Sasha’s eighteen-year-old daughter Gemma was all she had in the world. Sasha fell pregnant with Gemma when she was still at school, and the two are as close as sisters. So when Gemma’s burned and broken body is found, Sasha’s world ends. What kind of person would want her beautiful daughter dead?
Leading the case is Detective Natalie Ward, scarred by her own recent tragedy. When she finds a note in Gemma’s diary from ‘a secret admirer’, she moves quickly, determined to un-mask them. But interviews with Gemma’s devastated ex-boyfriend, and her charismatic teacher, who has been seen embracing his student far away from the classroom, don’t give Natalie the answers she’d hoped for…
And then the case takes a devastating, personal twist. CCTV footage reveals Natalie’s estranged husband David followed Gemma home every evening the week before she died.
Natalie is forced to put personal feelings aside and follow procedure, even though she can’t believe David could be guilty. But when Gemma’s housemate is found murdered, Natalie thinks the killer could still be at large. Is she right to trust her instincts about David and can she discover the truth before another precious life is taken?
Detective Natalie Ward is back! I absolutely love this series and adore the lead detective. In this case, a young woman is murdered in an acid attack. DI Natalie Ward is leading the case despite her own personal turmoil. Without any spoilers, the previous book in the series ended with a huge blow to Natalie’s personal life. This case hits close to home hence making it even more complex.
Once again, I loved Natalie in this story. I have always enjoyed reading about her personal life and this time round, I just wanted to envelope her in a hug. I admired her for keeping her head in the case but I also like the fact that the author still showed her softer, vulnerable side. Natalie is such an easy character to root for and she’s not the only one in the story. Her whole team has grown with the series. I like the fact that we also get snippets of their personal lives. Vivid descriptions enable me to visualize them in the office, working long hours, socializing, supporting each other and dealing with their own issues.
Like all previous cases, this one was hard to crack. I was only able to guess the baddie towards the end. This was after changing my mind just about a hundred times and even in the end, I could only guess 1/3 of the mystery hence I was shocked by all the twists and reveals. I admire how detailed Carol Wyer’s investigations usually are. Readers get to see the detectives interview suspects, search for clues, spend days chasing leads. It gives such a realistic feel to the story.
The Secret Admirer is another great addition to the Detective Natalie Ward Series. Well-crafted, enthralling, haunting and entertaining. Although the case is easy to follow even if read as a standalone, the character development is better enjoyed by reading the series in order. I highly recommend this one to all fans of crime thrillers.