Series: Detective Jessie Blake #3
Published by Bookouture on January 22 2020
Also by this author: Heartlands , Safe Home
Jean Angus pours the last of the lukewarm tea into her chipped cup, shivering as she looks outside into the dark night. Her eyes are drawn to a slow movement not far from her cosy farmhouse. She’s not expecting visitors. And as the back door opens with a bang, she doesn’t even have time to shout for help.
On a dark winter night, the bodies of Malcolm and Jean Angus lie cold and still in a pool of blood in their kitchen. Detective Jessie Blake is called in to find out what happened to the reclusive pair.
Searching the couple’s property, Jessie learns about a vicious dispute with a nearby landowner, Rachel Ferguson, and when Jessie looks into Rachel further, she doesn’t expect what comes up. Rachel isn’t the person everyone thinks she is and a previous murder conviction just made her Jessie’s prime suspect.
The small Perthshire town begins to gossip about the double murder and Jessie’s own past comes back to haunt her when her abusive ex-husband begins to interfere in her new life. As the town starts a witch hunt against Rachel, Jessie is under pressure to find out what really happened in the farmhouse that night.
Because if it isn’t Rachel, then who is the murderer living among them, waiting to kill again?
✮ My Review ✮
Ms Watts never fails to amaze me! This is the third book in the Jessie Blake series and it shows no signs of slowing down! Each story has so many mini-stories to keep you guessing to how they are all linked with the main story. I guessed a couple of things in this book but rather than it disappoint me, it made me so happy!
After such a brutal beginning, exposing us to the horrific murder of an elderly couple that happened in 1991, I just couldn’t see where we were going with this. Fast forward to present day with another elderly couple being murdered, it made me wonder if history is repeating itself?
Watts usual makeup of a small pool of characters to provide a well-rounded point of view and information just works wonders. I am never bored when reading her books, more frustrated that I have to do adulting. Watts’ books do need to come with a warning, once you start reading you don’t want to stop! A bit like a Pringle!! I started the book crazily at midnight but had to go to bed and I couldn’t sleep for ages because I wanted to get back to the book but I knew I had to do some adulting, so instead, I devoured most Her Secret Past in a 2-hour car journey! Tsk!
At the start, you can’t see how all the pawns in the book would fit it, but boy does it get juicy and taut when you do, each moving around a chessboard until it is checkmate! When past and present collide there are a lot of fireworks. However, it’s not just the case that is causing problems for Jessie, it’s when her past is catching up with her and that is also truly terrifying especially as it seems history really does repeat itself!
I really can’t praise this series enough. The first two both hit my books for the year, as I just love the writing style and structure of Ms Watts writing. She has a magic formula where she has struck gold. You are kept on the edge trying to figure out the jigsaw puzzle of people. You are drip-fed information until the right time and then bam! You wish you had more warning. It makes the book flow so fast-paced and it sucks you in. It whispers to you to keep reading just another chapter…go on you know you want to!
Jessie is a strong woman, so strong that it has taken three books before she finally considers confiding to someone her past. She takes this strength and realised that the past can’t hold her back anymore and that everyone is not the same. It drives and pushes her forward in a more determined state to solve this mystery, more so when it encroaches into her personal life. *shivers*
This book I think might just be the darkest one yet with all the topics covered and used to drive Her Secret Past. Abuse in all forms, mental illness and alcoholism are at the foundations of the characters, all dictating how everything will play out. The ending left me with some chills because it’s open-ended and it will be interesting to see what explosions we have in book four. I love that Ms Watts can keep surprising me with every book and I am excited to see what will happen in the next book! Just hope I don’t have to wait too long.
Until next time xxx
Be sure to check out my blog buddy today with her review Loopy Lou Laura.
What has been said on tour already?
Book Mark! says:- The story…..well, the opening has to be one of THE openings of the year, had me open mouthed and then the book reverts between that crime and a crime just committed, how the 2 could be linked and why and what secrets the stirling cast are keeping
Fireflies and Free Kicks says:- I admire that the effort was made to make things interesting, and there were a few twists that worked well. I did appreciate that what was one of the bigger “reveals” occurred relatively early in the book, as it allowed other questions to arise. This did make a couple of points more interesting as well.
Star Crossed Reviews says:- The story itself had lots of twists and turns. It kept me guessing all the way through. As well as uncovering the murderer this book also deals with lots of other issues domestic abuse, sexual abuse and mental health. Kerry deals with these issues in a sensitive way while still showing the seriousness of these. Kerry had me gripped from the prologue to the epilogue and I cannot wait to return to the world of Jessie Blake!
Stardust Book Reviews says:- I love this series of books, particularly due to the Scottish setting. The story feels so authentic that I can hear the Scottish accent reading it out to me! Jessie is a strong character and even with her personal life crashing down around her, she manages to lead the team, keep control and work on the case. There were plenty of characters within the story to view as suspects and there was also lots of red herrings, dead ends and twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout the book. The storyline was well planned and moved at a great pace, holding my interest right through to the last page.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: