Review: Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer @carolewyer @bookouture

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Three murders. Three innocent victims. What secrets did they share with their killer? A bottle of bubble bath and colourful, plastic boats were scattered in small puddles on the floor. In the bathtub lay Linda Upton, fully-clothed, her lips a shade of blue, and her bloodshot eyes wide open. When a young mother is found drowned in the bath, clutching a receipt saying ‘all debts paid’, Detective Robyn Carter knows it’s just the beginning of a harrowing case. She recognises the signs of a serial killer, and when a second victim with a receipt is found, her worst fears are confirmed. With the local press whipping the public into a frenzy, Robyn is under pressure to solve the crime yesterday. But her team can’t find a link between the two bodies, and the cracks are starting to show. Just when her leads have dried up, Robyn discovers an unsettling clue she thinks could unlock the case. But as she chases across the plush carpets and manicured lawns of the wealthy elite, honing in on the killer’s shocking motive, one of her own is put in terrible danger. The press call him The Leopard for his stealth, speed and brutality. Can Robyn stop the most twisted killer of her career before it’s too late?

A few months ago, I read and enjoyed Little Girl Lost, the first book in a new series by Carol Wyer. This author’s first crime novel was impressive and I couldn’t believe she had never written mysteries before. I devoured it as quickly as I could and I was left wanting for more. When I saw the second book on Netgalley, I requested it immediately. Time for a buddy read along with Novels Thrills and Chills!

And Carol Wyer didn’t disappoint this time either: Secrets of the Dead was an equally addictive and thrilling crime procedural, featuring a brave and likable detective called Robyn Carter. I love many things about Robyn I love that she’s willing to ignore her boss and continue investigating something that she isn’t supposed to when her instinct tells her that she’s onto something. I wouldn’t like her otherwise, and unlike other detectives, I think Robyn always knows what she’s doing. And she might be broken, but she isn’t rude or particularly cold.

Secrets of the Dead was fast-paced and engaging and it didn’t take me long to finish it. The first death and the following murders were initially confusing, but it all started making sense after a while, especially when the whole “invoice” thing that had me so intrigued was finally explained. I also appreciated the addition of Robyn’s cousin and his wife and I’d love to see more of them in the next installments.

Still, I think Secrets of the Dead was quite different from its predecessor and I want to share my thoughts as to why. Little Girl Lost was a police procedural, sure, but it read like a proper psychological thriller. One of the main characters wasn’t the detective and we got to know her pretty well. The focus was on the lives of these characters and what was happening to them. This time, though, Robyn and the investigation were the main focus (along with various chapters told from the murderer’s point of view), so it wasn’t the same. And believe me, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy this book, because you all know I’m a big fan of police procedurals, however, I think I missed a bit of the psychological aspect of Little Girl Lost and I was eagerly expecting something similar to it.

Anyway, besides that detail, I must say this series is really good and I’d love to find out a bit more about Robyn and her personal life. Hopefully soon!

Netgalley, Bookouture 2017

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Annie

In a past life, I was probably a tortured police detective with a dark and traumatic past. Right now, however, I'm just a twenty-something bookworm who loves listening to old songs and watching 90s movies. I enjoy mystery and crime, southern coming of age stories and historical fiction set in the last century.

35 thoughts on “Review: Secrets of the Dead by Carol Wyer @carolewyer @bookouture

  1. Annie, thank you for such a fantastic review. I am thrilled to pieces that you enjoyed SECRETS OF THE DEAD. I was so concerned that the follow-up to LITTLE GIRL LOST would flop but am delighted to see it being enjoyed. I loved that book too. (Even though I hated writing the first scene in it)

    The series consists of seven books (at the moment) and you’ll be seeing a lot more of the main characters (Yes – Ross and his wife!)

    They’re all a little different. I had to vary the way I wrote each so they didn’t become too predicatable in style, and you’ll be pleased to know others in the series have more of a psychological edge to them, much like the first one as that whats really interests me. 🙂 There’s also a surprise in Book 3!

    Thank you so much for taking out the time to read, review and tell everyone about my books. I truly appreciate it and hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Carol, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to read the review and leaving a comment ❤ 7 books! WOW hahaha

      YAY for Ross 🙂

      I liked what you said about all of them being a bit different… and can't wait to find out about the surprise… is it the husband? lol

      Can't wait to read more!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review Annie! I bought Little Girl Lost a few months ago. I have yet to read it 😕, no good reason I just need to make the time. I had no idea book two is already out. Yikes… I’ve got some reading to do!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your review! I have both books waiting for me, so I’m glad you mentioned the slightly different part given to the psychological side! I like that a series can successfully change this way without losing what makes it good! Robyn sounds like a great character! I love it when bosses aren’t listened to, haha, it’s something I’ve never dared doing so I’m living it through the books!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad this is such a good series so far! I tend to like psychological thrillers more than police procedurals per se, but this one definitely looks good. Adding this one to my TBR for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review Annie and nice to read Carol’s comment too. 7 books already, wow. I loved the first book because of the psychological aspect. I ma yet to pick this one because it sounded too cop procedural and it seems like I was right about that. I am still curious though so I may get it someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent review! Good to see you enjoyed this sequel as well; I agree Secrets Of The Dead feels different from the first book, although in my case it worked in its favor haha. I can’t wait to see more of Robyn Carter in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I should probably reread the first just to be sure, but I did give this one a higher rating… But like you I like both so it could have been just a mood thing.

        Liked by 2 people

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