The Damselfly – SJI Holliday

32927491What the blurb says:

Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She’s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie’s luck runs out.

Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie’s death. And it’s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brother’s mysterious friend?

With Banktoun’s insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands . . .

My review: 5/5

I have read the first two in the Banktoun series (BlackWood and Willow Walk) so I was delighted when Susi contacted me and asked if I’d be willing to read and review the 3rd in the Banktoun trilogy, #TheDamselFly I really didn’t need to be asked twice & happily bumped it up my #TBR pile to get it read in time for publication!

It is possible to read this as a standalone, as it is with the other two. I think reading the other two first gives you the certain nuances, the background to the people and the history of this quiet little town that you might miss out on otherwise. But if that is not a good excuse to go and read the other two now, then what is! And if you want to jump into book three then you will be dying to go read Books 1&2 as soon as you put it down!

#TheDamselFly gives us old and new characters in this tightly knit plot surrounding the death of 17-year-old Katie Taylor. Polly McAllister has returned to Banktoun as the School Counsellor and she finds herself hauled into the midst of the investigation as she assists the police with interviews with Katie’s peers in the school. Davie Gray, now a DS is in charge of the investigation into Katie’s death and this proves to be no easy task in a small town like Banktoun with its small town gossip mill working overtime!

I picked up this book and was hauled through it at a great rate of noughts – from the beginning through to the very last page the pace just kept ramping up a notch leaving you breathless – be prepared to be occupied for a while reading this one!

I’ve loved Davie Gray’s character since the first book and here we see him grow and develop, I warm to him immediately and can see him in the role working in a town like Banktoun – firm but fair, Davie is fast growing to be one of my favourite detectives in Scottish Crime Fiction. What I love about Susi’s development of characters is that she has got that small town character down to a T – each and every character has a quirk, a secret to hide or a past that they are desperately trying to change. You could be walking down any street in a small town in Scotland, so real are her characters.

#TheDamselFly provides us with an exploration of some topical themes throughout, including the use of social media, mob mentality and vigilantism – all which work exceptionally well in this novel

 I have loved each of the books in the trilogy but I am not going to lie – #TheDamselFly is by far my favourite – it’s like a building crescendo reading this series and I can promise that you are not going to be disappointed!

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