I was intrigued to receive an email from Rachel Amphlett, offering me an ARC of her new book #ScaredToDeath along with a spot on her #BlogTour. I read the book blurb and a wee bit about Rachel and thought #HellYes what is not to like about this book and author!
A serial killer murdering for kicks.
A detective seeking revenge.
When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.
With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…
Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller from author Rachel Amphlett, in a new series introducing Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…
My Review: 4/5
The first chapter in the book certainly sets the pace for this novel – a young girl’s parents are frantically driving around an industrial estate looking for their missing daughter and their terror is palpable in this opening gambit. This was a fast paced heart pounding read; a young girl is kidnapped for a measly ransom and when her body is found everyone thinks it is a kidnapping gone wrong but there is more to this than meets the eye. The story continues to pick up pace and keeps on running right up to the end. The reader is introduced to the killer early on so it isn’t a whodunnit as such but more of a whydunnit and just what are they going to find during their investigations. However despite the identity of the killer being known there are still lots of plot twists to keep you on edge!
Scared to Death gives us bullying, dysfunctional families and trust as its main themes; we are aware that there has been a previous issue with Kay Hunter in her professional life and hints are dropped throughout about a previous Professional Standards Investigation which her superior DCI Larch will just not let go and Kay doesn’t know who on her team that she can really trust; bullying is addressed through the actions of both the victims and of the perpetrator’s past – these all tie up nicely into the plot.
The perpetrator is a nasty character indeed but there is a certain empathy there as the past is uncovered and just how that past keeps on creeping up! The victims and their parents actually irritated me – I just didn’t feel a sense of pity for them when reading the book just a frustration at their lack of insight into their daughters’ lives. This isn’t a criticism though as I love a character or two that I don’t bond with in a book and it’s a clever thing to do as a writer – to create a character that you dislike but yet care enough about to want to read the book.
Scared to Death had my heart racing, I felt the fear of the victims, I was claustrophobic when reading about their ordeals; it moved along at a pace fast enough for me to revel and gave me the plot twists I crave in a book. Kay Hunter is a complex character and this book only scrapes the surface of who she is and what really is going on in her life. I haven’t read any of Rachel’s books before and this was an excellent start to a new series and I look forward to reading more!
Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.
An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.
To buy Rachel’s books then head on over to Amazon and get clicking