Today it’s my turn on the blog tour which celebrates the publication of Carol Wyer’s THE BIRTHDAY, the first of a new series featuring DI Natalie Wood.
I blogged about the book when I first read it a couple of months ago and raved about it then. With the amount of books I read I would usually struggle to remember the plot of the book after that much time, and have to refer to the notes I made when I read it.
Not this time, I remember it as though I’d only finished it this weekend. It’s an original story that has introduced a great new character in Natalie Wood.
There was one thing in particular that struck me as showing how realistic this book was, and I mention it in my original blog. It’s how one of the characters is struck by the normality of a scene following a crime.
This just shows how much Carol Wyer knows about the people who investigate crime, and the thoughts and emotions they have.
It’s a great book and I am really looking forward to what faces DI Wood next
My Original Blog
2 years after she went missing the body of Ava Sawyer is found buried in the grounds of the Garden Centre she disappeared from during a birthday party.
DI Natalie Wood and her small team are tasked with finding answers the original team to investigate the disappearance didn’t.
But this is no ordinary missing persons/murder investigation. Now that the body has been found it acts as a catalyst for more crimes. More of the girls from the party start to get killed and are left posed in public places.
The investigation very much becomes a race against time.
The team have to find a killer. There are so many suspects, each one looking like they could be the killer, but each of them ruled out as suspects.
Have the team missed the killer?
Natalie already blames herself for one child abduction and murder case, she worked on, being tragically unsuccessful. She wasn’t the boss on that investigation, but she is on this one.
Has she learnt from others mistakes?
The last case affected her mentally and emotionally. Can she hold it together through this case?
The characters in this book are just what you would expect to find in any police team. DI Wood is struggling to balance her work and personal life. How can she try to keep her marriage going and still conduct such a high profile and emotional case.
Her team are made up of a mix of characters who it are easy to associate with and I’m sure we will get to know as the series progresses. There are friendships and there is conflict, just like the real world.
The best thing about this story is the realism. Carol Wyer hits so many nails on the head with the observations she makes.
She brings to life the frustrations of a real investigation.
The amount of facts that come flooding in and need sorting.
Deciding on what takes priority, and the worry that the decision was wrong.
When is it right to send your team home for rest, when every minute is so vital and may literally mean the difference between life and death.
There is one passage in the book when Natalie is struck by the normality of ongoing life after a traumatic incident.
In my career the thing that always used to get into my head was the disrupted normality. A terrible fire in a bedroom that had claimed lives, yet breakfast places set in the unaffected kitchen downstairs. School coats, which would never be worn again, hanging over the backs of chairs.
Not many authors consider this, and even less describe the feelings and emotions so well. It is only a small passage in the book, but it shows the consideration that has been put into it.
This is the first book in a new series. I think it’s going to be stunning.
About Carol Wyer
Carol Wyer garnered a loyal following as an author of romantic comedies, and won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015). In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, featuring the popular DI Robyn Carter, which earned her recognition as a crime writer.
The Staffordshire-based writer now has more crime novels in the pipeline, although she can still sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.