Book Title: Scared to Death
Author: Rachel Amphlett
Series: Kay Hunter #1
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
Date Read: 12/09/16
Pub Date: 12/06/16
When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.
When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.
With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…
Guys, I have been searching awhile for a book like this one. While I like my leading ladies flawed and imperfect, I needed a slight change from these women who are barely hanging on by a thread and the only place they keep it together is on the clock. Don’t get me wrong, I think that storyline works well, but it can’t be the only type of character we follow or things get old and we get oh-so-tired of the same old. This book was quite refreshing in the sense that our main character is pretty well polished and put together. Sure she has plenty of issues and struggles, but they seem fairly normal and she is depicted as working through them. Kay Hunter is a strong female, no doubt, yet she isn’t just strong around the boys while doing her job. She’s got a stable, relatively comfortable life with a romantic relationship and things to do outside of work. This is a whole new side to a female police officer that we rarely see and I like it.
This book was brutal. That’s not meant as a criticism, just a fair warning that it is graphic, intense, and hard to stomach at times. If you are looking for a fluffy murder mystery with coffee and cats, this ain’t it. If you, like me, enjoy gritty, suspenseful and disturbing stories, jump on board; this one’s for you. Without giving away too much regarding the plot, it felt like the book fell into sections for me as I went back in my mind to gloss over what I’d read. There was the part regarding the first abduction/murder, then there was the next part regarding the murdered man, and then there was the second girl abduction part, and so on… I really liked the distinct feeling of separation between sections as it gave a more realistic, organized view of many different working parts that come together in an investigation. The format and writing quality are fantastic and I didn’t feel lost at any given point.
If you have triggers regarding abuse, this might be a tough read for you. There is quite a bit of graphic descriptions, but nothing a typical murder/thriller reader can’t stomach. The violence and gore isn’t just for shock value and is vital to the story, so just know that going in. The author did a great job of writing about some really tough subjects in a tasteful and respectful way. I thought the cover art was brilliant in capturing the feel of the book. If you are a fan of the more graphic, intense, gritty thriller, I’d highly recommend giving this one a try. I’m truly looking forward to where the author takes us next in Detective Kay Hunter’s adventures.
*Many thanks to the author for providing my copy; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review!