Quieter Than Killing by Sarah Hilary – Review.

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About the Book

It’s winter, the nights are dark and freezing, and a series of seemingly random assaults is pulling DI Marnie Rome and DS Noah Jake out onto streets of London. When Marnie’s family home is ransacked, there are signs that the burglary can have only been committed by someone who knows her. Then a child goes missing, yet no-one has reported it. Suddenly, events seem connected, and it’s personal.
Someone out there is playing games. It is time for both Marnie and Noah to face the truth about the creeping, chilling reaches of a troubled upbringing. Keeping quiet can be a means of survival, but the effects can be as terrible as killing.

My Review

The series featuring Marnie Rome and Noah Jake is now one of my favourite. One of those where you soak up every word and look for hints for what might happen in the future.
This latest offering focuses on a missing child, revenge attacks on perpetrators of crime, gang culture and more insight into the personal lives of Marnie and Noah. Whilst we have got to know them both quite well in the past this time it is slightly different. There seems to be a connection between their personal and professional lives.
As always it is very believable. Low income, poor housing and limited opportunity areas that recruit their gang members early. Some of the gang members here are devastatingly young, showing vulnerability and fear but also a hard side where if these emotions are not controlled there would only be one way out.
Steven, who is now serving his sentence in an adult prison has a hold over Marnie, his grip gets tighter with every novel. The scenes where he features make me cringe with the distress that she can’t escape from. But this time it is Noah who I feel more sympathy for. The situation he is in becomes increasingly difficult and he has only one option. I can see both storylines continuing into the next novel.
It’s a brilliant series that I have followed from the first novel. I have enjoyed getting to know all the characters that Sarah Hilary has created.
With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. You can buy the novel at amazon or Waterstones

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

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The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.

A runaway who doesn’t want to be found, she only wants to go home.

To the one man who understands her.

Gives her shelter.

Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.
He’s the head of her new family.

He’s Harm.

D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl’s disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she’s about to face.

My Review:

I have followed Sarah Hilary’s excellent series since receiving the first novel at Theakston’s Crime festival a few years ago. I really enjoyed that book, which later won crime novel of the year in 2015. In my opinion the books have got better with each one and this third in the series is one of the best books that I have read this year.
Both Marnie and Noah are keen to solve the disappearances of teenage girls, they had been looking for one girl, May, for a few months. When another girl causes a fatal car accident and then disappears they become involved. Marnie recognises much of herself in May’s sister. She can see the anger and the hurt that Loz is feeling but it is Noah who feels more able to help her.
There is much of our society that features in the novel, vulnerable elderly women, teenage girl gangs terrorising estates and the invisible homeless. But there is more to it than I initially thought. I never saw any of the surprises/ shocks and there was at least one occasion when ‘my heart was in my mouth’.
Marnie, Noah and the other members of the team are all very strong and believable characters. I like the way that they interact with each other. You also get glimpses of their lives away from the job as well. Marnie’s relationship with Steven is one that I expect to see get very interesting.

Tastes Like Fear will be published on 7th April. With thanks to Headline and Sarah Hilary for the copy received for review.