Thursday 9 September 2021

The Woman In The Wood by M K Hill BLOG TOUR @markhillwriter @HoZ_Books @RandomTTours #TheWomanInTheWood #BookReview


Three years ago, Danny 'Abs' Cruikshank, star of reality show Laid in Essex!, was living the dream. But on the night of the party, everything changed.

It was supposed to be an intimate weekend gathering, just a few close friends in a remote cottage in Wales. But after a night of heavy drinking in the village pub, a local girl was reported missing – and never seen again. Abs and his friends had been the last to see her alive.

No-one was ever charged, but the controversy destroyed Abs's career. And now one of his mates has been murdered...

DI Sasha Dawson and her team must race against the clock to find the killer before they strike again – but first she must discover what happened to Rhiannon Jenkins on the night she vanished. Will the truth set Abs free? Or bury him?

The Woman In The Wood by MK Hill was published in paperback by Head of Zeus on 2 September 2021 and is the second Sasha Dawson thriller.  My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours blog tour. 

I read the first Sasha Dawson thriller; The Bad Place, back in September 20219 and loved it. I've been looking forward to getting back to this series and can safely say that The Woman in the Wood is another excellently plotted, engrossing thriller by this very talented author. 

Whilst this can be read as a stand alone story, there are some references made to Sasha's personal life and previous police investigations. However, this clever author incorporates enough information into the narrative and new readers really will not struggle at all. 

The story opens with some pretty shocking scenes that pave the way for the remainder of the story. We join Deano; a loud, very drunk bloke with something of a chequered history as he is thrown out of a pub. Deano has travelled to the next town for a drink as he's barred from most of the drinking establishments in his home town too. He stumbles his way to the train station with the intention of going home. However, there's someone else waiting on the platform and things do not end well for Deano. 

Detective Inspector Sasha Dawson and her team are called out to the scene. As events progress, it becomes clear that Deano was helped on his way, this is a murder case. 

Three years ago, Deano and a bunch of his mates, including reality star Abs Cruikshank were questioned about a young woman who disappeared from a small Welsh village. The guys were holidaying nearby in a remote cottage and had been spotted talking to her earlier in the evening. Whilst none of them were charged; the long-term implications of being associated with the case has has far-reaching consequences. Abs is no longer 'the sexiest man on TV', no longer appears regularly on TV screens and the best gig that the can get is opening a burger bar on the sea front. 

Oh my goodness! This is a story that totally grips the reader, it takes you down paths that you would never expect. More killings, attempted abductions and missing girls are what face Sasha and her loyal team as they race against time to try to prevent any more tragedy and to find out exactly what happened in Wales that night .... and how that incident relates to current affairs. 

Sasha Dawson is an amazing character. She's a dedicated and loyal police officer who has a multitude of her own personal issues to deal with too, and in this story, her personal and professional life begin to overlap, causing embarrassment at times for her and her colleague. 

I had no idea where the author was going with this one, and the ending was shocking but totally satisfying, whilst you may not notice during the reading, once you know, you will realise that he's left a few little clues along the way as to who really is responsible for what's been happening. 

I loved the character of Abs! I'm sure there will be those who don't, he's a typical reality star, impressed by his own fame and milking it for everything he can. However, he's often funny, and underneath the bluster, he's a good guy who really just wants to be loved. Glimpses into his childhood history ensure the reader knows just what he's gone through to get where he is. He's a decent bloke, and stole the show for me. 

I do hope that Sasha Dawson returns soon. She's a great character and MK Hill is a talented author who creates intriguing plots that really challenge the reader. Highly recommended by me. 

Mark Hill was a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer before becoming a full-time

The first novel in the Sasha Dawson series, The Bad Place, was described as 'everything a police procedural should be' by The Times, who also named it as their Crime Book of the Month. 

He lives in London.

Instagram @markhillwriter

Praise for M.K. Hill

'Everything a police procedural should be: sharp, funny, moving and tremendously exciting'

The Times

The Bad Place comes thoroughly recommended’ Essex Life

'Dark, gripping and fast paced, The Bad Place grabs a hold and won't let you go...KATERINA DIAMOND

'Superb, smart, seat-edge stuff. DI Sasha Dawson is a brilliant creation'


'Absorbing and twisty'


‘Utterly compelling and brilliantly realistic, The Bad Place is Mark's best book yet. One that will appeal to crime fans everywhere’

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