Liz Currently Loves….Don’t Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams.


Publication Date: Available now from Headline

Source: Bookbridgr

Sheriff Ken Meltzer, from the small town of Whisper, finds the decomposing body of a girl deep in the Georgia forest. Next to her, the skeletal remains of another girl. One victim had been there for sixty days, the other for ten years. Drugs, theft and reckless speeders are the main worries in Meltzer’s county; homicide is not his speciality. A friend at the Atlanta Police Department recommends a freelancer Meltzer has never heard of – former FBI profiler and private detective Keye Street…

I absolutely adored this one, in that manic page turning way that a well written thriller can sometimes cause – this is actually book 3 in the “Keye Street” series but can easily be read as a standalone with no problem at all.

An extremely engaging and enthralling murder mystery, given added oomph thanks to the main protagonist – Keye Street is wise and wise cracking, with an intriguing background that makes you  immediately want to know more about her – and as I said on Twitter the other night, I DO like it when an author can bring the funny to a story that has a heart of darkness. This one certainly has that, as Ms Street is sucked into the vortex of an investigation involving the kidnapping and murder of children.

There is a wonderful mix of storytelling and character development here – and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes, the “bad guy” not being immediately obvious, although I did get it before the reveal it was not until late in the game – the author is good at misdirection and superb at weaving a web of intrigue and suspicion whilst making the characters pop off the page. I adored Keye, but I equally adored the Sheriff and even the prickly Brolin had her moments.

I want to go back and read the previous two books – mainly because I did love all the characters so much, and in this instalment, Keye spends the majority of her  time in Whisper, so her normal sidekicks only have cameo roles – I’d like to be up to date with everybody before reading book four, which I hope will hurry the heck up!

Talking of Whisper, another thing I really enjoyed about this tale was the look at small town life – everyone knows everyone else pretty much and Keye has a problem persuading residents, even those in law enforcement, that the killer is likely to be someone they know and interact with everyday. It was fascinating and gave an added realism to the whole thing – I mean its true is it not, that we cannot ACTUALLY imagine that our neighbour is also a killer – but in real life as well as fiction this can sometimes turn out to be the case. I also liked that Keye herself does not get everything right – the rather generic theme of “our hero is always right but godarn it no-one is listening” is not a theme of this story, she follows the evidence and things chop and change. Another more realistic look at how such an investigation may progress.

Overall then an addictive, fun,  horrifying and scary in places read, with good depth of character and a flowing, captivating story that will keep you up into the early hours. Great stuff. More please.

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