The Broken Places by Rebecca Bradley – Review

About The Book

When Adrian Sykes is abducted in the night and brutally murdered, he leaves behind a pregnant wife, and no answers. Or are there? 

A secret unit within Nottinghamshire police has an angle, but it’s not one they’re willing to share. Information is hidden and secrets are kept. 

To firm up their case, undercover officer Molly Bell must enter the lion’s den to discover the truth, but it’s more difficult than expected. Secrets unravel, and a collision course is set. 

Suspended from duty and back from rehab, Detective Inspector Hannah Robbins is at home, patiently awaiting her misconduct hearing, when her past slams into her present. Will it drag Hannah under and finally destroy her, or can she face it head-on and survive? 

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. I have read all of Rebecca Bradley’s novels and this is definitely my favourite. I was absolutely hooked. I do strongly advice that you read the full series in order so that you can enjoy this book as much as I did. You need to be aware what this monster has done in more than one novel!

Due to the events in the previous book, Hannah doesn’t feature as strongly as normal. Instead the focus is on Aaron, her colleague and an undercover officer Molly who for most of the novel is known as Pippa. I really liked this, it was like seeing two different people, but one wasn’t real. I thought this worked perfectly, she could only be known as Pippa!

The main thread of this novel really unsettled me, I struggle to accept cults and their control. There probably are many more characters who are more evil than Harper but I am struggling to think of any. I could see and feel how he made Pippa, Hannah and young Ruby feel. All of them were a lot braver than I would be. It was chilling, way too realistic but gripping. 

Hannah’s rehabilitation was also interesting, I liked seeing the closeness and loyalty of the team, her admittance that she had a problem and the insight into how the police force and the way they handled the situation. I imagine it’s common.

I am really interested in seeing what happened next in this series, I think it is one of the strongest out there.

She Knew Her Killer by Rebecca Bradley – Review.

About The Book


Five old school friends reunited for a weekend in Sheffield. A drunken game of truth or dare. One won’t survive.

The young woman is found murdered in a swanky hotel room. Detective Claudia Nunn gets the text just as she leaves her therapist’s office.

The victim’s friends all say the same thing: she had been distracted and kept disappearing all weekend. And on the Saturday, someone had screamed abuse in her face.

Did she know her killer?

As Claudia closes in on the murderer, the top-brass start closing down the investigation. And the team become the target of violent attacks.

Someone will do anything to stop the truth getting out.

Prepare to be hooked.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. This is the third book in the series that features Claudia Nunn and it is probably the easiest out of the three to read as a standalone novel. However I do recommend that you read them I’m order. This is one of those series where you benefit from knowing exactly what is happening within this small team of police officers. 

I can’t remember when, or if, I’ve read a novel where one of the main characters was the police officer who was investigating the murder and the other was the victim. This felt a little eerie at first, knowing what was going to happen even though I didn’t know who the murderer was. Seeing Harlow’s excitement and trepidation and knowing what the outcome would be even though you didn’t know what her plans were.

I have also never read a novel where the police were being controlled by somebody outside of the force. Someone who was determined to prevent them finding out the truth and were prepared to do anything to get their wish. I read with increasing anxiety about the team’s safety.

In this novel you get to see how close that team is. Having to deal with the control, the danger they faced when they over stepped the boundaries and the huge amount of respect they had  for each other. I really appreciated seeing the bond between Claudia and Russ but also with her DCI, Maddison Sharpe. All too often that relationship is missing in a novel, but the author shows how important it is for the more superior officers to be present. 

This is a series that I’m eager to continue, I can’t wait to see what Claudia has to face in the future.

Love Lies Bleeding by Rebecca Bradley – Review.

About The Book

A murdered woman brings Detective Hannah Robbins into the world of women who love lifers.

Audrey King, a teacher of young children, did nothing but fall for Wendell Hayes. A man serving life for slaughtering his family. She’s found dead in her home with the murderous signature of the very man she visited, but there’s no way he could have killed Audrey from inside prison.

Hayes, the son who took a hammer to his parents, his pregnant sister and her husband, horrifies detective Hannah Robbins. The threats he made against her when she arrested him for those murders still haunt her. Yet she must confront him if she is to get to the bottom of this brutal crime.

But Hayes isn’t the only one haunting Hannah’s slowly fracturing mind. A previous case where she was the victim is destroying her. Can she find justice for Audrey before her world spirals out of control, or will she take the investigation down with her?

