Monday 28 May 2018

It Was Her by Mark Hill @markhillwriter #BlogTour @LittleBrownUK @millieseaward #ItWasHer #DIRayDrake

Twenty years ago, Tatia was adopted into a well-off home where she seemed happy, settled. Then the youngest boy in the family dies in an accident, and she gets the blame.
Did she do it?
Tatia is cast out, away from her remaining adopted siblings Joel and Poppy. Now she yearns for a home to call her own. So when she see families going on holiday, leaving their beautiful homes empty, there seems no harm in living their lives while they are gone. But somehow, people keep ending up dead.
Did she kill them?
As bodies start to appear in supposedly safe neighbourhoods, DI Ray Drake and DS Flick Crowley race to find the thinnest of links between the victims. But Drake's secret past is threatening to destroy everything.

It Was Her by Mark Hill was published as a paperback originial by Sphere / Little Brown on 17 May 2018, Ebook and Audio are also available.

I read and reviewed Mark Hill's debut novel here on Random Things back in October 2016, originally called The Two O Clock Boy, it is now published as His First Lie.

I was delighted when I heard that there was to be a Blog Tour for It Was Her, my thanks to Millie Seaward from Little Brown, and the author, for making sure that I could take part.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave...when first we practice to deceive.”
I'm sure all of you recognise that quote from Walter Scott's Marmion ... it's just exactly what I was thinking as I raced through this incredibly well plotted, brilliantly written novel.

It Was Her reintroduces the reader to the character of DI Ray Drake and his colleague DS Flick Crowley. Anyone who has read the first book will know that Drake is something of an enigma, and even if you've not read His First Lie, the author very cleverly incorporates the back story within the plot and it's very easy to follow.

OK, so let's get to it. First; Mark Hill has an imagination that scares the hell out of me. It Was Her is devilishly dark, with twists and unexpected turns throwing the reader off the trail and down countless paths constantly. His characters are so well imagined. Ray Drake is unlike any police character that I've come across before; there's an air of mystery to him that adds such depth and the reader is never quite sure if Drake is our hero, or the enemy. Don't get me wrong, Ray Drake is an excellent copper and he cares about the victims, and protects his team, it's just that there's this otherwordliness about him that digs away at the brain whilst reading.

The plot is intelligent, complex and fast-paced. There are murders, brutal and violent murders, with no apparent motive. The victims are killed in their own homes, left battered and bloody in what should be their safest place. DI Drake and DS Crowley are desperate to find the link between the cases.

The reader already knows that the link is a woman called Tatia, or Sarah, depending on who is talking to her. We know that she was adopted into a wealthy family twenty years ago, we also know that when the youngest child in that family died, Tatia was sent away again. Ever since then, Tatia has wanted a home; a place with nice things, where she can be comfortable. She finds the empty houses, she pretends that she's at home, but sometimes the householder comes home early, and that's when the killing begins.

This is so much more than just a murder case to be solved by a police team. Mark Hill incorporates Drakes own history into the storyline, and does it so very well. Flick Crowley knows more about Drake's past than either of them are comfortable with, and this causes immense strain on their relationship, both professionally and personally. Add to that, Tatia's own dsyfunctional family, and yes, we get to know them very well too, and you have a gripping, addictive thriller that is really very difficult to put down.

It Was Her is supremely well-crafted, from that irresistible premise, right through to the heart-thumping finale. Absolutely first-class writing, I loved this book, and can't wait for the next one.

Mark Hill is a London-based full-time writer of novels and scripts. 
Formerly he was a journalist and a producer at BBC Radio 2 across a range of major daytime shows and projects.
He was won two Sony Gold Awards.
You can find Mark at

On Twitter @markhillwriter
Facebook /MarkHillAuthor 

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