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Taunting the Dead (A DS Allie Shenton Novel Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Mel Sherratt
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (557 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.

Product Description


‘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 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 have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as a main character, 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 psychological suspense and crime thriller. They are 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
70 of 74 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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73 of 80 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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Yarn 24 Jan. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book has compelling characters set within a gripping story. The plot has more twists than a corkscrew, and it has a good satisfying ending. It's definitely gritty, with some really horrible villains, so if you're a delicate flower who quails at the thought of such things then it's probably not for you. But if you like a story that pulls you along and provides regular surprises, then I'd recommend this book.
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45 of 50 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 Crime ridden Stoke-On-Trent 22 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When Allie Shenton is tasked with investigating the murder of Steph Ryder she follows the maxim that 90% of murders are committed to someone close to the victim which leads her to Terry Ryder someone already on the force’s radar for a scam that has afforded him a mansion for him, his wife and his stroppy teenage daughter Kirstie. Allie soon runs into problems though finding Terry unbearably charming and attractive despite all that she knows, or at the very least, suspects him of. His wife, the now departed with a bashed in head, was less attractive and seemed to have few real friends left due in part to her reliance on alcohol to get her through the day.

The structure of the story is good, giving us an insight into Steph’s days in the run up to the murder, we know what she was up to and with whom and we also are privy to who else knows these details all of which is going to be important to knowing who did the dastardly deed but at the time with the numerous criminals being added to the mix felt a little confusing and long-winded at the time, but then we get to Steph’s death. This isn’t a spoiler we know it is going to happen from the start and from here on in the book became a race against time to find the right killer and hope for the safety of numerous other characters.

Allie Shenton is a likeable character, in a relationship with a banker which is slightly shaky at times and more than a tad immature but she comes across as realistic. As all good cops in this genre are, she goes off-piste when she feels necessary and takes extraordinary risks to catch the culprit. As a gritty crime the language is fruity and many of the characters seem to be shady in the extreme.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Sweeney - but less subtle 8 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The plot may be just about OK, but it all gets lost in a writing style that is so "gritty" it makes The Sweeney sound like Downton Abbey. I didn't know that Stoke-on-Trent was so full of alcoholics and sex addicts who throw up (and beat each other up) at least twice a day. Terry Ryder's sexual magnetism made me laugh out loud as every woman in the book fawns over him like cats in heat. The motive for the killing of the central character is unclear and I generally found the book really hard going and difficult to finish.

It's all "gissa bloody cuppa then" and "e's a right charmer inny" and a plot full of thugs, alkies, drug dealers and coppers who all talk like they've stepped straight of the set of "The Sweeney", but a couple of hundred miles North. The plot twist at the end was actually quite good but I was tired of the "cor blimey guv'nor, mine's a pint" by then.

I read lots of Kindle thrillers and for £0.70 etc you don't expect Jane Austen, but this is the only thriller I've found really hard to finish. Sorry, I know I'm in a massive minority but if I were a character in this book I'd be too drunk to read it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed it- there's a bit of blood and gore but ...
First time I've read Mel Sherrat. I really enjoyed it- there's a bit of blood and gore but a story that twists with human interest.Will definitely get the rest of her books.
Published 1 day ago by Michael Atkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read. I couldn't put it down.
Published 2 days ago by carol j park
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok but...
A bit slow and not really a gripping story. Little depth to the characters and no real twists or mystery.
Published 3 days ago by billijo Chapman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great thriller
Keeps you on the edge of your seat, and keeps you guessing right to the end. A gripping read, a must for all thriller enthusiasts.
Published 3 days ago by Heather O'Neill
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
I love finding authors I've not read before and Mel Sherratt is a great find. Her characters are wholly believable especially Allie Shenton. Read more
Published 4 days ago by kazza
5.0 out of 5 stars COMPELLING MEL.
An excellent detective novel with many twoists and turns. A book you cannot put down until you"ve finished it. Read more
Published 5 days ago by MR.KENNETH GEORGE
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely great
Came by this author by accident have read all her books now absolutely fab keeps you. Wanting more what a great read
Published 6 days ago by Amanda Warren
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
This was my first read by this author, I really enjoyed it and have all ready downloaded the second one. Lots going on at the end of the book, a real page Turner.
Published 7 days ago by Gillian Lees
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I always enjoy allied Shelton books.not disappointed with this one
Published 9 days ago by Terry
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I enjoyed this book even though at times felt the lead Ali was the most believable character. Bit ott with some characters behaviour (felt a little too eastenders sometimes) but I... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Nicola
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