Top positive review
Cross country running can be murder sometimes ...
19 May 2019
It is only book two in the series, but I have to say that they just keep getting better. Now settled into her new role as Sergeant back in her home town (city) of Stoke, Grace Allendale finds herself faced with a tragic and somewhat devastating case when a teenage schoolgirl is found by her friends, right in the middle of the school day, and only metres from where they had left her just moments earlier. How can a killer be so brazen. And while it's complicated enough dealing with a case involving children, with the investigation moving close to home once again, Grace finds the pressure not only on her and her team at work, but also complicating her love life too.
Now Grace is a very likeable character with a complicated family life. She never lets it affect her work, if anything it drives her to be even more successful and to prove she is nothing like her father, but it does add to her character, and provides plenty of conflict. It is less obvious this time around than in book one, but slowly and surely Grace is being drawn into the family, whether she likes it or not. There is a curious and intriguing dynamic between her and her half brother, Eddie, one that makes me smile probably every bit as much as it annoys Grace. I'm desperate to see how this keep developing moving forward, and how the strain between Grace and her other brother, Leon, grows too.
Now this case really ups the pressure on Grace and the first murder is not the last sadly. There are no end of suspects, but all the leads the police think they have go nowhere, leaving the team perplexed. It really adds to the tension and pressure that builds as you read onward. There are some moments which seem inevitable, where you can't help but marvel at the naivety of some of the characters, no matter how true to life it might seem. But there are moments that will surprise you too, and perhaps catch you unawares as the real killer remains well hidden in amongst a large cast of characters.
Mel Sherratt has done a great job of recreating that kind of teenage vibe - the sense that, no matter what, no matter that one of their friends has been murdered, they are still untouchable. Invincible. It adds authenticity and an edge of jeopardy to the story. She has also done a brilliant job of bringing Stoke to life and although employing some artistic licence, has captured the spirit of the city completely.
All in all Tick Tock was a thoroughly enjoyable, sometimes tense, cleverly plotted book where the killer remains hidden in plain sight right until the last. Full of edge of the seat moments, it'll keep fans turning the pages late into the night.