Sunday, 5 February 2017

Review - Don't Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt

Don’t Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt is the second book in the Eden Berrisford series and, being quite a fan of Mel’s writing it was a book that I had eagerly been waiting for. Having read several of Mel’s books already, I can safely say from the start of this review that Don’t Look Behind You is undoubtedly her best novel to date. Gritty and engaging from beginning to end, I found myself flying through this book at an incredible speed. 

Within the book we are reunited with Detective Sergeant Eden Berrisford, a single mum to her daughter Casey and the team leader of the Community Intelligence Team. Upon meeting Eden in Don’t Look Behind You, we learn that the small city of Stockleigh is in shock after three women are brutally attacked within days of eachother. As we follow Eden throughout the investigation, we not only see her cross paths with Carla who is desperately trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to an abusive man ended in tragedy but also put herself in grave danger. Can Eden catch the person responsible for the attacks before they strike again?

As I have come to expect from a book written by Mel Sherratt, all of the characters that we meet within Don’t Look Behind You really come to life. Carla was a character who I felt extremely emotional for, my heart went out to her throughout the book and I couldn’t help but feel the fear that she did herself being faced with what she was. There’s no doubt in my mind that hers is a story that will stay with me for a very long time to come, one that I won’t forget in a hurry. Meanwhile, despite experiencing a few troubles of her own in her personal life, Eden once again comes across as a strong female lead who is extremely passionate about and dedicated to both the job and the victims. Meeting Eden for a second time in Don’t Look Behind You, I would say that whilst this book can be read as a standalone novel the first book in the series provides the background information you need to understand what Eden is going through more so I do recommend reading them in order. 

Dealing with domestic abuse and painting what I fear is a very real picture of it, I can’t say that Don’t Look Behind You was always a pleasant read and there were many times when I felt more than a little bit uncomfortable. However, I do believe that Mel is to be commended for the way in which she handles this topic in such a brilliant and expert way, with sensitivty and tact, demonstrating how abuse can not only affect someone physically but also emotionally which I feel can sometimes be so badly overlooked. 

A truly thrilling yet also a very harrowing read, I often had to remind myself to breathe whilst reading it, Don’t Look Behind You was one that pulled me in from the start and gripped me from the very first page. It was dark, full of twists and turns and everything you'd expect a good thriller to be. I’m looking forward to reading more by this author and seeing where she will next take us in what has so far been a great series!