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Thursday, February 2, 2017


4 stars out of 5

When three women are attacked over a period of three days in the small city of Stockleigh, detective Eden Berrisford and her team on the relatively new Community Intelligence Team get serious about finding who's done them before someone else falls victim. Based on some of the terminology, I assume this is somewhere in the United Kingdom - my London-born-and-bred daughter-in-law provided answers straightaway to my questions about a couple. Who knew, for instance, that "bacon butties" and "chip butties" basically are sandwiches - one filled with a ton of bacon and the other with big fat fries (the skinny ones she's been subjected to now that she's living here in the states would never do, she emphasized).

Meantime, Eden helps her sister at a women's refuge, which provides shelter for those who have suffered from domestic abuse. There, she gets to know several of the here-and-gone-and back-again women such as Carla, whose husband, Ryan, just got out of jail. Carla has been forced to move several times since the death of their young daughter because Ryan has managed to track her down each time, but she's enjoyed a long respite while he was behind bars. Now, she's back to double-checking locks on doors and windows and looking over her shoulder at every step.

This is the second in the Eden Berrisford series, which I requested and received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Apparently, Eden's still-husband Danny unexpectedly walked out a couple of years earlier, leaving her with their daughter Casey (a situation I assume was outlined in greater detail in the first book). Now, Eden has found a significant other of sorts in Joe, although their relationship is a bit rocky - partly because Eden hasn't yet divorced Danny and partly because she throws her heart and soul into her work.

Chapters focus on the investigation into the attacks as well as what's going on (and happened previously) in the lives of the women at the shelter - complete with scenes that are rather graphic, for those bothered by such things. Readers also learn "secrets" in Eden's own life that she'd prefer to keep to herself. There's really nothing pleasant I can say about the story or any of the characters, except that the details of the investigation play out interestingly - with a few surprises tucked here and there - the action is pretty much nonstop (heating up near the end) and the whole thing is very well written. There's even an issue left dangling which, I presume, will be revisited in the next installment. I'm in!

Don't Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt (Bookouture, January 2017); 287 pp.

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