I am a huge fan of Mel Sherratt and I’m delighted to be a part of the Blog Tour for her latest novel, “Hush Hush”. Huge thanks to the publishers and to Mel for the advanced review copy.
Before I share my thoughts, here’s what the official blurb says:
A gripping new series from million-copy bestseller Mel Sherratt
A killer is on the loose, attacking people in places they feel most safe: their workplaces, their homes. It’s up to DS Grace Allendale to stop the murders and prove herself to her new team.
All clues lead to local crime family the Steeles, but that’s where things get complicated. Because the Steeles aren’t just any family, they’re Grace’s family. Two brothers and two sisters, connected by the violent father only Grace and her mother escaped.
To catch the killer, Grace will have to choose between her team and her blood. But who do you trust, when both sides are out to get you?
An unforgettable thriller that fans of MARTINA COLE and CARA HUNTER won’t be able to put down.
Hush Hush kicks off in 2017 with a brutal attack on George Steele as he staggers home from the pub. You’d be forgiven for having little sympathy for the man as his internal dialogue suggests that he is no Mr. Nice Guy and perhaps he is deserving of the beating he receives!
Moving along to 2018 and we are introduced to Grace Allendale who is on a night out with new colleagues following her promotion to DS. The evening is interrupted by the arrival of local gangsters, the Steele family, and friends,. Grace is about to divulge her family connections when her DI, Nick Carter steps in to stop her. Grace’s team think she is there for a fresh start following tragic events in her personal life, they have no idea that Grace fled from the area as a child with her mother to escape from the brutality of George Steele. When a body is found at the Steele gym panic sets in for Grace as she realises her first murder investigation is going to see her back in the bosom of her family.
Struggling to find her place in the team, Grace is really up against it; she finds it difficult to be deceitful with those she is working with and wants to come clean about her connections to them but Nick wants her to use her connections to get closer to the Steele’s and find out what’s been going on. I got a real sense of her internal struggle as she tried so desperately to find her place within a team who didn’t trust her. There was a real sense of Grace trying to work out her feelings for her half brothers and sister and when mysterious parcels started turning up for her Family Versus Professional loyalty came to the fore. It was clear that someone was trying to mess with her head but who…?
Narrated with flashbacks to her life with George Steele a real picture of Grace’s childhood is painted showing exactly what terrors and brutality she had to face and as family secrets unravel it soon becomes clear just what a monster George Steele really was. Lies and deceit run through the veins of each relationship uncovered and soon you don’t really know who can be trusted. Dark and gritty Hush Hush pulls no punches as the investigation into the murders ramps up. A sense of authenticity was created with Grace meeting up with her predecessor, DS Allie Shenton (who readers of Mel Sherratt’s books will recognise) This really rang true as people do move on in their careers and meet up in real life and this was replicated in the novel.
Grace’s family are a mixed bag and it was hard to know just how far they could be trusted and what they wanted from her. I really felt for her as she clearly feels a connection with them but is it a connection she wants to nurture or to bury and just how far will the Steele’s go to keep their sister out of their business?
I loved the relationship between Grace and DC Perry Wright; initially, he refused to accept Grace as she had taken the job that he believed was rightly his. Watching them forge a bond was brilliant and I do hope that they work together in future books. Another character that I enjoyed reading was the journalist, Simon Cole. It was great to see a journalist who was not cast as bitter and always pushing for a story. Will Grace be able to move on from her tragic background and find some happiness in her life? I cannot wait to find out!
Hush Hush is an excellent start to a new series from Mel Sherratt, you can always be guaranteed a fast-paced and gritty read from this writer. She pulls no punches as she makes the most of her own experience to create some dark and gritty crime drama that really deserves to become a TV series. I am already champing at the bit for the next installment of Grace Allendale’s life!
I was lucky enough to be at the Glasgow launch of “Hush Hush” last night and you can read about the event here!
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Named as one of my home town’s top 100 influential people 2018, I’m thrilled to have sold over one million books.
Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.