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. I have read all of Rebecca Bradley’s books and her Hannah Robbins series is my favourite. I do recommend that you read the earlier books to understand the situation that Hannah is facing throughout this novel. 

The case that Hannah’s team is investigating is a brutal one and it was one that made me feel anxious and repulsed. I can’t understand why women would want any type of relationship with a convicted killer. Especially one like Wendell Hayes, who had no charisma at all. He seemed to have no remorse or genuine feelings, just quite happy to mock the detectives who were interviewing him. Especially Hannah who has arrested him years earlier.

But I felt that the investigation wasn’t the main part of the story, instead it was Hannah’s increasing dependence on the painkillers and her being unable to talk to anybody about what she was going through. I really wanted her to be able to talk to Aaron and with his character I can imagine that she unintentionally caused a lot of hurt. It was quite difficult to read at times and I did find it easier to read Aaron’s point of view.

I hope that this series will continue and we can see a positive outcome to her storyline. 

Seconds To Die by Rebecca Bradley – Review.

About The Book

A killer who sends drawings of the murders he will commit.
A detective who will do anything to stop him.

Detective Claudia Nunn has never seen anything so beautiful — or so horrifying.

The intricate drawing is sent to her at work. It shows a man, naked on a bed. His arms are bound, his face contorted in agony, a huge blade stuck deep in his back.

Gory? Certainly. Something to worry about? Not likely. Police get sent weird stuff all the time.

Until Claudia is called to a crime scene that exactly recreates the drawing.

When another sketch arrives, Claudia thinks she might have a serial killer on her hands, who thinks he’s an artist.

Claudia’s in a race against time to stop anyone else dying — and the next victim could be her.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. Seconds to Die is the second book in the series to feature Claudia, Dom and the rest of the team who are tasked with solving more complex cases. They have a lot to prove and this case, featuring the murderer that the press have named The Artist is a difficult one. 

This is a investigation that affects Claudia deeply. She is desperate to get a result but also grieving the murder of her friend and stepmother Ruth. That investigation is the topic of the previous book and I do recommend that you read that first. The investigation and certain aspects of it feature heavily in this novel. 

The murders committed are vividly described, I didn’t need to see the drawings to get an image in my head of how the victims looked. The way they differed made this case difficult to solve, not helped by the very short time frame they were given with little idea of where the crime took place. And with pressure from above and an increasingly fractious relationship with Dom it was no surprise that Claudia was struggling. 

One of the reasons I like Rebecca’s books so much is that they show the police as not always coping well with their situation. You see the exhaustion, forgetting to eat and frustration of having to deal with the media. I had never thought that giving a murderer a title would cause anger before.  

I have to admit that I wondered if this book would be similar to others that have been published recently concerning art and murder but it isn’t. This is a completely original novel and one which I enjoyed a lot. 

Blood Stained by Rebecca Bradley – Review.

About The Book

Can’t find her.

Can’t catch him.

Can’t trust anyone.

The first in a gripping new Sheffield-set crime series starring Detective Claudia Nunn.

Detective Claudia Nunn’s colleague DS Dominic Harrison has been leading the case against a dangerous serial killer, who hunts his victims using a dating app. But now his own wife has gone missing.

Then a large pool of blood is discovered in their garage. And Dominic is the prime suspect.

Is Dominic being framed by a serial killer or will Claudia expose an even uglier truth?

Can’t tell a soul how it ends.

My Review

With thanks to the author for the copy received. I have enjoyed all of this author’s earlier books and was looking forward to this new series. It is an unusual one, I’ve never read a book where a member of the team has to investigate a colleague. That colleague is Dominic and it concerns the disappearance of his wife, Ruth. He claims it is the work of a serial killer he has been investigating.

As the novel progresses you see both investigations, Dominic attempts to find the serial killer and Claudia trying to find out who, if any of them, is responsible for Ruth’s disappearance. And as usual there were times I was aching to find out what happened next with both.

With the author’s background I was prepared for the level of detail concerning a murder investigation. This made the book more real and at times more upsetting. Not with the forensics but the emotions and not just concerning families.You could see the effect the crimes had  on both of teams involved and the way they had to learn to cope. I also had a lot of appreciation for the way they worked together, in particular Claudia and Ross Kane. 

I read plenty of books and I’m not often taken by surprise but there were a few times in this book when I read something unexpected. One of them I had to reread, flicking back to see what I had missed. And it worked perfectly. 

A great start to a promising new series.