The Sleepover - Carol Wyer

Reading Challenge Category: Free ARC from NetGalley

Official Blurb:

Roxy had a secret. Now she’s gone.
When fourteen-year-old Roxy says she’s going for a sleepover at her best friend Ellie’s house, Cathy sees no reason to check her daughter’s story. The two families are neighbours, and the girls are in and out of each other’s homes every day.
It is a decision she will regret. A day later, Roxy is found murdered in exclusive Linnet Lane, miles across town, in a house owned by two brothers with no apparent connection to Roxy. Detective Natalie Ward, called to lead the investigation, is determined to get to the bottom of why Roxy was in the basement of this grand Victorian mansion when she should have been eating chocolate in her pyjamas with her best friend.
As Natalie begins to look closely at Roxy’s stepfather and three brothers, she discovers that Roxy had recently been admitted to hospital with suspicious injuries. Her mother Cathy seems very jumpy and Ellie refuses to talk. Who are the people that knew Roxy best in the world protecting?  Then Roxy’s mother Cathy disappears.
When Cathy’s body is discovered close to where her daughter was found, Natalie is forced to face the grim fact that the killer is just getting started. She is troubled by the reaction of Roxy’s brother Seth to the tragedies and when his alibi falls through she brings him in for questioning, certain she is making headway.
But while Seth is in custody, one of Roxy’s school friends is found murdered and Natalie knows she must cast her net wider. Things take a more sinister turn when Ellie vanishes, her mobile phone switched off. What is Ellie hiding about the night Roxy died that could put her in terrible danger? And can Natalie work it out before another innocent life is taken?

My Thoughts:

This was by far the best of the DI Natalie Ward books, and the first three have been fantastic, so this is saying a lot! I’m not sure what it is that made this the best so far. I think it was a variety of things. The storyline was unique and unparalleled, and nothing was too obvious, and the perpetrator wasn’t easy to guess. Natalie really seems to be finding her stride, and we had a little more of her home life. The team is really gelling now, and everything is coming together. It all just worked.
A lot is happening in this investigation, and at one point, I even wondered if they were going to be able to crack it as all the clues were dead ends. As with all the other books, you are privy to everything that is being investigated and the outcomes. This is until the very end where we are kept in the dark for a small period of time to build up the suspense for the finale and revealing of the culprit!
The characters were really well developed and so diverse. Some of their actions were shocking, and I thought more than once yeah he’s the baddie. I didn’t guess correctly at all, though. Not the murderer nor the motives. It took me completely by surprise, which is always exciting. So even though we had all the facts laid out for us, I found out at the same time as the detectives were piecing it together. For me, this displays a well thought out plot and storyline. It has been executed perfectly and brilliantly written.
I’m very excited to learn that the fifth instalment is out in December so not long to wait. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with David and Mike. The ending was intriguing. I’m not a big fan of Davids, and I found it highly amusing that the author admits to not really liking him either in her author’s note at the end. I just want to give him a big shake and tell him to sort himself out. So what he hasn’t got a ‘job’. He does, and that is supporting Natalie, who works a million hours and children who although push him away still need him. This is a testament to the author writing the character perfectly if his reactions can elicit an emotional response towards him from the reader.
A first-rate and five-star read!

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The Sleepover
by Carol Wyer
Date Started
19th July 2019
Date Finished
21st July 2019
Buy Now on Amazon