Goodness me! There are enough red herrings in One to Watch, the new thriller from Rachel Amphlett, to feed a smorgasbord of crime fiction readers.
First, the guilty person just HAD to be X.
Then it was definitely Y and I never saw Z coming until the last couple of pages.
Although, perhaps that’s because making Z a murderer breaks one of the cardinal rules of classic crime fiction.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you which one because then you’d know whodunnit.
Does the rule-breaking work?
It feels a bit like cheating and you’ve really got to be Agatha Christie to get away with it.
On the other hand, Amphlett is writing in a different century for a different audience and living in a different hemisphere.
So, why shouldn’t she turn things upside down?
And, peeves about the identity of the murderer apart, this is another enjoyable mystery in Amphlett’s DS Kay Hunter series.
This time Kay and her colleagues are shocked by the vicious murder of 16-year-old Sophia Whitaker at a private party in the Kent countryside.
A tangled web of dark secrets is exposed as it becomes clear the dead girl was hiding a terrifying secret.
Who knew her secret?
And who was prepared to kill to keep it secret?
There’s no shortage of suspects and as Kay and co investigate motives and opportunity it becomes clear Sophia’s supposedly respectable and tight-knit community is anything but.
And Kay makes a shocking discovery that will make her question everyone she knows.
This is a well-paced, well-plotted murder mystery and the twist concerning the secret adversary with a professional grudge was both shocking and stomach-churning.
I didn’t quite buy the vendetta sub-plot in Will to Live, the previous book in the Kay Hunter series.
But the twist gives added significance to the title One to Watch.
Sorry, can’t say more, you’ll need to read it to find out.
I don’t know when Book Four is on the horizon but, once again, I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next to Kay Hunter.
Review by Sue Featherstone.
Available to buy on Amazon from June 06.