Thursday, 2 February 2017

The Damselfly by SJI Holliday

I am delighted to be today's stop on the blog tour for The Damselfly by SJI Holliday. The Damselfly is published TODAY by Black & White Publishing. Here's my review...

The Damselfly
By SJI Holliday
Published by Black & White Publishing (2 February 2017)
ISBN: 978-1785300875

Publisher's description
An unsolved murder. A community turned against each other. A killer close to home...
Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She is bright, funny, and has a boyfriend who adores her. She’s just had a very handy windfall of cash, and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap the small town of Banktoun for the bright lights of London. But she doesn’t make it that far...
Because Katie is dead.
Polly McAllister has left her husband and returned to Banktoun to make amends. She wants to start afresh with the father of her unborn child – but she’s got to tell him, first. She’s thrown in at the deep end with her job as school counsellor, and it’s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets.
Katie had enemies. Katie’s boyfriend is not so squeaky clean.
DC Louise Jennings has a crush on a colleague: her new partner. Fresh from training, Detective Sergeant Davie Gray must work with Jennings to unravel the latest dark mystery in a town blighted by tragedy.
Katie’s brother has a mysterious friend. But it’s OK. He’s only imaginary. Isn’t he?
With the community enveloped in angry turmoil, Gray and Jennings must find out who murdered Katie, before someone takes matters into their own hands.
Trial by social media. A baying mob.
But they’ve got the wrong man...

Because the real killer is closer than you think.

My verdict
The Damselfly is intense, unsettling, gripping and dark. I loved the first two books in the Banktoun series - Black Wood and Willow Walk - and have found each book to be even better than the last. This could easily be read as a standalone but I would recommend them all.

Yet again, the author tackles everyday contemporary issues, this time focusing on teenage lives in a small Scottish town. The story is narrated by several voices - all are believable yet with very different points of view. Each character has their own backstory, which creates a multi-layered plot. I love how the author takes some characters from her previous books - it's like coming back to some old friends each time. I certainly love Sergeant Davie Gray!

The book played with my mind and kept me guessing all the way through. It's a rollercoaster read, right until the shocking heart-stopping ending. But of course, it's not just about twists and turns. The Damselfly is well written and well plotted, with an atmospheric small town feel.

The Damselfly is the last book in the series - but I'm (really) hoping we'll see some of these characters again. I 'may' have to stalk/badger/bribe/plead with the author just to make sure (or at least try)!

I received an Advance Reader Copy

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