“Twenty years ago, Tatia was adopted into a well-off home where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident, and she gets the blame.
Did she do it?
Tatia is cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Poppy. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she sees families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while they are gone. But somehow, people keep ending up dead.
Did she kill them?
As bodies start to appear in supposedly safe neighbourhoods, DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake’s secret past is threatening to destroy everything.”
I am delighted to welcome you to damppebbles today and to my stop on the It Was Her blog tour. It Was Her is written by ex-blogger and journalist, Mark Hill and was published by Sphere on 17th May 2018. This is the second book in the DI Ray Drake series. The first book, His First Lie (originally published as ‘The Two O’Clock Boy’) I thoroughly enjoyed and you can read my review by clicking HERE.
I was really looking forward to being reacquainted with DI Drake and DS Flick Crowley, having enjoyed His First Lie as much as I did. But before we go any further, a word to the wise. There’s something really quite special and different about this series and some things, although expertly explained and recapped by the author, work so much better if you read them first hand. You get that spine-tingling shock factor, that unexpected ‘WOW’ moment that you just can’t get via a recap. I may get in trouble for saying this but PLEASE read His First Lie first. It’ll give you goosebumps and you’ll learn exactly who you are dealing with in Ray Drake. Now don’t get me wrong, Hill has done a terrific job of giving new readers an overview of what happened to Ray as a child but no matter how expert the writing, this is one series that you should experience, from the beginning, yourself.
I’ll climb down off of my soapbox now (more of a biscuit tin really…) and get on with reviewing It Was Her! DI Ray Drake is a troubled man. DS Flick Crowley is dealing with her own demons which are all due to Drake, her boss and his troubled past. I found Flick hard to like in the first book. It Was Her has completely changed my opinion. They’re an odd couple, but I really like them. There’s a wonderful sense of impending doom about the two of them; the knowledge that if either of them says the wrong thing, confides in the wrong person then life could drastically change for both. They’re bound together by secrets, whether they like it or not.
One of the things I’m growing to love about reading a Mark Hill novel is his flair for writing interesting, well-developed characters. Although this book is all about DI Drake his supporting cast are solid, believable characters who all contribute to the storyline. Hill has, however, outdone himself with the toxic Bliss family. Tatia is the ‘adopted’ (although not through the normal, legal channels) middle sister of the family. Poppy is the older sister, Joel is the younger brother and Will died at a young age when he fell from a clifftop whilst on holiday with his family. Tatia was blamed for the ‘accident’ and sent home to an orphanage in Georgia and a life of poverty, abuse and degradation. The scars run deep and all Tatia wants is a beautiful home of her own and her family reunited. So much so that breaking and entering doesn’t seem that big-a-deal. But then the owners of the properties start dying in violent circumstances and Tatia becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Did she do it? Only DI Drake and DS Crowley can discover the truth…
Every so often throughout the story, there are flashbacks to x number of days or weeks after Will fell from the cliff. These chapters give the reader a great insight into the workings of the Bliss family and how events have turned out the way they have. I’m afraid I did my usual and tried to work out whodunit before it was revealed. I did guess the perpetrator but oh my gosh, that ending was NOT expected!
Would I recommend this book? I would but do start with His First Lie as it gives you the necessary background. DI Drake is a fascinating and complex character and it helps to understand his experience and his motivations before reading It Was Her. Deliciously dark characters, a poisonous middle-class family and a detective inspector with more to hide than most! Another thoroughly enjoyable read from Mark Hill.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an ARC of It Was Her. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
It Was Her by Mark Hill was published in the UK by Sphere on 17th May 2018 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the following links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
I’ve been a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer. I worked for about five minutes in PR.
But I write now, which is just as well, because I love writing. It’s my dream job.
It’s nice to see you here, thanks for clicking.
If you enjoyed His First Lie or It Was Her, do get in touch. There are oh-so-many ways to do it!