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**BLOG TOUR** She Was the Quiet One by Michele Campbell

51xSXTTs1CLRose and Bel Enright haven’t had the best start in life. After the death of their parents, they are sent to live with their grandmother who wastes no time in packing them off to boarding school, albeit the exclusive Odell. Heath and Sarah Donovan are also at Odell, but as teachers, starting a new life after a scandal threatened to tear them apart. All is not as it seems at the school, however, and one night there is a murder on campus. Who has been killed and who is the perpetrator? The lives of all involved will never be the same again…

The idea of a boarding school is quite an alien concept to those of us who have never experienced anything of the sort and Odell is definitely not the sort of school I am used to! From the outset, we see the rift beginning between the sisters when Bel, already beginning to go off the rails, ingratiates herself with the ‘cool’ crowd. Rose, on the other hand, is keen to experience all that Odell has to offer, working hard and befriending her tutor, Sarah Donovan. This is a stark contrast to Bel, who is more than keen to develop a friendship with Sarah’s husband, Heath…

From quite early on in the book, we learn that the murdered person is one of the sisters, but we do not know which one. This was very clever as, due to the way the story progresses, both had a motive to kill the other one, and, indeed, there may be more people who would want to see one, or both, of the sisters dead. As both of the sisters find themselves deeper into situations beyond their control, the tension mounts and there is a definite sense of foreboding. One part of the book, in particular, left a nasty taste in the mouth – the incident leading up to the major rift between the sisters. I do not want to go into detail as I do not want to spoil the plot, but I will say that I was incensed by the attitude of some of the adults in the book who did not seem to think that there was anything wrong with what happened.

Throughout the book, I had the most sympathy for Sarah Donovan, a woman trying to bring up her family and work in a particularly demanding job, not knowing if there is any truth to the whispers that are spreading round the school. I willed her to investigate further and found myself fearful that something untoward was going to happen to her.

She Was the Quiet One was a fantastic fast-paced read that shows how quickly life as we know it can change as a result of the decisions we make. Highly recommended.

With thanks to Joe Thomas at HQ / Harper Collins for allowing me to review this fantastic book.

 

 

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons

Detective Inspector Kim Stone is not convinced that the suicide of a teenage girl is what it seems, so when the body of a boy is found at the same school, it soon becomes clear that these incidents are no accidents. With a wall of silence encircling her, Kim gets the break she needs when one of the teachers is prepared to talk before she, too, is found dead. Desperate to bring this case to a conclusion before more lives are lost, Kim knows that time is most definitely against her.

What can I say? Every time I read the next Kim Stone book, I’m convinced that it can’t be as good as the previous ones, only for Angela Marsons to, once again, pull it out of the bag. This is unbelievably true with Dying Truth which, in my opinion, is the best of the series so far. This is no mean feat for a series that is now in its eighth installment.

I love a book that hooks you right from the start and Angela Marsons has certainly done this from the very first pages. It’s not often that a book provides a shock so early on but by starting the story at its climax, it is impossible not to read at a rate of knots to try to see what leads up to those shocking events. When we do finally reach this point in the story, nothing can prepare you for what you are about to read. There is no wonder that bloggers who have already read this book are talking about needing a support group – Angie, how could you?!

Growing up, many readers would have been fascinated by boarding schools after reading Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series. Heathcrest, the school in Dying Truth is nothing like that, however, with secret societies and bullying being more of an everyday occurrence than midnight feasts and playful practical jokes. This is a school full of deadly secrets that are slowly being revealed, with staff and pupils doing their best to keep them well hidden. Kim being Kim, though, is determined to make a nuisance of herself, and is doing everything she can to get under the skin of those involved.

We also see a return of two characters in cameo roles. Reporter Tracy Frost is back, albeit in a very minor role. I always enjoy her interactions with Kim – two strong women with very different crime scene etiquette! Perhaps the biggest shock though, is the reappearance of Kim’s nemesis, Dr Alexandra Thorne. Still in prison for what happened in a previous book, Thorne is called upon to share her expertise with the detective. As Thorne is more used to being able to manipulate everyone she comes into contact with, it was great to see Kim have the upper hand.

Dying Truth is an amazing book and definitely one of my favourites of the year so far. Angela Marsons has certainly surpassed herself with this one. If you are not up to date with this series, make it a priority to catch up!

With thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for my ARC.

Read my reviews of the rest of the series:

Silent Scream

Evil Games

Lost Girls

Play Dead

Blood Lines

Dead Souls

Broken Bones

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