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102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Back Road
Just outside the small village of Little Melham a 14 year old girl, running away from her pursuer is hit by a car on 'the back road', a road that is mainly used by locals. The driver doesn't stop and at a dinner party the following night it becomes clear that a number of the guests have something to hide.

This book drew me in from the opening pages, its many...
Published 20 months ago by Big Bertha

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not brilliant - but definitely worth a read
I'm not sure whether this book is supposed to be a psychological thriller or a murder mystery. It's the story of two sisters, one feisty and the other a bit soppy. To be honest, I really didn't care what happened to either of them. Somehow neither of them are very engaging and I found both of them annoying in different ways. Still, the story is good and quite...
Published 9 months ago by Marilyn Chadwick


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102 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Back Road, 13 April 2013
By 
Big Bertha (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
Just outside the small village of Little Melham a 14 year old girl, running away from her pursuer is hit by a car on 'the back road', a road that is mainly used by locals. The driver doesn't stop and at a dinner party the following night it becomes clear that a number of the guests have something to hide.

This book drew me in from the opening pages, its many characters, twists and red herrings had me changing my mind about the characters, what they'd been up to on the night in question and who was guilty of what right to the end.

This author is really good at keeping the intrigue and suspense going by holding back information and releasing snippets bit by bit. I like her style of writing and find it flows well.

Really enjoyed this book and hope it won't be too long before the author releases her next one
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Little Melham, A village full of secrets and lies, 21 April 2013
By 
C. Bannister (Jersey, CI) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
Having really enjoyed Rachel Abbott's first book Only the Innocent I was keen to see what she would serve up next. The Back Road didn't disappoint. This is a book of many strands, one of which is the relationship between Ellie Saunders and her younger sister Leo. Leo has come to visit Ellie in her newly renovated house, the house where the girls were bought up with a missing father and cruel mother. Ellie wants to find out where their father is but his relationship with Leo has left her unable to trust men and she would rather leave the past behind.

The other strand centres on the village of Little Melham. This is a village with a number of secrets at its heart. When Abbie is found by the side of the road after a hit and run accident it appears that quite a large proportion of the inhabitants weren't where they said they were.

There was plenty to keep the me entertained during this 313 page book, with affairs and secrets buried along with a spate of anonymous texts, I raced on to find out what would crawl out of the woodwork next! This book has a great plot and manages not to loose it's way as the strands wind their way around each other and there were a good number of blind alleys to fool the reader. The ending was satisfying, although for once I had managed to work out who the perpetrator was this didn't take any of the enjoyment away for me. A satisfying read.
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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tightly written thriller, 19 Mar 2013
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Ignite (East Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
Rachel Abbott's second thriller tells us the story of two half-sisters, Ellie and Leo, who have survived a difficult childhood. Ellie and her husband have restored the family home, inherited by Ellie and scene of childhood fears for Leo. Ellie is receiving phone calls and is being `stalked' and subjected to blackmail. A young girl has been the victim of a hit and run driver on the Back Road and Ellie is one of the nursing team looking after her. Several couples and individuals who come together for a housewarming at the newly renovated house are bound together in the aftermath of the accident.

The story is an exciting and complex one, where past and present echo and reflect one another. Here and there a mis-direct made me feel I knew what was happening but in a Rachel Abbott story there's more there than immediately obvious. This is a tightly written psychological thriller, very nicely paced, and I enjoyed it very much. My attention was caught and kept by the intrigues of the people in the village. I wasn't able to guess the full implications until close to the end. It seems to me that some of these characters might appear again in further works by Rachel Abbott, as their story and their possibilities haven't been exhausted. Here's hoping!

I received a review copy of this book pre-publication.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what is going on in this village?, 24 April 2013
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maggiefb (Famagusta, Cyprus) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
No need to go into detail about the storyline and plot - so many people have already done this - but I'd just like to say that I've discovered a new author - and possibly a new series if Tom Douglas reappears in his new role of Detective Chief Inspector of Manchester Police.
The story centres round the Cheshire village of New Melham and some of its residents, past and present. Leo arrives to visit her sister Ellie who lives in a newly-renovated house with husband Max and incredibly unobtrusive 5-year old twins Jake and Ruby. That night a hit-and-run accident on the back road out of the village leaves 14-year-old Abbie for dead. The next night sees Ellie and Max hosting a house-warming dinner party for several village residents. As the story develops we realise that most of the characters have secrets of one sort or another, and quite a few of them were not where they were supposed to have been on the night of the accident.
I finished this book quickly - by reading during the day when I should have been doing other things - and immediately downloaded Abbott's first novel 'Only The Innocent'. And I can't help thinking it would make a compelling TV series due to the diverse and interesting characters.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complex layer of suspense and mystery, 28 Mar 2013
By 
Mrs. R. L. Dove (wakefield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
I loved Rachel Abbott's first book, and could not wait to read her eagerly awaited second novel. I have followed her journey from the beginning and she is a true inspiration to us Indie authors. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, down to the cover art and title name. It is well presented and edited and the story is engaging and infuriating!

