A terrifying psychological thriller with a killer twist
Liddy Barron, an artist, was injured in a hit-and-run accident that left her with recurring nightmares, partial amnesia, and an increasing obsession in the disappearance of a coed named Sasha Perry. Was Sasha murdered? Insecure and nervous, Liddy’s turmoil grows as she begins seeing ghostly images. Her husband Paul tries to help but suspects it’s just her imagination…while intuitive Detective Kerri Blasco, also obsessed with young Sasha’s disappearance, senses that Liddy may have a key to solving the case, and tries to unravel the shocking truth of what really haunts her.
This is book 1 in the Kerry Blasco series and the first book I read was book 4: Shoeless Child so I can confirm it works well as stand alone.
Liddy was in a road accident where she was knocked down leaving her with concussion and a badly fractured leg. She is recovering slowly but lost her memory so she has no recollection of the accident or the events preceding it. Her husband Paul is very supportive as is her friend Beth.
Liddy suffers from terrible nightmares and moving to a new apartment doesn’t help. She keeps seeing Sasha a missing coed and she knows things about Sasha that were not made public. Kerry Blasco has been investigating Sasha’s disappearance for a while but with no leads the funding has been pulled and she is left doing what she can in her own time. When Liddy turns up Kerry is thrilled that at last they have something new but how does Liddy know these things?
As Liddy and her friends fear for her sanity the dreams and visions continue she keeps seeing Sasha in water pleading for help. Is she a ghost or has Liddy gone mad?
This is a twisty turny book as we follow Liddy and Kerry as they try to make sense of the dreams.
I love the characters they are realistic personalities that all bring something to the story and I like how the relationship between Kerry and Liddy develops.
There are several red herrings and curve balls as the fast paced story develops and the reader is taken on an adrenaline pumping ride to the very climatic ending where we receive an even bigger shock as the truth is revealed.
A LONG HOT SUMMER, A CITY BY THE SEA, AND A SERIAL KILLER ON THE LOOSE.
Nineteen-year-old runaway Ruby Baker and pregnant best friend Mary escape domestic violence in London to find a new home in Brighton. They join a glitzy set of party girls, who are hell-bent on enjoying themselves in the new freedom of the 1960s.
But their new life soon comes under threat. Someone is watching Ruby. A tall stranger who Ruby keeps spotting in the shadows. This man may have followed them from London. And Ruby fears her dark secret will be exposed.
Then a murder at a local beauty spot brings danger for the party-loving set, and the first murder is followed by a second. Rumours of occult sacrifices spread across town.
In a breathtaking conclusion, Ruby faces a race against time to save someone very close to her, and her new life may be destroyed and her secrets exposed.
This book is very well written and descriptive which makes the reader envisage the scenery and surroundings very realistically. There are many characters which develop gradually over the course of the book. It is the 1960s and Ruby and Mary are running away from a violent life in London. They travel to Brighton to stay with Pearl in the hope of a peaceful life. Things are starting to look up when a girl is murdered. When Ruby notices a stranger watching her she worries that maybe she hasn’t escaped the violence and secrets of her life in London. The book progresses at a steady pace as we join the girls on their journey to rebuild their lives and watch them build new friendships and turn amateur detective to find the murderer. There are many twists and turns along the way with a little Black Magic thrown in which makes for an intriguing read towards a fast paced and gripping ending that comes as a real shock. A very good read and I thank Joffe Books for the advance copy.
Do you love gripping mysteries? Then discover Ruby Baker, a young woman with a talent for uncovering the truth.
A child found alone on the beach.
A mother who served ten years for a crime she says she didn’t commit.
Ruby Baker is back with another seaside mystery. When she and her friends rescue a child from the beach in a storm, police are baffled. Nobody has reported a child missing, and the girl appears to be so traumatised that she is unable to speak.
In Johnny’s hairdressing salon, the notorious Beverly Collins makes an appointment with Ruby, but it soon becomes clear the woman wants more than a haircut.
Beverly has just been released from Holloway Prison after serving ten years for child cruelty. The body of her missing daughter was never found, but Beverly insists she is innocent, and she wants Ruby Baker’s Investigation Bureau to prove it.
This isn’t going to be an easy investigation. Opinion is divided on Beverly’s innocence. Reporters Kenny and James are keen to uncover a big story, while Ruby’s best friend, Mary, is distracted and struggling to deal with motherhood.
As Ruby tries to unravel the past, she discovers that Beverly Collins release seems to have triggered a bizarre chain of events.
