The Woman In The Woods by M.K. Hill
A sharp new thriller from the author of The Bad Place, a Times Crime Book of the Month.
A reality TV star becomes a suspect in an Essex murder case in the sharp, funny and moving new thriller from M.K. Hill.
Three years ago, Danny 'Abs' Cruikshank, star of reality show Laid in Essex!, was living the dream. And then, 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, presumed dead. Abs and his friends had been the last to see her alive.
No-one was ever charged, but the controversy destroyed Abs's career. So now, three years later, the celebrity who once captured the heart of millions is opening Southend's new branch of Quidstore. And then one of Abs's mates is murdered. Does someone know what really happened that night in Wales? 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?
When DI Sasha Dawson turns up at a train station where a man has been found dead on the tracks, she expects the British Transport Police to take over the case, but with a sighting that another person was present on the platform, it becomes apparent that this was no suicide or accidental death. As Sasha delves into the investigation she discovers that the dead man Deano was questioned three years prior about a missing teenage girl. Deano and a group of friends were drinking in a pub in Wales where Rhiannon Jenkins vanished later that night, they were the last to see her alive. The four were questioned at the time and although no charges were pressed it still had a huge impact on their lives. Abs, a reality star suffered the most by losing his contract on the show that made him famous and has been waiting for his next big break.
There was a lot to love about this book. Hill balances his novel perfectly with the police investigation and the characterisation of his characters. I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about the investigation team and their home lives, especially Sasha's. There was a lot of humour added to the novel, mainly through the character Abs. Having watched a fair few reality TV shows I could picture Abs as the cheeky, loveable but slightly annoying and gullible character, who I actually really liked. I found myself routing for Abs to get to the bottom of what happened that night and for his career to take off again. The additional storyline of Rhiannon Jenkins, which weaved slowly throughout the book, was both intriguing and cleverly done. I was hooked from the opening chapter and was shocked by the twists that occured.
Although this is book two in the Sasha Dawson series it can absolutely be read as a stand alone novel. Although, once you've read The Woman In The Wood I'm sure you will want to read book one, The Bad Place and some of Hill's other novels. Many thanks to Random Things Tours for inviting me to join the blog tour; The Woman In The Wood is a fantastic police procedural with epic twists and a thoroughly enjoyable read. Highly recommend.
Mark Hill was a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer before becoming a full-time writer. 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.