5* Even better than the last! `
Having read ‘A Killer Strikes’ and the Grayson Trilogy, I was itching to read this book which is the second in the writer’s latest series, ‘A Shade Darker’. It didn’t disappoint.
I was delighted to discover the storyline centres around ‘Sharon’ – a very memorable character from book one. She is the village gossip who runs a grocery store, and is one of those characters you love to hate! She’s an intolerant wife, unloving mother and a back-stabbing bitch. Not to mention selfish, manipulative, and even delusional at times.
Written from 1st POV we are taken inside Sharon’s bitter and twisted mind. Nothing is more satisfying than to watch the unravelling of a character like this, which is expertly done.
Whilst this book could be read without prior knowledge of ‘A Killer Strikes’, I really loved how familiar characters were brought back in, arriving like unexpected friends at a dinner party! A certain person, alias Trent, deserves mentioning here, since he has travelled through the story line from book number one of the Grayson Trilogy. I confess I may have fallen for him a little – or at least fancy him! So, it was easy to see how young Daisy develops a crush on him. At her age, I would have probably acted the same way!
Daisy is desperate to escape her controlling mother (Sharon) and is groomed by someone who pretends to be Trent! This drama was the highlight of the book for me, and I was turning the pages at great speed. I love suspense. I love danger! However, this section reached its conclusion a little too soon for my liking. I would have loved to see more made of it; I’m thinking ‘Misery’ by Stephen King! The awkwardness of the situation (Daisy’s crush) was handled brilliantly by Trent and his wife, and all’s well that ends well. Hope to see you again in future books Trent!
There are other threads that will keep you gripped too, such as Sharon finding ways to take revenge on her husband and keep him away from his new lover. Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn! I’m always fascinated by how much research an author carries out for their work, and would think twice before accepting a dinner invite at the writer’s home – especially if it’s chilli! (You will understand when you read the book!)
What I love most about this author’s work is her characterisation. This is a strength in all of her books. You will live, breathe, and eat with her characters in so much detail, you truly feel you know them – like family. She also does suspense so well; things unfold at just the right pace with some nice ‘edgy’ surprises.
I racked my brain to think why exactly I give this book five stars when ‘A Killer Strikes’ received four stars. The answer is, I believe, that I enjoyed this book more than the last one, because…. it is a ‘shade darker’. How ironic!
The ending of this book is perfect. I hate it when you have an unsatisfying ending with loose ends or you’re left thinking, what just happened? Everything rounds up nicely, but with a bonus little ‘dark’ surprise. I won’t go into detail, but it certainly left me questioning what any of us may resort to for a little ‘revenge’.
Roll on book 3. I’m hooked.
You can purchase ‘The Shape of Revenge’, and other books in the series from a shop of your choice here: https://books2read.com/ShapeOfRevenge