Detective Natalie Ward #4 by Carol Wyer
Fourteen year old Roxy told her mum she was going to sleep over at her best friend Ellie’s house. Ellie practically lives next door, so what could go wrong, right?
When Roxy turns up dead in a burning house in a well off part of town, it’s clear a lot can go wrong and little white lies can get you in a heap of trouble.
What is Roxy doing there in the first place, and how did she end up dead? What is her connection with the owners of this beautiful mansion? Her mother is not telling Natalie everything and Ellie refuses to talk.
Detective Natalie Ward is on the case and she will not stop her investigation until she has her answers. But shortly after Roxy’s death, her mother Cathy goes missing. Only to turn up dead as well. Are these killings connected? Or are they just a morbid coincidence?
Natalie’s investigation takes her to the wealthiest and poorest parts of town, as she tries to figure out the connection. When a teenage boy ends up dead as well it becomes an even greater race against the clock to find the responsible parties.
Part of a series yet stand alone
This is book 4 in the Detective Natalie Ward series. I haven’t read any of the previous books (yet) so I wondered if this instalment was readable without having read the previous ones. It passed the test with flying colours. It’s perfectly readable as a standalone book.
Carol Wyer did a great job in creating a book that has that “series” feel to it without loosing the possibility for readers to jump right in with book 4 as a standalone book.
The characters are dimensional and I was torn between liking them and feeling sorry for them on one page and disliking them the next. They are not just all good or all bad, just like people in real life. Which makes for a very appealing read.
It’s a gripping story, with a lot of suspects but the reveal of the actual killer still surprised me. Sometimes a lot of suspects can make a book feel cluttered and side tracked. Yet the amount of suspects here seemed fitting for this book.
While Natalie conducts her investigation she also has to keep her private life on track. She struggles in her marriage and her relationship with her children is far from perfect. It’s nice to see a detective with a private life in books. It makes them feel more human and easier to connect and relate to.
Overall Carol Wyer wrote a wonderful book that will appeal to a lot of readers who enjoy the crime thriller genre.
The Sleepover is available from September 5, 2019
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.