This week is BOOKOUTURE WEEK on Chocolate’n’Waffles!
Why focus on one publisher? The main reason is that few Bookouture books have disappointed me and I wanted December to be a good reading month. So I took a bet on them. Okay, a safe bet, but still! Another reason is that Bookouture was the first publisher to trust me when I started blogging, and they have given me great novels, fab friendships, and lots of fun, so I wanted to give back with seven reviews in a row, as a thank you and a ‘let’s have even more fun next year’!
One rule: all books have been read this month! As always, thank you to the fantastic Bookouture team for feeding me via NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate! Happy Tuesday to everyone! I’m excited to talk about Last Lullaby today for the second day of our Bookouture Week!
Title: Last Lullaby
Author: Carol Wyer
Date of publication: December 2018
Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she?
When the body of mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband Adam, in their bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: The word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood.
As Natalie begins to delve deeper into the couple’s lives, she discovers that Adam has a dark past he’s been hiding and she’s sure that the Brannon’s teenage babysitter Inge has secrets of her own.
Then another mother is murdered on her doorstep in front of her young son, the word ‘why’ scrawled on the wall next to her.
All the key suspects have alibis and with her own marriage hanging by a thread, Natalie is struggling to stay focused on cracking her toughest case yet.
When a young woman and her baby disappear, a member of Natalie’s own team is put in terrible danger. Can Natalie stop this twisted serial killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever?
Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will send shivers down your spine. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.
Last Lullaby. One scary word, one comforting word. As long as I am not the one singing, lullaby is the happy word (just so we’re on the same page!) I tried my best to come up with a review written like a lullaby, but I encountered two obstacles: the first one is that I am not good with lullabies. The second involved the images that the book created in my mind. Vivid as a nightmare that wakes you up drenched in sweat, heart-wrenching as the cry of a child for their mother, impossibly addictive. I had no words!
Darkly brilliant, Last Lullaby was my first Carol Wyer book but it won’t be the last! I don’t mind grisly murders, I love blood and complex investigations. Give me a powerful and intricate plot and I’m in heaven. Well, I was in heaven with this novel!
In previous reviews, I mentioned how important the main characters are for me to connect with a narration. But this time, what kept me utterly and unconditionally engrossed was the plot. The first chapters… I was in. Thanks to the author’s brilliant characterization, I was interested in what was going to happen to the couple we meet at the start. Terrible idea to get attached, I should know! The violence of the crime didn’t just stem from the brutal murder of a mother in the room next to her kid. No, it was in the setting, in the shadows, in each word carefully chosen by Carol Wyer. It was in the unfairness. I clinched my fist, the knuckles of the hand holding the Kindle went white around it. It was like being at the receiving end of a massive blow! I even stopped breathing! I am not going to forget this book any time soon! Adrenaline was racing through my veins!
When it was all over, and the police case began, (and when my heart recovered enough), I discovered what felt like authentic police work. Realistic descriptions of the scene through cops’s eyes is always a sign of a good book to come, and the author made sure we got plenty of details, accurate and precise, to feel right in the moment. Then came the game. The lying game. I am used to witness hiding things, lists of suspects that you can’t crack, and taut interviews but Carol Wyer set a new record! This case is a giant ball of entangled wool!!! Like a cat, I kept pulling threads that led nowhere. I took one step forward, two steps back. I had a feeling everyone was hiding something, that everyone was protecting themselves and it was so frustrating! I was a cop in front of a 5-meter high wall. I loved how each suspect, each witness had a whole life, background, that I discovered one page after the other. Again, like a cat in front of a tennis game, I was going back and forth to try and figure out what the motives behind the murders were.
Along the investigation, we get clever and frightening chapters of an unknown character and their psychologist. Another smart move from the author as she keeps giving clues and red herrings galore, keeping the reader on their toes until the very last moment!
Last Lullaby is the second book in the Natalie Ward series. I liked Natalie but I felt I didn’t spend enough time with her to really get to know her. I really enjoyed the fact that she is a wife and mother trying to juggle with her personal and private lives, and I am very curious about her. I want to know more! I guess that, just like during a real case, you don’t get to spend enough time home, so I am hoping the first and later, the third book, will help me understand Natalie better, both as a cop and as a woman.
Last Lullaby is an unputdownable cat-and-mouse game with enough twists to keep you awake!
Award winning author who writes both comedies and thrillers.
Carol moved to the ‘dark side’ in 2017 with the DI Robyn Carter series, starting with best-seller LITTLE GIRL LOST the #2 best-selling book on Amazon and USA Today Top 150 best-sellers.
The Robyn Carter series has sold over 350,000 copies and foreign rights have been sold into 8 countries.
2019 sees the release of 3 more DI Natalie Ward books and two new romantic comedies, the first, is the much anticipated WHAT HAPPENS IN FRANCE.