Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hayes' New Series Starts Out Strong!

Until You're Mine is the first novel in a new British crime series from Samantha Hayes, and an excellent psychological thriller.  I was drawn in from the very first page, and its twists and turns kept me enthralled til the end. 

Claudia is pregnant, stepmother to twin boys, and her Navy husband James is away more than he's at home. She also loves her job, investigating homes for signs of child abuse or neglect - sometimes removing children from the homes when the situation is bad enough. Luckily, the family is able to afford a live-in nanny. James first wife came from money, and when she died he was left the house and her share of the family fortune.

Enter Zoe - on the face of it she's the perfect nanny. My first impression is that she's barking mad. And when someone starts attacking pregnant women, slicing them open and attempting to remove their babies, I was afraid for Claudia. 

DCI Lorraine Fisher has never seen anything as horrific as this series of murders. There are very few clues, and they seem to run  the police round in circles. Add on to that the stress of being partnered with her husband, whose infidelity she's still trying to come to turns with. 

The story is revealed through multiple POVs but is clear and very understandable. Strong characters, and quite believable. Even as the big reveal was unfolding, I wasn't certain who the murderer would be. Of course I had my suspicions, but the layers of the story were so well put down that I could never be sure. 

This novel is especially scary because we all place ourselves in situations that make us vulnerable, necessarily if we have young children. The only time I questioned the plausibility of any part is the partnership of the two married detectives. I don't believe for a moment that any department would allow a married couple to work in the same division, as partners, with one technically the others supervisor. No way. But I don't know much about English police so maybe that can and does happen. Still seems unlikely. However, DCI Fisher's personal storyline doesn't detract from the mystery in any way.

Until You're Mine has the best last line I've ever read. I strongly recommend. 

The second novel in the DCI Lorraine Fisher series, What You Left Behind, is due out April 14, 2015. 

Thank you NetGalley and Crown Publishing for a free copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.