Welcome to my stop on the blog blitz for Closer to Home by Heleyne Hammersley, I’m delighted to be sharing my review with you today.
Family. Secrets. Murder.
Newly promoted DI Kate Fletcher has reluctantly returned to her home town after a twenty-year absence and a recent divorce. The discovery of a child’s body near the estate where Kate grew up has her rushing back to Thorpe – a place of bad memories and closed mouths.
As her team investigate the murder, they keep hitting dead ends. The community is reluctant to reopen old wounds and retell old stories. But Kate’s history refuses to stay buried.
Then another child disappears…
Can Kate solve the case and right the wrongs from her past?
The present and the past are always connected, it’s just a case of figuring out ‘the how and the why’ because that leads you to ‘the who’. Told mostly in the present, with flashbacks from the past, the murder of a child brings Kate back to her home town and a case I enjoyed solving alongside her. I couldn’t figure this mystery out ahead of time and until Kate began putting the pieces of this puzzle together, I was pleasantly kept in the dark.
One of the main things I loved about this novel was the realistic portrayal of both the case and the characters. Kate was extremely likeable, and came across very down to earth, she cared about her entire team and was determined to solve this case. None of the characters were over-written, it all just felt natural, the characters came across as real people. There were no unrealistic moments where Hammersley made a ‘jump’ causing events to feel unconnected or the flow disrupted. The plot was entirely believable; the ‘realistic-ness’ of this case really shone through for me.
The pacing of this novel was spot-on, the pace wasn’t too fast, so it didn’t read as a thriller, but it wasn’t too slow, so you lose interest, either. I read this novel in two sittings and I thoroughly enjoyed both sittings. There’s not too much of a backstory for the characters in this novel, in the sense that there’s no subplot, the focus is solely on the case. I’m a huge fan of reading about the personal lives of the detectives as they’re trying to solve their current case so you can trust me when I say this novel works well without that trope.
Closer to Home is a solid selection for fans of police procedurals and mystery books; it’s not too gory or gritty, and that was much appreciated because the case features children and too much gore would be hard for even the most seasoned reader to stomach.
Sometimes when you’re reading a novel, you’re looking for it to fulfill a need, e.g. if you want that adrenaline rush, you pick up a fast-paced thriller. Closer to Home doesn’t feature the most complex case but if you’re looking for a novel to relax and unwind with, this is the perfect choice – a police procedural with dark themes but is a light read, enjoyable all the way through.
*My thanks to Bloodhound Books for providing me with a digital copy of this book and inviting me to participate in the blog blitz*
About the Author:
Heleyne Hammersley was born in South Yorkshire but has lived in Cumbria for the last twenty years where she sometimes teaches English and often walks on the fells.
She has been writing since junior school – her first work was a collection of poems called Give Them the Works when she was ten years old. The poems were carefully handwritten on plain paper and tied together with knitting wool. Since then she’s gone on to complete a number of creative writing courses with the Open University and she is a regular NaNoWriMo participant.
The idea for her first novel, Forgotten, came about while on an extended holiday in China and South-East Asia in 2001.
Heleyne’s second novel, Fracture, again features travel. Set against the backdrop of the Great Ocean Road this tense psychological thriller centres around a fatal road trip.
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