“Death’s Silent Judgement is the thrilling sequel to Dancers in the Wind, and continues the gripping series starring London-based investigative journalist Hannah Weybridge.
Following the deadly events of Dancers in the Wind, freelance journalist and single mother Hannah Weybridge is thrown into the heart of a horrific murder investigation when a friend, Liz Rayman, is found with her throat slashed at her dental practice.
With few clues to the apparently motiveless crime Hannah throws herself into discovering the reason for her friend’s brutal murder, and is determined to unmask the killer.
But before long Hannah’s investigations place her in mortal danger, her hunt for the truth placing her in the path of a remorseless killer…”
I am absolutely delighted to be part of the Death’s Silent Judgement blog tour today alongside the lovely Linda of Linda’s Book Bag. I would also like to wish author, Anne Coates and publisher Urbane Books a very happy publication day! I read and reviewed the first book in the Hannah Weybridge series, Dancers in the Wind last year. If you missed that review or would just like a reminder, click here to read my thoughts. I really enjoyed the first book so was thrilled to be asked to join the blog tour for Death’s Silent Judgement.
Being reacquainted with Hannah Weybridge once again was great. Dancers in the Wind has very much stayed with me since I read it last year and I often just stop and think about Hannah. She’s a struggling journalist but also a single mum to one year old Elizabeth. In the first book Hannah just seemed to attract trouble wherever she went so I was keen to see if the same would happen in the second book. And it certainly does! Hannah discovers her friend’s recently murdered body in a church basement. Her friend, Liz Rayman, has recently returned from a stint volunteering at an outpost in Somalia. On her return to London and as a qualified dentist, she was recruited by the local parish priest to offer free dental treatment to those living on the streets. But whilst the priest is absent one evening, Liz is brutally murdered. All of the signs point to one of the homeless people Liz was trying to help but Hannah can’t and won’t believe that theory. Tasked by Liz’s mother to investigate, Hannah sets out to discover exactly why her friend was so brutally killed. But what Hannah doesn’t realise is that she’s getting involved in something much bigger than she expects. This goes way beyond the murder of her friend and into darker territory than she ever imagined.
I found the Dancers in the Wind to be quite a gritty, raw read. Unfortunately between the first and the second book something has been lost. I’m afraid to say that I didn’t get that edginess this time around. Hannah came across as a nice, middle class mother who could easily afford to employ a nanny to look after her child whilst she went undercover in Cardboard City for a few hours, only to return to her comfortable home and sleeping baby. I felt as though she had lost a lot of the ‘struggle’ which I really liked in the first book.
It may of course be something to do with the friction and the chemistry created by love interest DI Tom Jordan being completely absent. Tom was working in the US throughout much of the story and was only available by telephone. I really missed having this character involved in the investigation.
There is a new DI in Tom’s place for Hannah to deal with but I found her quite contrary. DI Claudia Turner blows hot and cold and I couldn’t work her out at all. I hope Tom returns in the next book and DI Turner is only seen in passing. When I think of this series I always tend to think of Hannah AND Tom so was maybe a little disappointed that the hunky DI felt too far away to be properly involved.
Something I haven’t mention in this or my previous review is that these books are set in the early to mid-nineties which I love. There were several points when I thought ‘Oh, why doesn’t Hannah do that?’ only to realise that THAT hadn’t been invented back in 1994! I left school around 1994 and I was just starting to take an interest in the world around me so it does feel a little nostalgic and who doesn’t love a little nostalgia in their reads?
The plot was fast moving and kept my attention from start to finish. Even now, several days after finishing Death’s Silent Judgement I feel there are loose ends which I can’t tie up in my own mind. Now this may to enable a third book in the series but I am left feeling a little confused and wondering.
Death’s Silent Judgement is the second book in the Hannah Weybridge series so I would recommend reading Dancers in the Wind first so you get to know the characters and their backgrounds.
Would I recommend this book? I would. I love Anne Coates’ writing and I would read more of Anne’s work in a heartbeat. Dancers in the Wind is, in my opinion, the superior book but this one is definitely worth a read.
Three and a half out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Death’s Silent Judgement. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Death’s Silent Judgement by Anne Coates was published in the UK by Urbane Publications on 11th May 2017 and is available in paperback and eBook formats | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
All my life I have loved reading and writing. As a child I devoured books (following my mother’s example) and was encouraged by the Deputy Head at my secondary school. It was a brand new school and the actual library was not then open so books were stored in a room off his study. He allowed me to exchange books whenever I wanted which seemed an amazing privilege.
After reading for a degree in English and French, I came to London to begin my career and never left. Having worked for various publishers, I then moved to magazine journalism before becoming a freelance writer, editor and translator.
My first non-fiction books were written after the birth of my daughter Olivia (who is still known to friends as Libby) and some have been inspired by her or various stages in her life. It is an absolute joy for me that she shares my love of books, theatre, cinema as well as wining and dining.
My freelance journalism has led me to some strange places – for example a gas platform in the North Sea via helicopter – but I love how it has also informed my fiction. The idea for Dancers in the Wind emerged after I had interviewed a prostitute and then wondered “what if…”.