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Sunday 27 March 2016

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary

The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.
The runaway who doesn't want to be found, she only wants to go home.
To the one man who understands her.
Gives her shelter.
Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.
He's the head of her new family.
He's Harm.
D I Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl's disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she's about to face.
Because when Harm's family is threatened, everything tastes like fear ..... 

Tastes Like Fear by Sarah Hilary is published by Headline, in hardback on 7 April 2016, and is the third in the DI Marnie Rome series.  The first; Someone Else's Skin was published in August 2014, followed by No Other Darkness in April 2015.

DI Marnie Rome and her partner DS Noah Jake find themselves in the midst of one of the most intriguing and frightening cases of their careers. A road traffic accident, caused by a mystery girl who stepped out in front of a car. The girl has vanished, but in her wake there is a trail of destruction, and horror and mystery.

Sarah Hilary takes the reader down two paths; we accompany Marnie and Noah as they try to unravel the increasingly complicated case. We are also privy to the dark and sordid events that are unfolding nearby. Young girls are disappearing, and it's not too long before the link between them, and the accident are made, but how are they linked, and where are they?

Tastes Like Fear is elaborately plotted, it is full of twists and turns, nothing is quite as it seems. Every time you think that you know where the story is leading, you find that you've actually been cleverly taken up the wrong path, and Sarah Hilary throws a curve ball once again. My mind was racing, my brain felt quite fried, I was absolutely hooked by every unexpected direction that I was led in.

Marnie Rome is a multi-layered character. She's strong, intelligent and capable, but she is also consumed by her own personal demons. Her life sometimes mirrors those of both the victims and the perpetrators in the cases that she works on, and the themes running through Tastes Like Fear are remorse and redemption, and how each individual deals with events from the past. Sarah Hilary cleverly aligns Marnie's history with the unfolding story, which allows our heroine to have a deeper understanding of why things happen, yet also make her think deeply about her past and how she is going to start to deal with it.

Tastes Like Fear buzzes with tension, it is the sort of book that makes your jaw ache as you grind your teeth with nervous anticipation. Sarah Hilary's writing is astute and detailed, there are horrific events and abhorrent characters within this story, yet there is absolutely nothing gratuitous within it. The author leads the reader to the events and characters and allows us to to take over from there, it is the imagined horror of the situation that she paves the way for, and we do the rest.

It sounds strange to describe a novel that has such dark and disturbing subject matters as beautifully written, but it really really is. There are metaphors and descriptions of place, person and events that are quite breathtaking. The pace is perfect, the characters are developed so very well, it is unflinching and engrossing.

I am a huge huge fan, Tastes Like Fear is a triumph; brutal, honest and quite brilliant.

My thanks to the publisher, Headline who sent my copy for review.

Sarah Hilary lives in Bath with her daughter, where she writes quirky copy for a well-loved travel publisher. She's also worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. An award-winning short story writer, Sarah won the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2012.

This is the third in the outstanding Marnie Rome series that started with Someone Else's Skin, Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year, Observer Book of the Month selection and World Book Night selection for 2016, and No Other Darkness.

Find out more about Sarah Hilary, follow her Blog
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Follow her on Twitter @sarah_hilary


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