Format: Paperback. Published: Avon Books
Police Procedurals with grit and characters that get under your skin, Mel Sherratt is one of todays most foremost crime writers.
Opening with a young boy who has tragically fallen from a balcony in a block of flats, DS Grace Allendale happens to be on the scene to witness the aftermath, however, this is Harrison house on estate where no one talks and unsurprisingly no one saw anything. The parents will only say it was an accident. Grace is determined to keep digging and uncover the truth, at the hospital where the bot is taken another youth is badly beaten, can the two incidents be linked. As the story gathers pace it becomes apparent that getting to the truth is not that easy.
One aspect of any good police procedural is to believe that the timeline of events is realistic, and this book is no different, in that the action takes place over a few days, the plotting and scene setting of the book is spot on, as other crimes are committed and the action and tension ratchet up and slowly the lies and cover ups start to crumble
Mel Sherratt has a wonderful knack of writing realistic Police procedurals but adding that extra level of grit dealing with the unseemly characters in our society, her characters are always highly compelling and well rounded, it is so easy to believe in them and the lives they lead. Strangely i found myself getting drawn to Seth Forrester a criminal with ideas of grandeur and one all round nasty element who by the end you are willing to gets his come uppance. As much as the plot and crimes are central to the book, this is very much character driven and they give a real depth and feeling the storyline. Another element of this book I particularly found interesting is that it focuses more on the characters of the estate than on Grace and her colleagues, thus adding a different dimension to the storyline.
Also running through the book is a backstory to Ruby the young boys mother, which although not at first obvious is central to the plot and is cleverly interwoven into the present day
The book is in part about the choices we naively make at a young age and the paths we lead and the unwitting fall out and consequences which can follow
The third in the Grace Allendale series be prepared to be drawn into the seedy criminal underworld from the opening pages, a book that by the end will leave you gasping for Breath. Mel Sherratt has a a real depth and feeling combined with a style of writing that is guaranteed to keep the reader engaged
Mel Sherratt has now firmly cemented her place as one of my favourite authors and with Liar Liar she has delivered what will undoubtedly be one of my favourite reads of 2020. Know one quite does Gangland crime lie Mel
I cannot recommend this highly enough. 5*