Today I’m sharing my review for The Birthday by Carol Wyer, this is the first book in a new crime series and I have to say I think it has the makings of a cracking series. Read on for my thoughts but firstly the book description….
One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home…
When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …
Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward . A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.
Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …
Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?
I’m not sure about you but I can always tell how much I enjoy a book by how many excuses I come up with to get out of doing things just so I can carry on reading, I came up with a few ingenious ones whilst reading The Birthday by Carol Wyer let me tell you! This is the first book in a new crime series featuring Detective Natalie Ward. The story starts when five-year old Ava goes missing during a birthday party. Two years later, her body is found and Natalie Ward finds herself leading an investigation that is both disturbing and emotionally draining. Although subject isn’t an original one by any means, the author makes it her own with a nail biting story line.
Books that deal with the murder of children make for a disquieting read and I always find that there is a fine balance between writing a good story and writing one that sets out to shock the reader. I feel the author balanced an alarming subject by showing sensitivity when describing the crimes. Natalie Ward like all fictional detectives has her own fair share of problems some more intriguing than others, but never the less I’m excited to see how her character develops alongside the rest of her team. I do enjoy a book that features dual timelines especially when they move seamlessly between the two, and I have to say the author has done a superb job, the book moves between the murder investigation and the disturbing and troubling story of a young boy. As to the “how or why” the two are connected, my lips are firmly sealed.
The plot slows down by the half way mark, but this is where The Birthday gets very interesting to say the least, the ongoing police investigation is incredibly frustrating not only for Natalie but for the reader too, as you try to piece the clues together, the author’s throws in some very fishy red herrings, there are several suspects who raise suspicion and as a reader you are kept guessing as to who is responsible. There is nothing more satisfying than a crime thriller where the reader feels very much part of the investigation it adds to the overall tension and suspense. I really enjoyed The Birthday and if the first book is anything to go by this has the makings of a cracking series, well written and fraught with tension, it’s one I would highly recommend to crime thriller lovers.
- Print Length: 316 pages
- Publisher: Bookouture (27 Sept. 2018)
Links: Amazon UK 🇬🇧 Amazon US 🇺🇸