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The Damselfly: A gripping and unnerving crime thriller Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I cannot review one of Susi’s novels without commenting (again) on her skill at defining characters. Everyone in the story seems more vibrant and realistic than some authors can achieve with their main character. The realism is a problem in The Damselfly though as in this story we have the nasty problem of cyberbullies. The creeping menace of social media is being used to stir up tension and suspicion and it makes for very uncomfortable reading.
The story opens with Katie, she is a bright student and is seeking to improve her lot in life and hoping to get away from Banktoun and move to the bright lights. Sadly fate has a different idea for Katie and her life abruptly comes to an end leaving a mass of unanswered questions and plenty of candidates for the finger of suspicion to point at. A murder mystery means we get the police involved and in Banktoun that can only mean a welcome return for fan-favourite Davie Gray.
I totally lost myself in The Damselfly. From the early shocking murder of Katie Taylor we see how her death will impact on different characters in the town.Read more ›
Back in the 1990s, groundbreaking New Zealand crime writer Paul Thomas wrote an award-winning trilogy of gritty crime novels that had a beloved recurring detective, Tito Ihaka, who was never actually the 'main character' in any of the novels. Similarly, Holliday has a Banktoun cop, Davie Gray (now promoted to being a Detective in this third book), who is in all the books, tying them together, and who investigates the crimes, but isn't in fact ever the main central character in any of the books.
Holliday creates an intriguing cast of characters beyond the investigating police, from Katie's troubled family to a teacher rightly or wrongly in the crosshairs to new school counselor Polly, who is returning to Banktoun after years away. There's a real feel of a small town, with connective tissue of varying strengths running between its citizens, but plenty of secrets behind twitching curtains.
There's a really strong narrative drive to THE DAMSELFLY, which hurtles along at great pace without feeling 'breezy' or 'thin' by skimping on character and setting. There's a lovely tension, while at the same time plenty of depth. A strong voice, even with the multiple viewpoints.
THE DAMSELFLY is a five-star level book from an exciting newer voice in British crime writing, the kind of book that makes you want to immediately go and grab another tale from SJI Holliday.
The Damselfly is based in the small town of Banktoun (found out today that this is pronounced as Bank-TIN rather than my presumption of Bank-TOON with a Scottish twang, so there you go. You really do learn something new everyday, and I like to try and get pronunciation of place names right when reading). I love anything that's set in a tight-knit community like Banktoun. It's a place where everybody knows everybody, including everybody's business, and it just feels easier to capture the characters that the author provides you with in such a tight setting like this one. I think it helps to bring it more to life also. Rather than taking the reader here, there and everywhere, you're able to build up the place in your mind as the author peppers the book with small descriptions throughout, adding to the overall image that you hold in your head which is exactly what Holliday did. Banktoun is also the setting of the previous books in SJI Holliday's Banktoun series, which includes 'Black Wood' and 'Willow Walk', both of which are already nestled nicely on my Kindle waiting for me to indulge in their stories too. I have to say, after enjoying 'The Damselfly' as much as I did, I really can't wait to see what's in store for me with the author's previous books. Anyway, onto the book itself...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I couldn't put this down first one of SJI Holliday's books I've read but he will certainly look for the others.Published 15 days ago by Mojo
Loved it loved it..... Holliday just gets better and better. Can't wait for the next one, and the next one....Published 21 days ago by CandyCloud
I found this book to be a real thriller there are so many twists and turns you won't be able to put it downPublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
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