Heartlands (D I Jessie Blake) by Kerry Watts

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Heartlands (D I Jessie Blake) by Kerry Watts

Buy Heartlands (D I Jessie Blake) by Kerry Watts at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: Crime
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: The first in a new series, this book has promise and I'll definitely be looking for the next book in the series.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 272 Date: March 2019
Publisher: Bookouture
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-178681792

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The story had begun some twenty years earlier when two boys raped and killed Sophie Nicholl. Jack Mackay was - on the face of it - from a decent family, but he was the ringleader. Daniel Simpson was a follower, but he still raped Sophie and he could have stopped what happened but didn't. Sophie's body was found in a shallow grave by an enthusiastic cocker spaniel a few days later and the boys were arrested, tried and sentenced to five years in a young offenders institution. There were those who thought that the sentence was too lenient, even for fifteen-year-old boys and Sophie's elder brother, Tom, was one of these. He wasn't going to let the matter rest.

Twenty years on and in a different town - this time it's Invertochty in Perthshire - Shannon Ross disappeared. She'd been on her way to meet her best friend, Eric, for a thick shake, but never arrived. Her mother, Louise, was distraught. When DI Jessie Blake is sent to the town to investigate she discovers Shannon's notebook. Shannon's obviously been a keen observer of people: she knows who's sleeping with who when they shouldn't be and she's been writing it all down. There's the famous author with the pregnant wife who seems to be rather too fond of Shannon's mother, Louise. Then there's her father, Jason, who's never been quite the same since an accident in Iraq which was brushed under the carpet and which led to Jason's discharge from the army.

Jessie Blake obviously has some troubles in her past which she's keen to keep there. She's recently moved to Perthshire from the Met: the change of scenery suits her, but why is she so keen to ensure that her husband Dan doesn't find out where she is?

It's always a pleasure to find a new police procedural series: recently I seem to be joining the party when it's already got a good head of steam going. This is Kerry Watts' debut novel and I was quietly impressed. She handled quite a substantial cast of characters with panache (one or two stayed in my mind after I'd finished reading) although the women came off the page more fully-clothed than the men, but that's a minor quibble - I occasionally had to think who the men were, but the women stayed alive in my mind. I don't doubt that the increasing confidence of the next book will even this out.

The plot was good, although perhaps not as jaw-dropping as the blurb on Amazon might suggest, but it didn't disappoint. I worked out the two main plot reveals in advance, but by the law of averages I have to be right sometimes! It's the first book in a series (I gather that there are three books commissioned) and I'm keen to see what the next book has to offer. I'd like to thank the publishers for letting Bookbag have a copy for review purposes.

If you like this book you'll probably enjoy Bitter Edge (D I Kelly Porter) by Rachel Lynch.

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Buy Heartlands (D I Jessie Blake) by Kerry Watts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Heartlands (D I Jessie Blake) by Kerry Watts at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Heartlands (D I Jessie Blake) by Kerry Watts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Heartlands (D I Jessie Blake) by Kerry Watts at Amazon.com.


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