The Birthday – Detective Natalie Ward #1 by Carol Wyer

REVIEW

From the Author of the DI Robyn Carter Series comes a new detective who will stop at nothing to find her killer.

DI Natalie Ward and her team find themselves on the hunt for a child serial killer, two years after the disappearance of a young girl from a birthday party.  When the body of Ava Sawyer turns up at the very place she went missing it starts the hunt for her killer but, following the murder of two more girls from the same party, DI Ward finds her list of suspects is extensive.  Is the link between these murders the birthday party or is just a coincidence.  Time is running out and DI Ward must find the killer before another girl goes missing.

Natalie Ward is a completely different character to Robyn Carter.  She is married, although not entirely happily, with two teenage children.  Finding the balance between work and home is a struggle and when a big case turns up, home takes a backseat.  She is close to all her team and they work well together, despite the occasional bit of rivalry. I’m not one to condone infidelity but I’m also not one who believes that you should stay in an unhappy marriage (plus I quite like Mike), be interesting to see where this side of Natalie’s personal life leads.

Carol Wyer never fails to produce an intriguing story-line, well defined characters and captivating plot twists. The Birthday will have you postulating over suspects, speculating over alibis and  conjecturing over motives.  A fantastic murder mystery from one of my favourite mystery authors.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Diana Croft.

Rating 5/5

Synopsis

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40682386-the-birthday)

Author: mandy

I love to Read! Mostly romance (of all types) but I also enjoy murder mysteries, paranormal fantasy, sci-fi, comedy, pretty much anything.

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