Their Last Breath – Sibel Hodge

Since joining Netgalley, I’ve been given the opportunity to read more than a few British authors, and have much enjoyed these adventures ‘across the pond’. This newest one, by author Sibel Hodge, did not disappoint, and I will absolutely be reading her again!

It’s 0335 when retired Detective Sargeant Warren Carter answers his phone to hear a former supervisor in his ear, asking for an early morning meeting. Still fearful about his deception from another case being discovered, he’s sure he’s been found out, but the meeting is actually for something quite different.

Superintendent Caroline Barker advises him of a structure fire that had occurred earlier that AM. Inside the building were six women who had been found chained to the wall, and all but one was deceased. With one of the bodies was a warrant card that held the logo of their police department. She then asks him to come out of retirement to help her investigate the possible connection. He accepts and becomes the acting investigator for the Police Anti-Corruption Squad.

Flash to a refugee camp in Syria, where a young woman, Hayat, is hoping to barter for a trip to England where she can work and live in safety. She secures a ride out of the camp, but her journey is just beginning…

Meanwhile, DI Becky Harris is investigating the deaths of two people – seemingly random murders – stumbled upon by Gillian, the wife of the homeowner, returning unexpectedly. More interesting to Becky is that the killer chased Gillian into the street, where she was struck by a car – and who was Gillian’s husband with?

As each investigation continues, Becky begins to suspect that they are somehow connected. Her commanding officer, decorated DCI Munroe, disagrees and continually attempts to refocus Becky’s attention elsewhere. But Becky is not deterred and connects with DS Carter to share her concerns, and the two together bring down a house of police corruption and human trafficking that reaches to the highest level.

Told from the perspectives of Warren, Becky & Hayat, this is a novel of human trafficking, abuse and perseverance, and it will resonate with you long after the final page is turned. I loved it!

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.

The Shape Of Night – Tess Gerritsen

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Ava, a food writer, fleeing from a situation that shames her, has left Boston for the summer and has rented a home in Maine. The house, Brodie’s Watch, was built in 1861 by a sea captain, Jeremiah Brodie, who later perished in a shipwreck. But his home still stands as a sentinel to the sea, with renovations ongoing in hopes of an eventual sale.

Upon Ava’s arrival, she senses that the house has accepted her, and soon she thinks she sees someone standing on the deck of the widows walk. She searches the home for an intruder, but there isn’t one. She chalks up her sighting as a trick of the light but makes a mental note to research the background of Captain Brodie for her new book. After too much whiskey one evening, she heads to bed, and wakes suddenly after feeling something touch her breast and hears a voice say, “You are the one I’ve been waiting for…”. A search of the house again reveals no intruders. He again appears a few nights later, and Ava feels herself being drawn into his spell.

Curious about her experiences, but unsure who to talk to, Ava seeks out the advice of a ghost hunter named Maeve who. Listens attentively. She also assures Ava that she will research the news archives a bit to see if there is any history of tragic events that have occurred that could indicate a pattern, or a problem other than a ghost.

As Maeve digs deeper into Captain Brodie’s background, she learns some unsettling things – she also learns that all of the women who have entered and resided in the house have inexplicably died, and she fears Ava’s home may harbor a demon. Meanwhile, in Ava’s dreams, the Captain continues to visit, and the events that follow make him seem all too real, and Ava finds herself drawn to him and the house in ways she can’t explain.

Needing to know the truth about the ghost in the house, Ava turns to Maeve for help. Maeve assembles her team of ghost hunters in an effort to document Captain Brodie’s visits. Will they find a ghost or a demon? Or is it possible that a living killer in their midst may be responsible??

I was a bit curious to see how this stand-alone book would turn out after reading all of Tess Gerritsen’s early works. This seemed like a bit of a departure from the norm for her, so I was a bit ambivalent…that lasted only until the first few pages – then I was hooked!! I could not put the book down and read it in a day! I may have fallen under the Captain’s spell a bit myself! I really enjoyed this book, was sorry to see it end as I turned the last page, and I highly recommend it to any who love a good, paranormal who-dun-it!

I was fortunate to receive this book as an Advance Reader Copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review.