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Taunting the Dead (A DS Allie Shenton Novel) [Kindle Edition]

Mel Sherratt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (507 customer reviews)

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Book Description

How far would you go to protect the ones you love? And how much further would you go to betray them?

Nine out of ten murders are committed by someone the victim knows. So when Steph Ryder has her head bashed in within earshot of her family and friends, DS Allie Shenton begins her investigation close to home.

Soon the lies, backtracking, and secrets multiply as each of the suspects tries to cover up their actions on that fateful night. Before long, Allie homes in on Steph’s ambitious and powerful husband, Terry. Convinced he’s hiding something, she interviews him again and again—only to find that she is falling, despite herself, for his smooth charms.

As the trail grows hotter, along with Allie’s feelings, the web of deceit pulls tighter and more bodies begin to pile up. Allie must race against time to uncover the shocking truth before she becomes the killer’s next victim.

The first book in the DS Allie Shenton series, Taunting the Dead is a dark, gritty, sexually charged thriller that will leave you gasping for breath.

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‘Uncompromising, powerful and very real–an important new voice.’ —David Mark, author of The Dark Winter

‘A wonderfully observed tale of brutality, sex and raw emotion, with an ending that will leave you gasping to know more.’ —David Jackson, author of Marked

‘The plot races along smartly, with the victims piling up, before culminating in a series of twists that hit you like body blows.’ —Emlyn Rees, author of Hunted

‘A great début. Gritty. Sexy. And brilliantly capturing the brutality that follows betrayal and desperation.’ —Will Carver, author of Dead Set

‘Sherratt is a unique voice in detective fiction.’ —Mail on Sunday

About the Author

Mel Sherratt has been a self-described “meddler of words” ever since she can remember. After winning her first writing competition at the age of eleven, she has rarely been without a pen in her hand or her nose in a book. Since successfully publishing Taunting the Dead and seeing it soar to the rank of #1 bestselling police procedural in the Amazon Kindle store in 2012, Mel has gone on to write three more books in the critically acclaimed The Estate Series.

Mel has written feature articles for The Guardian, the Writers and Artists website, and Writers’ Forum magazine, to name just a few, and regularly speaks at conferences, events, and talks.

She lives in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with her husband and her terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer, with some help from her Twitter fans), and makes liberal use of her hometown as a backdrop for her writing.

Her website is and you can find her on Twitter at @writermels.

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More About the Author

I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and women's fiction with a punch - or grit-lit, as I call it. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer's Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

Why not sign up to my newsletter to keep in touch - just copy and paste this link into your browser:

TAUNTING THE DEAD is part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It has been a standalone for two years but I am now writing two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as a main character and creating a new series. FOLLOW THE LEADER will be out in February 2015 and ONLY THE BRAVE in Summer 2015.

THE ESTATE SERIES are a mix of women's fiction, psychological suspense and crime thriller. They are too dark for women's fiction alone - although the subject matters and issues are often referred to in this genre - too light in places for crime thrillers, and often not enough for the psychological suspense readers out there. They are drama meets crime.

WATCHING OVER YOU is a standalone psychological thriller. It's dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too - where obsession and friendship turns to murder.

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website or I'm on Twitter at @writermels

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A knicker gripping thriller! 29 Dec. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was riveting, gripping right from the first page, and I really couldn't get enough of it. I could feel my heart thumping at times, anticipating what was going to happen next. You were left guessing until the very last chapter, who actually killed Steph Ryder and whether they were going to get away with it.

The last paragraph, was totally unexpected and I wanted to immediately pick up the next book in the series. The only problem is that it hasn't been finished yet but I can honestly say that I'll be counting down to the day when it's published. Come on Mel, please hurry up!

There was lots of blood and gore in the book, but not so much that it made a vulgar read, it was kind of necessary to the plot. The characters were created well and believable although I'm very glad that I don't come into contact with any of them. And to think that I thought Stoke On Trent was a quiet little town in the Potteries where Robbie Williams came from!
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71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking Debut... 30 Dec. 2011
By MrsRave
Format:Kindle Edition
Wow! This novel epitomizes the word thriller. Murder,Secrets, Sex & Lies. A gritty, page-turning plot that will twist and turn you in every direction to uncover 'whodunnit'. A fabulously drawn cast of characters, all of whom I could vividly imagine parading across my TV screen, they were so well portrayed, and several of whom I definitely wouldn't want to encounter on a dark night. Gripping from the outset. A brilliant debut novel from an author I shall certainly be keeping an eye out for in future. Loved it!
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crime Writers - watch your backs! A great debut. 22 Dec. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
From its great cover to the tale within, this is a greatly packaged debut which delivers on all fronts.
With characters you'll love and love to hate too, this great debut has a feel of Martina Cole taking a trip to Stoke and taking the bad stuff with her.
The central character of DS Allie Shenton is a great creation and one I'd really like to read more of in future books. The investigation of the murder of Steph Ryder brings Allie closer to a family she already knows and closer still to the dark secrets that cluster to fog her search for the killer - of which there are several very likely suspects, it seems.
Skillfully juggling the cast of characters, we are led through the darkening streets of Stoke and the devious members of its society as each tries to cover their tracks for events that led up to the killing.
Like many great crime novels, the character is important, but so is the location and with 'Taunting the Dead' Mel Sherratt has placed Stoke firmly on the map and, with a strong mix of human drama, sex and crime, has hammered it home there.

What are you waiting for, hit that BUY button and check out the first investigation by Allie Shenton now.

Keith B Walters
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Straight on to book 2 for me 29 Jan. 2015
By Best Crime Books TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read one of Mel’s Estate Series books as well as Watching Over You. With her imminent release of book 2 featuring DS Allie Shenton I figured I should read book 1 to familiarise myself. I am pretty glad that I did now as I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I also find it’s an added bonus that I have the next book as the ending was brilliant, albeit a cliff-hanger! Allie Shenton is a good character and easily likeable. She’s a copper who is working in Stoke, the place she was born and bred. The story itself was a bit of a slow burner, but by the second third I was well and truly gripped and read it right through to the end.

Steph Ryder and her dodgy husband Terry are the main focus of this book. Steph was frankly a rather despicable character. A virtual alcoholic we get to know exactly what are whop are relevant in her life. Terry Ryder, although an obvious gangster with a legit front, had a rather endearing character! We also meet additional characters that are all added to the mix such as Phil Kennedy who works for Terry, Steph’s friend Carole and her husband Shaun as well as Terry and Steph’s daughter.

The layers of the story are put there, and at times I thought they were maybe too much but I realised by the end that there is a method to Mel’s madness, namely the next book. As well as all the colourful characters, we get to know a bit about Allie, we meet her husband, her boss and her sister. All of this becomes a lot more relevant as the story continues. When Steph is murdered, nobody (including me) could work out what on earth was going on. It certainly added another layer of intrigue as each time I thought both they and I had figured it out, I was wrong!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I have just read this book for a 2nd time. 16 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is a very thin line between love and hate.

I have just read this book for a 2nd time. As its a good while since I read it, and the next book in the series is due out soon, so I thought I would refresh my memory on what had happened.

It’s funny though as even though I have read it before, there were parts I just couldn’t remember. And little bits where I thought OH I remember this now. Then I still got it wrong.

It really is a good book, and well worth reading.

The Character where very well put together, some you like some you hate.

Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton, is the protagonist in the book, and I really did like her, everything about her seemed normal, she has family issues, work issues, yet just get’s on with what needs doing.

And when she is given the task of solving a murder, she really get’s stuck in. Allie suspects she known’s who is involved with the murder, but is she right, or is she just trying to hard to want it to be that person.

A really good, gripping read.

And the good thing is, I can now go right onto book 2, as I have an early release copy just waiting for me to start it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reading!!
From start to finish this book had me gripped. The author has a great mind with all the twists and turns of 'who really done it' It was even better that I had a little knowledge... Read more
Published 5 days ago by sue claydon
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant page turning thriller
Really enjoyable fast paced and quite a few surprises. very much looking forward to the next one in the Allie Shenton series.
Published 21 days ago by Big Bird Stretch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book. Looking forward to reading more from this author.
Published 24 days ago by The rain man
5.0 out of 5 stars gripping read
right to the very end just couldn't put this one down,sorry it has finished but can't wait for the next one.
Published 25 days ago by mountwood
5.0 out of 5 stars You Must Read This!
I read this book immediately after reading Gone Girl, which I was thoroughly disappointed with, with the expectation that it HAD to be better than Gone Girl (I even tweeted this to... Read more
Published 26 days ago by Steven Sutherland
5.0 out of 5 stars Taunting the Dead
Brilliant read. Could not put it down. Right up until the end you were not sure of the outcome. Cannot wait to read another.
Published 1 month ago by L Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Definitely give this a try Ready to read book two I would say so good story a few twists and turns easy to keep up with a few oh no don't do that moments interesting back story... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. M. C. Brooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
was a good read
Published 1 month ago by linda lo
5.0 out of 5 stars Taunting the dead
Great read......gritty......i give this a 5/5 because its got everything i like in a book......good story.......twists.What i loved as well is all the places in the book..... Read more
Published 1 month ago by vikki crawford
4.0 out of 5 stars Lies, sex and secrets!
Stoke-on-Trent. One of the wealthiest women in town, Steph Ryder is bludgeoned to death outside a pub. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Relax and Read Reviews
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