Welcome to the final stop of #TheSpecialGirls blog tour! I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far…
TITLE: THE SPECIAL GIRLS
AUTHOR: ISABELLE GREY
A seemingly perfect man is accused of horrendous crimes. It should be an open and shut case-but is there more to it than meets the eye?
A young psychiatric registrar is found dead in the woods outside a summer camp for young eating disorder patients, run by the charismatic, world-renowned Ned Chesham.DI Grace Fisher investigates , but not for long before she is pulled from the case- to head up a Metropolitan Police review involving Chesham himself.
Nearky twenty years ago, one of Chesham’s patients made allegations that he sexually assaulted her. The investigation at the time found no conclusive proof, but Grace soon discovers another victim,and a witness whose account never reached the police. Does this mean the original investigation was bundled? Scotland Yard would certainly like her to conclude otherwise.
As Grace uncovers the lies that led to the young doctors murder, she discovers the full extent of the range done to ache shams ‘ Special girls’- and the danger they are still in.
Firstly can I just say what a fabulous cover! If I had been browsing in a book shop this would certainly have attracted my attention, and the back page synopsis would have had me running to the till !! But in this case I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for allowing me pre publication access to the book and for inviting me to join the blog tour.
I saw people chatting about his title on Twitter and thought wow that’s sounds right up my street,I get ridiculously excited over books and a good cover attracts me instantly, and a member of the publicity team was kind enough to contact me having seen my interest and ask if I would like to be involved in the tour.
If you like crime and drama, you like me will LOVE The Special Girls- It’s a truly gripping read that I found both wonderfully entertaining and informative. From page one we are thrown into the action with the discovery of a violent murder. A murder which very quickly opens a can of worms… The story develops quickly and is thoroughly absorbing.
The story explores very difficult subject matter and the author tackles them expertly and with real compassion .. I was engaged and I was educated. It was obvious that the subjects had been well researched.
The contemporary issue of historical child sex abuse and the highly sensitive subject of Eating disorders , are the Themes running alongside the murder of Tim Merrick as it becomes obvious they are in some way related, and DI Grace Fisher starts to untangle all the threads.These highly sensitive subjects are explored as is the role of the media in such cases, and police cover ups as we see how it all plays out as the team start a murder investigation that soon uncovers abuse dating back two decades.
In light of the recent child sexual abuse allegations and convictions against well known celebrities such as Rolf Harris and Jimmy Saville it is a contemporary topic and I found Isobelles portrayal of the media and the police in cases where the perpetrators are prolific, well known, trusted or of celebrity statuses to be very interesting. The author also shows just how devastating and wide reaching consequences of such actions are for all involved. The book explores the trust issues and manipulation involved between the perpetrator, his victims and the wider family. She also looks at how the victims and their families are negatively affected both at the time, and over a long period of time, and how that damage can reach far down the generations tearing families apart. It felt authentic and very personal as we got a close up view of families coping in the aftermath of abuse and struggling to help their daughters overcome a life threatening illness. Here we see the contrast of the personal with the political, which makes for an interesting read. But as we look at the effects of rather than the details of the criminal act itself , I found it to be a highly emotional read. It is upsetting to think of how vulnerable people are abused by the very people that they as a family had trusted implicitly, parents putting their children in the care of people who abuse their trust in the worst possible way. We learn this is why the crime goes undetected for so long and why others who have niggling doubts don’t act upon them, thinking that there is no way that the person who portrays themselves as upstanding members of society could be capable of such atrocities.
The Special Girls is a hard hitting, harrowing ,compelling and thought provoking crime novel and it came as no surprise to discover that the author writes Tv drama, as I felt this would make a gripping series. Let’s hope someone snaps it up!
Full of Clever plot twists, the story is well developed and is well executed, the author had a tight grip on her plot throughout as the complex story arc , it was clear and easy to follow and at no point confusing for the reader. It was clearly well thought out and well informed and The different strands of the story add depth and realism and we’re all relevant, rather than running off at unnecessary tangents.
As for the characters they are intriguing, well drawn and utterly believable. I became very fond of Grace Carter who showed integrity in the face of adversity, she had a stoic determination to reveal the truth at whatever personal cost, so I felt she had a very strong moral compass, she was a down to earth and a very likable character. I also enjoyed her romantic relationship with Blake it did a great job of illustrating how police ethics and work culture can affect a relationship between two people within in the force, and how difficult it is to sustain a relationship when you are so devoted to your job.
There are several shocking developments toward the middle and end of the book which I didn’t expect, one of them is another harrowing, heartbreaking event, one that I have seen increasingly reported on the news, an unthinkable crime, usually commuted by a person whose life has become unbearable and as head of a family and feeling responsible that person cannot bear to continue suffering but cannot bear to leave their families alone to face it out, resulting in something so horrific that most of us are left wondering what state of mind they must have been in to do something so irreversible. I won’t say any more than that as this is a excellent read, but you deserve to pick it up and for it to unfold organically without you knowing anything more than the synopsis.
I became emotionally involved with the characters very early on and really felt moved by this book. It left me debating the events and pondering on the subjects covered after I had finished- to me the sign of a great book!
I now know this is a series of 3 books centred around DCI Grace Carter ( how could I have missed this!!??), but needless to say now I have discovered this talented author I will be reading the other two as soon as I can, and of course any new titles in the future.
I have no hesitation in awarding 5 stars to The Special Girls, and highly recommending to all fans of crime fiction, those who enjoy intelligent, well informed police procedural and basically anyone who enjoys a bloody good read.
It’s Fluid, it’s Pacy and it’s packed with police procedural that added rather than detracted from the storyline, an impressive piece of writing within its genre, I enjoyed every single page and was completely gripped from beginning to end
. BRILLIANT. 🙌🏼🙌🏼📖📖👌🏻👌🏻🍦