Has she really been framed for her crime, and if so, where is her daughter Ella Collins now? And who is the mystery girl on the beach?
This is book 2 in the Ruby Baker series and is set in Brighton in the 1960’s. They do work well as stand alone but you learn about Ruby and Mary’s background in book 1.
Ruby is on the beach when she sees and hears a young girl screaming. The girl is traumatised and wont speak. Shortly afterwards a woman who was sent to prison for murdering her young daughter is released, still pleading her innocence, and asks Ruby to help find her daughter. There are other strange happenings too. Is it coincidence or is something else going on?
This is a very intriguing read. As a mother I was gripped from the start. It is every mother’s nightmare to lose a daughter but to be accused of murdering your own child is horrific. Ruby is up against a lot of people who are convinced Beverley is guilty. All the evidence pointed to her. Will Ruby and her friends be able to unravel the clues to uncover the truth? I just kept turning page after page late into the night.
The characters develop well and there are personal issues interwoven into the story to give it a realistic human element. I love the dark Will I am sure there is more to learn about this strange man who has Ruby’s back.
Brilliant read and I am looking forward to more in this series.
Do you love gripping mysteries? Then discover Ruby Baker, a young woman with a talent for uncovering the truth.
Rita Stonehill runs in front of the horses on a sunny day at Brighton racecourse. Why did she kill herself and is there more to it than meets the eye?
Ruby Baker is shocked to witness this dramatic event. Rita’s brother thinks she was murdered, but there’s no evidence to suggest that. It seems like an open-and-shut case of suicide, but as a sordid love triangle emerges, is there more to it than that? Ruby plunges into the glamorous world of horse racing to discover the truth. This is her most dangerous case yet and Rita’s death strikes very close to home for Ruby. And then Ruby’s best friend Mary experiences a very shocking event . . .
This is book 3 in the Ruby Baker series. It is the 1960s so bear that in mine when reading as opinions and safety have changed a lot since then.
This series is definitely growing on me and I am hoping for many more.
The story begins at a horse race. Everyone is in high spirits and very excited when a girl suddenly runs out in front of the horses. A tragic accident, suicide or murder? There are a lot of opinions but nobody really saw anything or did they?
This is a story that moves along at a fairly fast pace and I was gripped all the way through. There is a lot going on and that brings with it a lot of interest. We expect competition and gambling in the horse racing world but there is a lot more going on here.
Suicide (or murder) by horse is a unique idea. The victim was playing the field so maybe jealousy was a motive or maybe not. The suspense builds all the way through the book and we are nearly at the end before the pieces fit together.
Ruby and her gang of amateur detectives are realistic characters that have grown and developed over the series. There are also a couple of back stories that could make the reader feel they have missed something but apart from that the book works well as stand alone.
Adrenaline pumping suspense, twists, turns and red herrings this is an intriguing story that will keep you entertained. 5 stars from me.
A bag of severed fingers is found in
the playground by a rough housing estate
D.I. Calladine and D.S. Ruth Bayliss race against time to track down a killer
before the whole area erupts in violence. Their boss thinks it’s all down to
drug lord Ray Fallon, but Calladine’s instincts say something far nastier is
happening on the Hobfield housing estate.
Can this duo track
down the murderer before anyone else dies and before the press publicize the
gruesome crimes? Detectives Calladine and Bayliss are led on a trail which gets
dangerously close to home. In a thrilling finale they race against time to rescue
someone very close to Calladine’s heart.
BOOK 2: DEAD SILENT
A body is found in a car crash, but
the victim was already dead . . .
D.I. Calladine and
D.S. Ruth Bayliss race against time to catch a vicious serial killer. The first
two victims are American university students and both have livestock tags fixed
to their earlobes.
Who wanted them dead
and what’s the connection? The detectives piece together the forensic evidence
and track down the witnesses, to reach a shocking conclusion.
BOOK 3: DEAD LIST
An unlikely serial killer with a
bucket list of victims . . .
Bayliss battle a murderer who is working their way through a list of victims.
Each murder is meticulously planned and unique, and a tarot card is left at the
scene of the crime.
When two children
disappear in the local area, the stakes are raised and the team are baffled by
the link between the crimes. Calladine and Bayliss race against time to prevent
any more carnage.
Tom Calladine is a single, fifty-something
detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is
not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of
twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.
Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking but loyal. She wishes she had more time for the gym and a love life. She uses her demanding workload as an excuse not to try too hard with the men she meets. Her hobby is birdwatching.
