Today I am sharing my review on its publication day for When the Dead Speak by Sheila Bugler published by Canelo.
Secrets can be fatal. But so can the truth.
When the murdered body of Lauren Shaw is discovered laid out on the altar of St Mary the Virgin church in Eastbourne it sends a chill to the core of those who have lived in the area for a long time. They remember another woman, also young and pretty, whose slain corpse was placed in the same spot 60 years ago.
Dee Doran is as intrigued as the rest but focused on her investigation of the whereabouts of a missing person from the Polish community. The police weren’t interested but Dee’s journalistic instincts tell her something is amiss.
But as she starts asking questions Dee finds the answers all point to the same conclusion – someone is keeping secrets and they will do whatever it takes to keep them safe.
A chilling and gripping crime thriller that fans of Fiona Barton and Alex Marwood will love.
Having throughly enjoyed the first book in this series, I Could Be You, I was really looking forward to the next instalment. Not having to wait long, I jumped at the chance to read an advanced copy of When the Dead Speak when it was made available from the publisher and I was not disappointed.
For this second instalment which can be read as a stand-alone, we are reacquainted with journalist Dee Doran as she becomes entangled in two investigations. One that mirrors a murder that took place 60 years prior and the other where a local polish girl has gone missing. Throughout the story, it is always in the back of your mind how the two are going to be connected and Shelia does a great job in how she brings it all together.
There are a few characters in the story to keep track of, but Shelia is very clear on who each is and where they fit in, without it becoming too overwhelming. In regards to Dee, I just love her character and I really resonate with her. We are shown more of a vulnerable side to her, but her feistiness still shines through which is enjoyable. Her new relationship with Ed hits a rocky patch when she discovers he has been lying to her over his connection with both murder victims, present and past and we also get a good insight into his character.
I loved how the book is structured, starting at the present day which then morphs back to the past with dedicated chapters in the form of diaries entries dating back to the 1960’s. This is where the reader is made privy to the events of when and how the first murder took place and its connection to the present day murder. It is very cleverly done and is beautifully executed.
I also have to say that although it is not related to me in anyway, I did get a kick out of one of the minor characters being named Marnie, which is also my name and not one that you see used in books all that often. The icing on the cake was that this Marnie was from Australia too just like myself!
Everything about this book is on point. With it’s striking cover, an intriguing plot, a cast of characters that are real and come to life so vividly, the perfect setting in a picturesque seaside town, twists and turns aplenty, with just the right amount of tension and suspense to keep you engaged, makes this book such an enjoyable read. It was my absolute pleasure to read and review When the Dead Speak and I will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment.
Thank you to NetGalley, Canelo and Sheila Buglar for allowing me to read an advanced copy of When the Dead Speak which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
This review will be added to, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Amazon Australia & Amazon US. I will also add to NetGalley, Apple Books, Kobo, Google Play, Barnes & Noble & Waterstones if available. As I am from Australia, I am unable to add to Amazon UK.
Let’s Get to Know Sheila
I grew up in a small town in the west of Ireland. After studying Psychology at University College Galway, I left Ireland and worked in Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland, Argentina and London before finally settling in Easbourne, where I now live with my husband, Sean, and our two children.
When not writing fiction, I provide a range of writing services to aspiring authors. I also run free writing workshops on this site. I am a regular contributor to the online writing magazine, Words With Jam.
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