A dead body, a bag of money, and a group of people all lying to the police and each other. Only the Brave by Mel Sherratt is third in the DS Allie Shenton books set in the Midlands city of Stoke-on-Trent. The sub-plot is a strong storyline here and it weaves in and out of the murder investigation throughout the book: Allie’s beloved sister Karen is expected to die within days. With a head full of grief, guilt, regrets and love for her sister, Allie confronts the underworld of Stoke to find the killer. Is the city’s crime lord Terry Ryder behind it all, even from his prison cell?
Mel Sherratt’s books are good value easy-read novels which get you hooked from page one and don’t let you go. As Karen lies in hospital, Allie must work out which petty criminal is lying to who and why, who has the most to gain and whose fingers are covertly dictating the action. And all the while she dreads having to question Terry Ryder in prison, the man she found herself attracted to despite all her instincts and her much-loved husband Mark. And to top it all, Allie senses someone is following her. Is her imagination running riot? Is it lack of sleep, or stress? Or is she being trailed by the attacker who put Karen into her coma seventeen years earlier?
If I have one criticism, it is that at times it moves too fast. I felt a little like a rabbit in the headlights and would have liked a few pages to catch my breath, to let the clues sink in and try to work out for myself whodunit.
‘Only the Brave’ by Mel Sherratt, #3 Allie Shenton [UK: Thomas & Mercer] Buy now
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