Book 1 – Dead Wrong
I joined the
Calladine and Bayliss series at Dead Jealous and reading the series from book 1
has been on my TBR list ever since. So I
was thrilled to find a slot to go back to the beginning.
Usually I expect
book 1 to be slow going with a lot of character building but Helen has
successfully avoided this and the book moves along at an adrenaline pumping
pace from beginning to end.
Calladine is DI,
married to the job. His first marriage
broke down in the early stages as Rachel couldn’t cope with coming second. He is now in a relationship with Monika who works
at the Care Home where his Mother lives.
However, he isn’t committed to the relationship. He is a good detective but he always looks
for things that don’t appear to be there and his team find this annoying but
what is more annoying is that he is usually right.
Ruth Baylis is his
Sargant and a dedicated one at that but she is methodical and deals with the
facts in front of her. She is single and
happily so and like Calladine is dedicated to her job.
We learn about the
characters as part of the story. It is
expertly done. The characters gain depth
and complexity as the investigation unfolds with events prompting the look back
into their backgrounds.
The story had me
hooked from the prologue. It starts with
school bullies which lead to a boy dying.
The death is decided to be accidental but someone wants the bullies to
pay for the part they played. When the
first body parts turn up it has all the markings of a drug war but the reality
is much worse. Who is killing the
bullies and why now?
This is a gripping
story full of twists and turns but the ending is a shock I never saw
coming. This is a brilliant beginning to
a bestselling series. Helen has set the
foundations on which to build the series and I am thrilled to be along for the
5 stars from me.
Book 2 – Dead Silent
Book 2 in the
Calladine and Bayliss series and another brilliant read.
suffering. His mother has died and Lydia
has gone the last person he needs to see at his Mother’s funeral is Fallon, his
wayward cousin. Then he is called away to a murder.
Someone is targeting
American students and who is Vida? How
can these young women go missing and nobody knows or cares? Except Alice, a student who has been doing a
bit of amateur investigation.
This is a totally
gripping twisty turny book with plenty going on: an abducted child, murder of a witness and
the dead/missing young women. Given that
Calladine is short a detective and his DCI is ineffectual the team have their
work cut out trying to juggle everything so the last thing Calladine is
expecting is to have Pandora’s box delivered from the grave.
But this is
Calladine and with Ruth Bayliss’ help he will put the pieces together and get
the bad guys, all of them.
continue to develop and I felt I got to know Calladine a lot more. He is a realistic character with flaws and
good points and his team all work together really well so it is no surprise
that they start to untangle the web of lies and secrets and find the way
forward to solve the cases.
read. I am loving this series.
Book 3 – Dead
I do like the format
of the books in this series so far. With
the Prologue providing you with a taster and the story switching between the
police investigation and the mind of the killer.
continue to develop and the events in their personal lives makes them more
interesting and realistic. I won’t say
too much about the characters and events as I don’t want to spoil it for
This book sees the
introduction of Greco (he has a series of his own so I wont say much about him
at this stage). When the cases overlap
between the different forces Greco and Calladine clash each wanting control of
the case/s and Ruth is tasked with trying to persuade Calladine to be less
precious which makes for an interesting side story.
The story itself is
intriguing and really makes you think outside the box with a very unlikely
killer on the loose working through a bucket list. There is no MO each murder is different and
the clues are sparse as the team appear to be fishing in the dark looking for
something, anything that could turn into a lead.
Lots of twists and
turns and a massive helping of stress for Calladine as he struggles to crack
the case before Greco .
addition to a very addictive series.
Helen H Durrant
Helen sets her books in the area she has lived in for many years. The towns and villages that sit in the shelter of the Pennine hills. This is an area between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills. It offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein.
Helen always planned to write crime novels. But until she retired from full-time work in a local further education college, it had to go on the back burner. Once she did retire – there was no excuse. She now writes full-time. Retirement proper will have to wait!
Currently there are nine books in the ‘Calladine & Bayliss’ series available – Dead Wrong, Dead Silent, Dead List, Dead Lost, Dead & Buried, Dead Nasty, Dead Jealous, Dead Bad, and the latest – Dead Guilty. There is also a box set of the first three books.
Also available are four books in the ‘DI Greco’ series – Dark Murder, Dark Houses, Dark Trade, and the latest – Dark Angel.
There are two books in the DI Matt Brindle series – His Third Victim and The Other Victim.
The DCI Rachel King series has two books – Next Victim and Two Victims