Mel Sherratt

Taunting the Dead (DS Allie Shenton, #1)Taunting the Dead by Mel Sherratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Mel Sherratt's style of writing. Plus she is a Brit like me!

We meet Steph, she is married to a gangster. He is good looking, and he knows it. They have a 17 year old daughter who seems grown up before her time. Brash and uncouth to boot.

Steph is murdered, but who done it?

We see many things unfolding as Mel Sherratt writes the last movements that Steph undertakes before she is murdered. You think you might suss it, well, I didn't. I thought I had at one stage, but I was wrong.

I remember reading somewhere that the murder victim is usually killed by someone they know. So keeping that in mind I tried to be an Investigator along the way. I don't think I made a good one, because I went off the beaten track.

The author had me screaming in frustration at times, but I just wanted to be right. There are lots in here that have things to hide. It got uncovered though bit by bit.

Thoroughly enjoyable 'whodunnit' mystery with other things thrown in.

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Follow The Leader (DS Allie Shenton #2)Follow The Leader by Mel Sherratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just have to give this top marks, why?

1. I got into the story right away and wasn't distracted
2. It kept its pace throughout
3. Easy to follow
4. No matter that we learnt the culprit at first few chapters it held its magical powers of keeping from getting bored.

Let me explain my first reason [1] There is nothing better for me than picking up a book and reading the first couple of chapters and me 'getting it' and a feeling that "oh this is gonna be a good 'un" and not wanting to put it down.

[2] It was a nice steady pace, as you would think the DI/Police/Investigations would go. Its REALISM.

[3] The author made it clear, clean cut through out, easy to follow the characters, easy to keep up with 'each' person in each chapter. Not at all confusing as some I have read in the past.

[4] Sometimes, its disappointing don't you think? when the author lets the "cat out of the bag" and you either guess or predict who the culprit is. WHO DONE IT!!! ah yes I know! then the book goes a different way for you because its predicted, your right, and then last page you are saying "well, I knew that was going to happen, or, I knew it was him/her"

Not so in this case, as I said, Mel Sherratt lets us know early on who it is, but it still keeps you on the edge of your seat.

The blurb tells you a bit about what the book is about, so I don't like to give too much more details out. Its not fair on the reader. I wouldn't like it.

I am a great fan of this author, I have yet to fit in a couple more of her books. But being a regular reviewer for a hobby that I have, its hard to fit everything in [as I am sure lots of reviewers know!!] I can't wait to catch up with some more of her books.

I saw this author from day one, a book buddy friend of mine read her book, she told me, and then from there we have regularly stalked her for each book that comes out.

I am so happy to say that I received this copy from Amazon Publishing on Net Galley who kindly allows me free selection

Thank you Mel for a great read! Looking forward to more.

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Somewhere to Hide (The Estate #1)Somewhere to Hide by Mel Sherratt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bought this book on a recommendation from an online friend when it reduced in price. Its one of a series and as yet this is the only one I have read, so far.

There are lots of characters in this book, the main one being Cathy who takes in troubled teens and woman who are in abusive relationships. She would love to help them all, however she cannot. Its just a house that she lives in on a notorious hard hitting street. Cathy too has a surprise in store at the end of this book. I guessed what it was a few chapters before, but just didn't know what the conclusion would be.

Its a 'busy' book, lots of things happening and lots to take your interest. You won't be disappointed.

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Behind a Closed Door (The Estate, #2)Behind a Closed Door by Mel Sherratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really felt like a nosy neighbor reading this book at times, getting into peoples personal lives, and lets face it, aren't we all a little nosy?

I really enjoyed this account in book 2, we get to meet a few more characters from the Mitchell Estate.

Josie is the Housing Officer, we see and hear a lot about her. Very kind, very patient, but does her job.

The Mitchell Estate is a down and out place to live, lots were reliant on benefits from the state, and LOTS knew how to scam too, dodgy dealings, crime.

Some dirty unkempt residence that were treated with respect from Josie.

I loved the comment when she arrived at someones door, the person was [well let me say...] a bit dirty, and then it was said "that the trousers could walk away on their own". Loved it.

I feel Josie goes way beyond her job description as the Housing Officer at times.
She got to know many of the tenants.
She had to deal with unkempt gardens, refuse, waste, anti social behavior, help with benefits. Even an escaping dog!!!

