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The Special Girls (Di Grace Fisher 3) Hardcover – 6 Apr 2017

4.0 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus; 1st Edition edition (6 April 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1786480956
  • ISBN-13: 978-1786480958
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 3.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 86,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Isabelle Grey never loses sight of the impact on victims in . . . this brave and harrowing novel (Sunday Times Crime Book of the Month)

There are plenty of twists to this compelling and compassionate tale, but it's the sensitivity with which Isabelle Grey handles the legacy of harm that gives the story its beating heart (Sarah Hilary)

The story hooks like barbed wire, and is so convincingly told it's hard to believe she's not a cop herself. So of the moment, sensitive to nuances of responsibility, denial, paralysis of will. So much more than a police procedural (Laline Paull, author of The Bees)

A penetrating analysis of Stockholm Syndrome with a notably filmic sensibility (Guardian)

An intelligent, sophisticated police procedural with a completely believable central character and a strong moral core. Emotional and hardhitting, highly recommended (Sinead Crowley, author of Can Anybody Help Me? and Are You Watching Me?)

The sort of book Rendell could have produced . . . the standout crime novel so far of 2017 (Crimesquad)

Plenty of suspense and gripping, instructive writing about real people facing impossible, often tragic predicaments. This is an excellent crime novel, warmly recommended (Literary Review)

Combines attention to detail with compassionate intelligence (Sunday Times on Shot Through the Heart)

Full of well-handled forensics and the brooding atmosphere of the Essex coast (Mail on Sunday on Shot Through the Heart)

An unusual police procedural . . . beautifully written, full of interesting insights, and atmospherically set (Literary Review on Shot Through the Heart)

Grey's credentials as a television writer shine through . . . the inner workings of the Major Investigation Team are just as enthralling to read about as the serial killer they are hunting (Clare Mackintosh, author of I Let You Go, on Good Girls Don't Die)

Assured, convincing and especially good on . . . the delicate - and often dodgy - nature of the relationship between the police and the press (Laura Wilson, Guardian on Good Girls Don't Die)

Combines clever plot twists with a surprising delicacy of feeling (Sunday Times on Good Girls Don't Die)

A realistic, gripping police procedural . . . they rarely get better than this (Book Addict Shaun on Good Girls Don't Die)

A thrilling read that will leave you wanting much more of Grace Fisher (We Love This Book on Good Girls Don't Die)

Top notch crime fiction . . . a superb example of its kind (Liz Loves Books on Good Girls Don't Die)

The writing is fluid and enthralling . . . a terrific and believable supporting cast (CrimeThrillerFella on Good Girls Don't Die)

Book Description

They are called the 'special girls'. How are they special and why were they chosen? Historical child sex abuse is linked to the murder of a young doctor in this gripping psychological thriller

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This novel opens up with a violent murder, committed at a holiday camp for teenagers with eating disorders. The victim is junior doctor Tim Merrick he was there to provide therapy support for the girls. Eventually we meet several characters at the retreat. Dr Ned Chesham is the senior psychiatrist in charge. Crystal his nursing assistant and the owners of the retreat. This novel is police procedural and the Detective Grace Fisher is left feeling the pressure juggling both the internal politics of the metropolitan police & coppers from her past. When the case reveals that it may have a link to historical abuse.
I have read many novels that feature historical abuse. But none quite like this one. The plot somehow manages to touch on every theme related & is a full and frank account of how Historical abuse has a distressing impact on victims & their families. It touches upon how abusers target victims with no credibility and how they ultimately engulf the victims via controlling behaviours & manipulation. It negotiates feelings of self-blame and blaming others. With more & more victims coming forward in real life. We are very much reminded that although abusers sexually violate the body, their behaviour also causes a huge strain on the victims mental wellbeing. Essentially………How do you take down a man…….When he holds all the power?
There are some other background characters, all of them woven into this cleverly written book. The cop from the past, past victims and the journalist determined to aid the case. It builds and builds to an absolutely devastating ending…….Which again fully demonstrates how this particular case of historical abuse effects every single character involved in the novel. As a mother myself of a teenage girl, I found this very shocking and thought provoking. A very difficult topic and a 5* read!
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Number 3 in a series of books featuring DI Grace Fisher. The story starts with the murder of a young doctor in rural Essex, whilst he was helping at a camp for troubled teenagers set up by his consultant. Grace, though, is soon diverted from looking into this crime to review how the police investigated earlier allegations of sexual abuse. Circumstances become ever more complicated and Grace begins to suspect wider forces are seeking to undermine her enquiries. The plot touches on issues of internal police politics, mental health, the effects of sexual abuse and press intrusion. Matters accelerate to a dramatic, perhaps rather abrupt, uneasy resolution. Grace is an engaging rounded detective, supported by a wide cast of other characters.
This is a gripping, if sometimes uncomfortable, read. Fans of realistic police procedurals will be interested in reading the next in the series.
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I started this in the evening, and read it through the night. The author tackled a difficult subject and I was left with the sense of thinking how easy it is to turn away from difficult truths. Characters were strong and I was entirely gripped by the story. Grace Fisher is the woman you want on your side if you're in trouble! Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a solid police procedural that explores timely issues of abuse and cover-ups, and which has things to say about the media, police and politics more generally. Grey has done her research and keeps everything moving along from the start when a promising paediatrician is found murdered at a summer camp for young female anorexia sufferers.

I've read an earlier book in this DI Grace Fisher series and have found them both very competent in terms of writing, characterisation, plot but there's something just a bit so-so about them: it's not that Grey does anything wrong, just that there's no pizzazz, no personality or humour or anything to make them stand out from the thousands of other police procedurals out there. Grace herself has a few hang-ups from the past, a mild aversion to her boss and there are some 'Line of Duty' moments in this book. Some of the 'big' moments happen off-stage, as it were, which contributes to the slightly grey feel of the book overall.

Those readers who prefer their crime without undue violence or swearing may like this though there are some mild issues of sex given the subject matter - If you enjoy straightforward procedurals that get to the point without extravagance then this is definitely worth a try. 3.5 stars.
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By Elaine Tomasso TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 April 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I would like to thank Netgalley and Quercus Books for an advance copy of The Special Girls, the third novel to feature DI Grace Fisher and her team at Colchester CID.

Dr Tim Merrick is found bludgeoned to death in the woods of an estate where he was holidaying in a carer capacity with a group of anorexic teenagers. With all the adults on the estate accounted for Grace and the team are turning to the possibility of a stranger murder when she is called to London and asked to head up operation Mayfly with the specific task of re-examining the Met's handling of a historic sex allegation against Tim's boss and fellow camper, Professor Edward "Ned" Chesham.

Wow! Just wow, what a read. Without a doubt this is my novel of the year so far and I'm sure I won't be able to do it justice in this review. For a start it is a good crime novel with an interesting plot and a few surprising twists that held me enthralled, wondering what was coming next. The detail and thought that have gone into it are amazing. I would like to say that it is unputdownable but the effects of abuse on already fragile minds are harrowing and there were times when I had to put it down for a while but, like the siren's song, it always called me back. The sexual abuse of minors is a very topical subject but there is no sensationalism, only sympathy and what comes over really strongly is the victims' feeling of helplessness and not being believed. In sharp contrast is the Establishment's need to protect high profile figures, no matter the cost to individuals and The Met's need to present a faultless profile. Ms Grey nails these needs perfectly and the saddest thing about it is that it feels a little underdone - as recent history has proved over and over again.

DI Grace Fisher is a good protagonist.
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