The Secret Admirer - Carol Wyer

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

‘I tried to talk to you today but you snubbed me and walked away. It wasn’t wise to give me the brush-off, Gemma. I can be a truly good friend but I also make the perfect enemy.’
Sasha’s eighteen-year-old daughter Gemma was all she had in the world. Sasha fell pregnant with Gemma when she was still at school, and the two are as close as sisters. So when Gemma’s burned and broken body is found, Sasha’s world ends. What kind of person would want her beautiful daughter dead?
Leading the case is Detective Natalie Ward, scarred by her own recent tragedy. When she finds a note in Gemma’s diary from a ‘secret admirer’, she moves quickly, determined to un-mask them. But interviews with Gemma’s devastated ex-boyfriend, and her charismatic teacher, who has been seen embracing his student far away from the classroom, don’t give Natalie the answers she’d hoped for… And then the case takes a devastating, personal twist. CCTV footage reveals Natalie’s estranged husband David followed Gemma home every evening the week before she died.
Natalie is forced to put personal feelings aside and follow procedure, even though she can’t believe David could be guilty. But when Gemma’s housemate is found murdered, Natalie thinks the killer could still be at large. Is she right to trust her instincts about David and can she discover the truth before another precious life is taken?

My Thoughts:

After the emotional turmoil that Carol Wyer put us through with the previous book in this series ‘The Blossom Twins,’ I went into this latest instalment with very realistic expectations. I knew that there wasn’t any possibility of it being able to reach that height once again. The Blossom Twins had been in a league of its own; it had a very unique and one-off storyline that could never be replicated. It had had a shock factor that if tried to be repeated, it would become hackneyed. It needs to remain unparalleled as a sort of beacon in the Natalie Ward franchise. That said, how on earth could the storyline continue after reaching such dizzying heights?
Carol does an amazing job with the segue from the previous book to this one; we get to see Natalie dealing with the fallout and coming to terms with her new reality. I think if a book can be a tribute to a previous book, then this complimented it perfectly. There is a good balance throughout the book between this and the current investigation. I was expecting there to be too much of one or the other, but it did all sit so well together. It all blended and flowed and you were once again along for the ride as part of not only the team investigating the heinous crimes but also the Ward’s tragedy.
The storyline of this book is very complicated, and I did wonder at one point if it was a little over-complicated. However, it did all come together in the end, and we do get all the answers. Carol’s writing is undoubtedly flourishing and developing as the books progress. If the Blossom Twins had never have happened, I’d say that this one was better than ‘The Sleepover’. I think at the time that I read that; I said it that was better than ‘The Dare’. So they really are getting better and better with a little spike of excellence, of course there with book five.
There are lots of twists and turns and shocks you don’t expect. You are really kept guessing the whole way through the book. I did think we were going to get another BIG shock at one point and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but I’m glad with the way she went.
I agreed with Carol’s note at the end about David, he has been deplorable throughout the series, but you really start to feel for him in this book. He has become a shell of himself, and your feelings towards him really do begin to change after everything he has been though.
This book left me the same way books 1-4 did, very satisfied having read an incredible crime novel and being engrossed with a fantastic detective team. There were no tears the way there was with book five. Book five left me bereft for weeks, this one didn’t have the same effect, but I didn’t expect it to. So even though this isn’t going to leave the lasting impression The Blossom Twins did; I think the Natalie Ward series as a whole will do. I’m already excited for the next instalment, and Carol has promised in her note at the end that Natalie will endure more problems and shocks. So I am eager and impatient to find out what is in store for her in the next book. Thank you, Carol, for writing the perfect follow-on book!

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The Secret Admirer
by Carol Wyer
Date Started
16th February 2020
Date Finished
18th February 2020
Rating
Buy Now on Amazon