Review of ‘The Doll Maker’ by Claire Highton-Stevenson

‘The Doll Maker’ is a seriously impressive thriller. It is gripping, well-written and an excellent example of the genre. It deserves to get recognition and should definitely appeal to a wider audience. I can see it transferring perfectly to TV – and if Ms Highton-Stevenson continues the story into a series, it should get snapped up. 

DI Sophie Whitton is on the trail of a serial killer – one who leaves macabre-looking dolls by the bodies of the victims. Her home life is a mess as she finds her relationship with her lover Yvonne becoming more and more strained. The story is disturbing and deals with unpalatable subjects. The realism is stark and the writing captures every nuance. The author has quite a turn of phrase and her descriptions of characters are so well done that I had no problem visualising exactly what she was getting at. As the story progresses the suspense is ratcheted up perfectly. I was on the edge of my seat. I really enjoyed ‘The Doll Maker’ and highly recommend it. I can’t wait for the next one!

I was given this ARC for review.

Review of ‘The Last First Time’ by Andrea Bramhall

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I certainly hope this isn’t the last time we get to read about Gina and Kate. This third instalment is a highly topical story revolving around terrorism in the U.K. and the Norfolk Police force trying to deal with it on their patch. Both women get caught up in different ways and the heightened emotions as a result are raw, real and strengthen their relationship. Andrea Bramhall manages to weave a few different threads through the story. Gina becomes involved in an issue from the past that intrigued me. We also find out about Kate’s past when her ex comes back on the scene. There were also some surprises that I didn’t see coming. The writing was immersive and perfectly pitched and I just hope there is more to come. The story development was such that I can see the series running and running. An excellent book.

I was given this ARC by Ylva in return for an honest review.