If you are not on Twitter, you might not know that I lived the last four days without electricity. Because of this, my review of the second installment in the DS Grace Allendale series is late (and I am so so so so sorry for this! Forgive me, Mel!)
But no more waiting! Here I am!
I would like to thank Avon Books, and especially Sabah, for inviting me to be part of this blog tour. Thank you to Mel Sherratt for her understanding (and for writing such amazing books!)
Title: Tick Tock (DS Grace Allendale Book 2)
Author: Mel Sherratt
Date of publication: 2 May 2019
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Number of pages: 385
In the city of Stoke, a teenage girl is murdered in the middle of the day, her lifeless body abandoned in a field behind her school.
Two days later, a young mother is abducted. She’s discovered strangled and dumped in a local park.
DS Grace Allendale and her team are brought in to investigate, but with a bold killer, no leads and nothing to connect the victims, the case seems hopeless. It’s only when a third woman is targeted that a sinister pattern emerges. A dangerous mind is behind these attacks, and Grace realises that the clock is ticking…
Can they catch the killer before another young woman dies?
The #1 bestseller returns with a breath-taking thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Perfect for fans of Martina Cole and Kimberley Chambers.
Once on the lane, she took out her phone. She wanted to see who was saying what about their dead girl. Like most cops, Grace had a love-hate relationship with social media. Sometimes it was great for their intelligence, getting to the root of things, because some people are more likely to be honest online than to the police. Other times, it was macabre, reporting on real-time crimes before victims’ families had been notified.
She clicked onto Twitter and typed in the girl’s name. Nothing there yet, thankfully, but she saw the hashtag #deadgirlatDunwood was trending in the local area. Next, she tracked down Lauren Ansell on Facebook, the image of the girl startling her as she popped up so full of life on her page. Despite her age, Lauren didn’t have a closed profile, so it was all over that feed.
Posts were coming through, even though her status hadn’t been updated since nine thirty the night before, which could mean that some of the pupils’ parents would know by now as the rumour mill exploded.
Are you okay?
I’ve heard something’s happened at your school. Message me!
This can’t be true. Not Lauren. This is a wind-up!
‘It’s all over Twitter and Facebook that something’s going on at the school.’ Grace showed Nick the screen. ‘Some are already sensationalising it. I do hope we can get to her next of kin in time.’
‘I just pray she isn’t friends with her own parents,’ Nick added. ‘We’d better get over there as soon as we can.’
A title can make or break a book. Mel Sherratt’s series starring DS Grace Allendale has some of the best titles. I had been very keen to read Hush Hush, hearing those two words whispered in my ears with every turning page. This time, an old grandfather clock accompanied my reading, its Tick Tock slowly but surely resonating like a heartbeat as I raced through this second novel!
Tick Tock. Life is short, hours stretch, days fly by. Time is a nasty thing. Math classes last forever, an afternoon with friends disappears in the blink of an eye.
Seconds. Minutes. They make the difference between life and death. Mel Sherratt holds a timer in her hand, and she is not afraid to push her characters standing to the edge of the hand, making them jump from the little to the big one. It gives Tick Tock a sense of urgency that had me either pacing in a crowded room waiting for a killer’s next move or running through the streets all sirens blaring, sweat tricking down my spine. Images of course! I couldn’t juggle the adrenaline from this explosive narrative and an actual work-out!!! Actually, you don’t need to do sports when reading this series. You get the endorphins, you get the cardio training, and to top it all, your brain runs a marathon too!
Talk about a grabbing opening! I was thrown back to my teen years and those awful hours of cross-country runs. Boy, I hated them! But there is no time to reminisce as a shocking event turns this school torture into a deadly nightmare when a young girl is discovered strangled. Who? Why? How? The timeframe for the murder is so short I thought I’d missed a page! Unfortunately, I hadn’t, and soon, DS Grace Allendale and her team were on the scene while somewhere, someone had set the timer…
Grace is one of those characters who deeply cares about the victims and their family. Her empathy is what makes her, and the series, different. It also is the reason why the author doesn’t need grisly scenes and horrendous descriptions to get the reader invested in a case. Grace follows her instinct, her cop cap never prevents her from feeling and thinking like any person facing families’ worst days. Her own loss and history make her wiser, stronger, and not afraid to let her emotion guide her. Instead of focusing on death itself, Mel Sherratt zooms on the weight of grief, the effect of the sudden passing of loved ones, and she creates a special and precious bond between the reader, the team, and the victims. I wanted justice. I wanted answers. And again, a giant door named TIME was slammed over and over in Grace’s face as the body toll increased. Legwork is necessary but can be so frustrating, especially when there are no visible links between the strangler’s victims. The dilemma to wait for another kill to try and catch the murderer is excruciating!
Grace’s relationship with Simon adds some spicy moments and we are allowed to watch her grow, open up, and work her way through the muddy waters between the police and newspapers.
When things get personal, Grace must speed up to catch up with a monster with a wicked mind and a clever plan. The tension became unbearable at this point, and I never saw that ending coming! I bit the inside of my cheek! After suspecting so many people and trying to figure out whether I’d missed a hint, I was left stunned by a brilliant (and despicable) culprit!
Gritty, authentic, and absolutely oozing tension, Tick Tock is perfect for anyone looking for a master read!
You can grab your copy NOW! Amazon
Check out the blog tour poster for more info and thoughts about this brilliant book!
I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books.
You can find out more at my website www.melsherratt.co.uk or I’m on Twitter at @writermels