be discovered. This is the first in the series and I have to say, it may well be the best book the author has written so far. Caroline Mitchell is clearly honing her craft and using her time to bring readers the thrills, chills and OMFG moments that will keep them hooked.
Character-wise, I have to say this was one mixed up bag of dysfunctional peeps! DI Amy Winter is a strong female lead with dark secrets she doesn’t want her colleagues to find out about- can’t say I blame her. I mean, how would you trust a police officer to serve & protect you if you knew that their birth parents were bloody serial killers, right!? I loved that Amy was emotionally void at times – because of her childhood – but that she didn’t come across as being insensitive. I will certainly be following this series to see where the author goes next with DI Winter!
Lillian Grimes and the rest of the Grimes’ clan – well jaysus…master manipulator, Lillian is still pulling her children’s strings from behind bars. Although I may not have liked what she did, I loved this character. I also enjoyed the way that the author showed how two completely different upbringings (Amy vs her siblings) could lead to very different adult lives. The nature vs nurture debate has always fascinated me, and in many of my own work experiences, I came across individuals who I often wondered whether they had different role models, would they have ended up doing something more productive with their lives. (I was a Senior Probation Officer – so this always intrigued me) – when a book makes me think- especially a fictional one…well, that’s a winner for me!
The baddies were bad and even some of the goodies had the questionable streak of badness – hidden beneath the surface and leave the reader wondering. Like I said before – so many questions!
Would I recommend this book? Well, let me think about that for a minute….DUH!! Hell yeah I would – over and over again! This book has everything I love in my crime fiction: a #killerhook, interesting and relatable characters, a kickass storyline and of course – the OMFG moments that leave you screaming at the pages! I seriously can’t wait to see what is next in store for DI Winter’s and the rest of the team – as I hear that when her secret is out…well- let’s just wait and see, shall we? Grab a copy of this fantastic new series and see what everyone else thinks by following the blog tour below: