Hush Hush by Mel Sherratt – Blog Tour Review.

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About The Book

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?

My Review

With thanks to the publishers for the copy received. The book starts with a murder. The more you find out about this man in the flashbacks throughout the novel made me feel little sympathy for his death. He was a horrible man whose actions had severe repercussions for the rest of his family. His murder is only the first and occurs before Grace returns to Stoke. It is the subsequent murders that she has to try to solve but she does have a connection to him. And it is that connection to him that could stop her becoming part of the team in her home town.
His actions are described in the book from a child’s point of view. You see the fear and upset over the violence shown to a mother but much of it is from listening to what is happening. It’s different to what I’ve read before and at times chilling.
Grace was a character who I warmed to instantly. Still struggling after the loss of her husband and mother she has moved back down to Stoke. Whilst the move could be good for her it also brings back unwelcome memories and brings her into contact with family she wants to have no contact with. But she has a stubborn streak, is determined to be honest with her new colleagues and solve the murders that are happening. I was willing her to succeed and not feel threatened by events that were happening in modern-day and the memories of her childhood.
I loved the descriptions of Stoke, it’s somewhere I’ve never been. It must be easy to over describe a place you know well and I found it worked perfectly here. I had a feeling of the area, with its history. places to see and places to go. And the oatcakes.
I really enjoyed Mel’s Allie Shenton series so was looking forward to what her new series would be like. I was delighted that there were some characters that had reappeared.
It is good news that book two will be released in Spring 2019.I am looking forward to seeing Grace and her team become good friends.

Hush Hush Blog Tour - November

My Publication Day with Mel Sherratt

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Today, it is my pleasure to welcome Mel Sherratt to my blog to talk about what publication day means to her. Mel has published books that are part of a series and also standalone novels. Her latest novel was published earlier this week and is available to buy here

My Publication Day.

How will you spend the day?

I’ll be on social media for most of it. I interact a lot with my readers so there are blog posts and my website to update, newsletters to send out, messages to reply to as people share my news and a four hour online party with giveaways. It’s great fun, if somewhat tiring.

Will you be following reviews from early readers or do you prefer not to know?

I read every review that comes in on Amazon. It’s great when readers like the book, but not so good if not. For instance, getting a one star review last year from a reviewer that had received an early review copy was like someone blowing candles out on your birthday cake. So it’s both an exciting and a nerve-wracking time. But equally I want to know if the book hit the right spot for my loyal readers. That’s very important to me.

Is it emotional, getting the novel you have worked on for months into the public
eye?

Yes, it’s a definite labour of love. And it’s also such an amazing feeling when someone mentions to you that they liked something in the book which made them feel an emotion that you wanted them to feel too.

If you have had books published before, does the feeling change?

No. She Did It is my fourteenth published novel and yet I still get the same sense of trepidation on launch day and beyond. I’m glad I get it though – I would never want to become complacent.

I often wonder and imagine that when your novel is published and you have been
working on at least one novel since, is the book that is published less important?
And is it a distraction, welcome or otherwise having to focus on what is for you
old material?

I’ve been working fast and furious getting books out for the past two years. So to a certain point it is like a job in the sense that as soon as one is finished, you are right on to the next one (or in my case, working on two at the same time.) Yes, you can forget what the one being published is about – I went for an interview with Audible books and was asked about book one in a series and as I had just finished book two, my mind went completely blank and had to talk about the series character instead.

Do blog tours make you more nervous or do you see them as beneficial?

I haven’t done a blog tour this time but as I know a lot of the bloggers, some of them have kindly offered to put their reviews on their blogs or asked me to do a guest post, or a Q&A like this one. I don’t get nervous about them. I see them as hugely beneficial. Their reach can be far and might peak the interest of someone who has never read any of my books before. There are a lot of passionate bloggers (something I have touched on in She Did It) who give up their time. I’m grateful to them all.

What is your publication day treat? Champagne, cream cake, 10km run?

If I ever have a full day to enjoy one, I’ll let you know! But I definitely have a glass of something chilled and a large slice of something gooey at the end of it.

Thanks very much, Mel, for taking the time to answer my questions. I have the book on my kindle and will read it very soon.
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About the Book

A successful businesswoman, Tamara enjoys her champagne lifestyle to the full. At least, that is the front she displays to the world. As well as being lonely, she’s running out of money. A promising new member of staff brings the injection of fresh blood needed to win the contract that will turn things around.

Working for Tamara is a perfect ruse for Esther. But, along with fake references and qualifications, she also has a plan for revenge. Sensing Tamara’s vulnerability, Esther uses their acquaintance as a way of getting close to someone who hurt her in the past.

Tamara is keeping things secret. Esther has a dark side she is trying to hide. For both of them, lying is a habit. But when mistakes begin to catch up with Esther, and people start dying, Tamara realises she’s chosen the wrong person to trust as a friend.

Only The Brave by Mel Sherratt.

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About the Book

When one of the notorious Johnson brothers is murdered and a bag of money goes missing, a deadly game of cat and mouse is set in motion.
DS Allie Shenton and her team are called in to catch the killer, but the suspects are double-crossing each other and Allie has little time to untangle the web of lies.
As she delves deeper into the case, things take a personal turn when Allie realises she is being stalked by the very same person who attacked her sister seventeen years ago and left her for dead.
Set over forty-eight tension-filled hours, Only the Brave is the latest gut-churning book from acclaimed author Mel Sherratt.

My Review

When I first met Allie Shenton in Mel Sherratt’s debut novel I liked her very much and thought the storyline fantastic. Equally so in the follow up but then I did my usual trick of falling behind with a series. When I eventually got around to reading the third book it didn’t take me long to pick up where I left off.
The books are very closely linked, there is a very strong thread running through the series so if you haven’t read the previous two you might struggle slightly. They are very good though so I would recommend them anyway.
When the body of a local man is found on a rough estate there are plenty of suspects. Most of them are known to the police and having appeared earlier in the series also the reader. Some of them are victims but there are also some nasty characters, all of them very believable. Allie is struggling, her sister’s health has deteriorated and the case is very intense. The team are desperate to solve quickly and Allie hasn’t been as truthful with anybody about a continuous personal threat.
I have read two of Mel’s series of books now and whilst enjoying The Estate Series I like this one more. Allie is a character I really like, she isn’t a senior officer, constantly has to answer for her actions to her superior officers and keep her marriage on an even keel. Her marriage feels real, they are devoted to each other and her husband understands her commitment to her job and her guilt over her sister. I felt that a lot of research has been done, talking to serving officers on how they keep everything level. The case was also believable, you often see on the news about ongoing ‘situations’ in real life cases like the one that features in the book.
This book seemed to provide closure to a few of the storylines but I would love it if there will be more in the series.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received via NetGalley.