Title: The Sleepover
Author: Carol Wyer
Publication Date: 5th September 2019
This book was received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
About the book:
Roxy had a secret. Now she’s gone.
When fourteen-year-old Roxy says she’s going for a sleepover at her best friend Ellie’s house, Cathy sees no reason to check her daughter’s story. The two families are neighbours, and the girls are in and out of each other’s homes every day.
It is a decision she will regret. A day later, Roxy is found murdered in exclusive Linnet Lane, miles across town, in a house owned by two brothers with no apparent connection to Roxy. Detective Natalie Ward, called to lead the investigation, is determined to get to the bottom of why Roxy was in the basement of this grand Victorian mansion when she should have been eating chocolate in her pyjamas with her best friend.
As Natalie begins to look closely at Roxy’s stepfather and three brothers, she discovers that Roxy had recently been admitted to hospital with suspicious injuries. Her mother Cathy seems very jumpy and Ellie refuses to talk. Who are the people that knew Roxy best in the world protecting?
Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears.
When Cathy’s body is discovered close to where her daughter was found, Natalie is forced to face the grim fact that the killer is just getting started. She is troubled by the reaction of Roxy’s brother Seth to the tragedies and when his alibi falls through she brings him in for questioning, certain she is making headway.
But while Seth is in custody, one of Roxy’s school friends is found murdered and Natalie knows she must cast her net wider. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. What is Ellie hiding about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?
I have absolutely flown through the first three books in the Detective Natalie Ward series, reading all three since June. I only posted my review of The Dare last week but I knew I was lucky enough to have an early copy of The Sleepover sitting on my kindle and I just had to go straight in and see what Natalie got up to next!
The Sleepover sees Natalie called in to investigate when a body is discovered in the aftermath of a house fire. Natalie is left questioning what came first, the dead body or the fire? Her job only gets more difficult when the victim’s mother is also found dead. With two rather unlikeable homeowners more interested in the insurance payout than the dead girl in their entertainment room, and people lying all around them will Natalie and her team be able to get to the truth?
You will by now be bored of me telling you just how well Carol manages to pull a story together, but once again she has worked her magic creating a compelling cast of characters and telling a story that will hook you in and not let you go until you reach the last pages. The action builds as the plot moves on, revealing just a little bit more every chapter, leaving you second guessing yourself, wondering if what appears to be a clue is actually a clue or a red herring, there to trip you up! I very much enjoyed following Natalie on her investigation, and I certainly got frustrated at the same people as she did!
There were some interesting developments for Natalie, particularly towards the end of The Sleepover, which I won’t spoil. However I’m intrigued and looking forward to discovering what they will mean for Natalie both personally and professionally going forwards.
Carol still has me worried about Natalie’s family, in The Dare I was busy worrying about Leigh, and this time it was Josh that had me concerned, over the course of the books he’s come across as a nice sensible teenager and I really hope the events of this book will stop him moving further down a worrying path. I’ll be the first to admit it would add some more drama to Natalie’s personal life, but I can’t help feeling she’s already dealing with enough! Leigh seems to be in a much better place than she was in the last book, but I’m wondering how she’ll deal with some of the things that may be on horizon… Then we have David… I’m still very much in the place where I know logically I should feel bad for him. There were some things he did in this story where I was willing him to make a different decision and he seems to be in danger of spiralling but I’m still struggling to actually like him… I think the next book will prove very interesting for the Ward family!
Lucy seemed to have a slightly more prominent role in The Sleepover and I thought it was great to see her connect with Ellie, and make some important progress for the case. At the same time it was great to see her become a little more confident over the prospect of becoming a mum in a few months! It was also great to see Murray being supportive with Ian, despite the sometimes turbulent relationship that they can have. And Mike… I have no words that wouldn’t be considered spoilers, but I had a bit of a smile on my face by the end…
There are not enough positive words in the English language to describe how I feel about this series from Carol, The Sleepover is another wonderful addition to the series! I loved the development at the end (this may make me a bad person but never mind). Carol tweeted only yesterday that she’d finished the first draft of the sixth book and it brings me great joy to know I have at least two more cases to follow Natalie through!
About The Author
Carol Wyer, is an award-winning author and stand up comedian who writes feel-good comedies and gripping thrillers. Her book, Grumpy Old Menopause won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction 2015.
The DI Robyn Carter series has earned her acclaim as a crime writer and the first book in the series, Little Girl Lost, shot to the #2 best-selling spot on Kindle #9 best-selling audiobook on Audible, and was also a USA Today top 150 best-seller.
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.
Carol is a signed author with Bookouture (part of the Hachette Group) Canelo and Delancey Press.
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