Friday 27 November 2020

Sins of the Father by Sharon Bairden @sbairden #SinsOftheFather @RedDogTweets BLOG TOUR #BookReview


Lucas Findlay thinks he has struck gold when he marries Rebecca, but she married him for one reason only - to destroy him.

Trauma runs deep

When her past comes back to haunt her, Rebecca begins to disconnect from herself and the world around her. As secrets are unearthed, she begins to fear for her sanity ... and her life.

Truth will out

With her world unravelling around her, Rebecca clings to her determination to make Lucas pay, whatever the cost.

Forgive his sins

But someone must pay for the sins of the father...

Sins of The Father by Sharon Bairden is published today; 27 November 2020 by Red Dog Press. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and who invited me to take place on this Blog Tour.

I have waited a long, long time to read this book. Sharon Bairden is a well-known and very respected blogger who reviews crime fiction. I've followed her journey, as she wrote Sins of the Father and then secured a publisher deal. I have to admit that I had high hopes for this novel. I've read Sharon's reviews and they are perceptive and well thought out, she knows her crime fiction, that's for sure.

So, where to begin? What on earth to say? To be honest, I'd just like to stop here and tell you to go and buy this book (it's out today), and read it for yourself. Then, come back and tell me what you think.

However, I've promised to write a review, and that's what I'll do. Forgive me if I blather on a bit, I may not make a lot of sense, but bear with me .... 

Sins of The Father is Rebecca's story and opens with a chilling, heart-stopping prologue set in 2018 as Rebecca fights to wake from a nightmare, and as she opens her eyes, she realises that her waking life is as horrific as the demons that haunt her sleep.

The author then takes her readers back to Rebecca's childhood. Brought up by a single mother on a housing scheme in Glasgow, this is no fairy-tale story of growing up. As Rebecca's mother enters a slow but long and tortured decline into the darkest depths of life, surrounding herself with people who have no conscience, or empathy, or love to give, Rebecca's own life hurtles out of control too. 
There were times when I had to stop reading; the absolute and utter deprivation of Rebecca's life is dark and difficult to read about, more so because, although this is fiction, we are aware that things like this are happening every single day to children.

Rebecca's only friends are the voices that keep her company. A mass of shouting voices who  alternate between telling her that she is worthless and unloveable, whilst at other times, they defend her and make her feel brave and out of danger. The loudest voice is that of Samantha, and it is this voice that becomes Rebecca's ally and her worst enemy. As Rebecca gets older, Samantha becomes louder and more powerful, until it's difficult to differentiate between the two.

Rebecca escapes her home, but not to safety. She's placed in the care system, where she finds everything but care. Where her suspicions about adults, and especially men are proved right. 

The second part of the story finds Rebecca married, holding down a responsible position within a charity that works with the female victims of domestic violence. Her husband Lucas also works in the voluntary sector. On the outside, their marriage appears perfect, but behind closed doors there are fists, and kicks and cuts and bruises.

This is a tangled web, and a complex and eloquently written domestic noir drama. It's a thriller, but at its heart, it's a story of how humans can do the most terrible things to one another, and how their actions can create a monster. There's more than one character who commits monstrous deeds in this story, and whilst Rebecca, at times is cruel and intimidating and ruthless, the reader cannot help but remember that dirty, frightened little girl who was taken away from the only home she knew when she was just ten years old. She had no chance, but she is determined that someone will pay.

The author works in the voluntary sector and her experience shines through in her writing. She's well aware of the failings of many services, of how funding can be cut at the swipe of a pen, and how vulnerable and broken people can slip through the net. The characters in this novel are impeccably crafted; from young desolate Rebecca, to the hard-faced, totally driven and narcissistic Nicole Holten whose actions drive the ending of the story so furiously.

I am in awe of this writing, and the story. It's heart-breaking and brutal and filled with characters who are far more than they appear to be on the surface. There are twists that will stun and scenes that will leave you breathless. It's an amazing, dark story that will shock the reader. There are subjects tackled which are most often not spoken about, but it's done with such a deft and fine touch.

Tough, emotional, raw and shocking. The Sins of the Father is an outstanding read. Highly recommended from me. 

By day Sharon Bairden is the Services Manager in a small, local independent advocacy service and
has a passion for human rights; by night she has a passion for all things criminal. 

She blogs about books at Chapterinmylife and is delighted to be crossing over to the other side of the fence to become a writer. 

Sharon lives on the outskirts of Glasgow, has two grown up children, a grandson, a Golden Labrador and a cat. 

She spends most of her spare time doing all things bookish, from reading to attending as many book festivals and launches as she can. 

She has been known to step out of her comfort zone on the odd occasion and has walked over burning coals and broken glass - but not at the same time!

Twitter @sbairden

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