The book's central characters, half sisters Ellie and Leo, are as different as night and day and this book follows them, their family and friends as an incident threatens to uncover things best left alone, and everyone seems to have a secret. It reads like a murder mystery, and every snippet left me screaming to find out what their secrets were. The characters are well written, and their layers are peeled chapter by teasing chapter. This is what Rachel Abbott does best, she has a real insight into the behaviour of people, and this really makes the book brilliant. I was desperate to find out the ending and the whole thing was a pleasure to read. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Rachel Dove
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not brilliant - but definitely worth a read, 21 Mar 2014
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I'm not sure whether this book is supposed to be a psychological thriller or a murder mystery. It's the story of two sisters, one feisty and the other a bit soppy. To be honest, I really didn't care what happened to either of them. Somehow neither of them are very engaging and I found both of them annoying in different ways. Still, the story is good and quite well-written and I didn't guess 'who dun it!' The ending is a little disappointing. I was hoping it would have more 'bite'. Still, this book is definitely worth a read and I will probably try another book by this author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow-Moving Tale of Suburban Infidelities, 5 Oct 2013
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
THE BACK ROAD comes to us as the second British mystery/thriller from the pen of Manchester-born and raised Rachel Abbott. It is set in the vicinity of Manchester, as, perhaps, was her debut publication, the #1 bestselling Only the Innocent, which I haven't read. Both books feature Detective Chief Inspector Tom Douglas, though he doesn't do much detecting in this one.

The book is set in the quiet country village of Little Melham; a young girl, Abbie Campbell, has been knocked over and left for dead on its back road. The road is little-known outside the small community, so the townsfolk, realizing the hit and run driver is overwhelmingly likely to be one of its own, is in shock. The plot centers on a pair of sisters, local resident, nurse and married with kids Ellie Saunders. And Leo Harris, who has inadvertently picked a fraught time to visit. They are survivors of an abusive childhood. There are also another shadowy pair of sisters, survivors of an even more abusive childhood. Ellie devotes herself to nursing the in-a-coma child Abbie, while she realizes that the hit and run accident could destroy the life she has so carefully created, for she was out on that road that night on business which she is reluctant to admit.

The great British crime writer Agatha Christie could bring a quiet country village in which a crime had been committed to life in a very few, economical pages. THE BACK ROAD is a fat book, at nearly 500 pages, and this reader, for one, was not terribly interested in its slow moving tales of interlocking suburban infidelities, and its rather repetitive relationship chatter. It also has some unpleasantly creepy elements. By the time the author finally got to solve the thin mystery hidden inside these pages and pages, I'm sorry, but I didn't much care anymore.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just too much going on..., 2 Jun 2013
By 
Protovicar (Liverpool, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Back Road (Kindle Edition)
Leo makes a visit to her half sister, Ellie's newly renovated home, which was also the scene of Leo's unhappy childhood. But Ellie and her husband, Max, whom Leo thought were the only example of a truly happy couple, each seem distracted from their usual equable behaviour. On the night of Leo's arrival a girl is left for dead after a hit and run accident on the eponymous back road, and it becomes apparent at a dinner party hosted by Elllie and Max the following night that there are plenty of people at the party, and in the village, with secrets and reasons to keep them.

I bought the author's first book, Only the Innocent, months ago when it was on a special offer and read it over the course of a Bank Holiday weekend. It was an enjoyable page turner, although not without some issues, but I felt it worthwhile trying Ms Abbott's follow up. However, I found some of those issues still in her writing, but much magnified.

I think Ms Abbott writes character very well and she can also plot a good story. However, in both books, and particularly this one, there are just too many plot strands going on. Coincidence and serendipity are tools that the writer often has to resort to to make a story work, and, used sensibly and sparingly, I don't object to them. But with so many subplots, red herrings and interlinking storylines, the happenstances become excessive.

In a similar vein of putting too much in, far too much of the text seems like unnecessary padding or filler. We learn the entire weekly menu of some of the principal characters, and Ms Abbott often tells us the, frankly rather boring, details of what the characters are doing instead of moving on? For example, we get a whole two paragraphs telling us how Leo makes two cups of coffee whilst thinking about what she is going to say, instead if getting in with it and saying it. The book has been reasonably well copy edited but it does need a suitably ruthless story editor to get at some of the unnecessary parts with a blue pencil.

To end on a positive note, like another reviewer I was pleased to see the return of Tom, the detective from the first book, albeit in a new role. I think Ms Abbott has strong characters to writes about and good stories to tell, but I'd like to see a little less obfuscation and a lot less unnecessary trivia in the next book, please.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read., 29 May 2013
By 
Elizabeth A. Smith (UK) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the best books I have ever read. The characters are so interwoven and the story line weave in and out of their lives with issues that keep the reader in suspense to the end. Brilliantly written, easy to read, and characters that really live. Cant wait to read more from Rachel Abbot.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping!, 14 May 2013
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Couldn't put this book down. A real page turner. Well worth a read, plenty twists and turns! Very well written :)
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The Back Road by Rachel Abbott
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