Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt
|Tick Tock by Mel Sherratt|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Book 2 in the DS Grace Allendale series reads perfectly well as a standalone, but I think there are several spoilers for book one, which I haven't read. A good story for a lazy weekend.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 376/9h22m||Date: May 2019|
|External links: Author's website|
We're in Stoke on Trent. A group of young women who study at Dunwood Academy are running the cross-country course. One of them - Lauren Ansell - stops behind to tie her shoelace and is murdered, to the shock and devastation of her friends. Twins Courtney and Caitlin Piggott, Sophie Bishop and Teagan Cole cling together for support - or do do as much as they can given that their parents are understandably reluctant to let them out of their sight. One of the parents is journalist Simon Cole, boyfriend of DS Grace Allendale, who is charged with investigating the murder under the guidance of DI Nick Carter. It's a struggle to keep their professional lives separate.
Allendale has a good team around her in the incident room. There's DC Sam Monkton, DC Perry Wright who's the office manager and Dave Barnett the senior crime scene investigating officer. She's thankful that they seem to have moved past earlier difficulties which involved her own family. Although I haven't read book one of this series I suspect that there are major spoilers for that book. If the concept of the series appeals to you it might be better to start with Hush Hush, the first book in the series.
There's a well-developed cast of characters falling broadly into three groups - the kids, the teachers and the police - and they all came off the page well. I particularly liked the teachers, with some of them being suspiciously close to the children: there was a real atmosphere of suspicion. Nathan Stiller, the headmaster, and Jason Tranter who ran the youth club were well drawn. The city of Stoke is a character in its own right and I felt as though I knew it.
I was less impressed by the plot. At one point I put it down and completely forgot about it for a few days. When I went back to it I had to go back a few chapters to remind myself about what had happened. As I got further in, the story became more compelling and the denouement came as a complete surprise: I had someone else inked in as the murderer!
Would I read the next book in the series? Yes, I think I would. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
My favourite series at the moment is Jane Casey's Maeve Kerrigan series.
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