Josie has problems in her private life of her own. Her marriage wasn't all it was cracked up to be. She worked long and hard hours, many times getting in late. Her husband Stewart hardly pulling his finger out to do anything. We later see some decisions being made.

This story also focuses on a 20 something girl with a young daughter of her own. She did live in the 'better' part, but through no fault of her own she finds herself on the Mitchell Estate. Right smack bang in the middle. It was interesting to see Josie's part in her life and how the young girl changed her life around until........
her boyfriend came out of prison.

There also is another love interest other than her boyfriend, so will this make a difference to her life? Her future, her daughters future?

This is a great DOWN TO EARTH story, stories that could be you or I, stories that are out there among us. And Josie the Housing Officer, the caring person that she is trying to do the best she can.

I loved the insight the author gave to Josie's personal life, her expectations and her exacerbations.

This is not an edge of your seat tale, this is a relax enjoy, its like watching one of those documentory's on the TV like Benefit street!

I loved it.

I must thank Mel Sherratt for allowing me the pleasure of reading this. I found it fascinating and I really felt like some nosy neighbor peeking out of my window. LOL

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Fighting for Survival (The Estate, #3)Fighting for Survival by Mel Sherratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another fabulous book from the Estate Series.

I just love this series.
Have you seen these "real life" documentaries lately on the TV? Like Benefit street and such? If you are in the UK then I am sure you have heard of it if not watched it.

There are the lower poor, the middle poor and the 'upper' poor. Like on a lot of Estates there are ups and downs and arguments, things going on in the street, things going on behind closed doors. I felt like I was chatting to someone over the garden fence whilst reading this and getting the "gossip".

Every Estate has an Housing Officer that 'sorts stuff out' and we see this in the previous books as well. Or least, they try to.

As with all Estates, you get all kinds of people living all different walks of life and this is told through the this series. We meet Caren who has returned [reluctantly] back on the Estate she so dearly wanted to leave far far behind. Only to come face to face with Gina Bradley. The nasty pasty!

And as human nature has it on these Estates, there is always the ones that think they rule the roost and Gina and her family are IT

We see a battle going on here, not with fists, oh no, with a ploy to get someone's husband and its now PAY BACK TIME

Mel Sherratt knows just how to make this kind of life real. If anyone has lived on this kind of territory in their life, this is so true to it. As near.

When younger, and married with my first child, I lived on an Estate and I tell you, the goings on there were just unbelievable. I was twitching my curtains 24/7 wondering who was going to come out fighting next in the street.

Thank God I don't live in such an area now I am older. So relating to this series was easy for me, its real.
Its human and I know plenty who live in places where they just don't know what on earth is going 'down' next.

Brilliant read.

Now I am jumping into her next book. BOOK 4
Written In the Scars which will be out soon.
MY BLOG (less)

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Written in the Scars (The Estate Series Book 4)Written in the Scars by Mel Sherratt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have loved each book in this series. But this book 4 literally blew me away with the indepth characters, they're troubles, strife and woes.

The Estate is just it. Its an Estate where families live in different homes, some poorer than others, and each from all walks of life.

Some dysfunctional families that have terrible problems to some with everyday family problems.

Written In the Scars was a story to me where there were different individuals, some friends with each other, some related. All with Scars.

There some scars that can be seen. There are some scars that lay unseen by the human eye.

Lewis He had scars that you could see by his personality and his reactions in life. But they were not evident scars on the body. Oh no, not ones that could be seen for you to meet him and realize that he was scared. You would have to have known a little about him first. Otherwise, his reactions, his behavior would simply come across to you as a thug, a bully. But he Lewis was sad. He had a secret. He went through something that he couldn't cope with when in the Army.
He has PTSD symptoms.

He has lost his wife, he hardly sees his child.
He's determined to get them back.

Donna she has scars. The first half of the book you can't see her scars. They are emotional scars left over from her marriage.
She falls in love, another chance...she thinks.
Later though, she gets scarred.
Scars you can see, scars you can hear from her sad lips.

I cringed for Donna.

Donna has all her families burdens and worries on her shoulders as most Moms do.
She also is worried about her own Mother in the care home. Her Mother has dementia and she doesn't know what to believe or not, but is her Mother being badly treated? Another thing for her to worry about.

Then there is Sam.

Then there is Megan. Megan works at the hospital where Sam has had his operation.

Megan has scars, Megan has visible scars. But no one can see them under the heavy make up.

I don't know why, but each time I have read one of these books from The Estate by Mel Sherratt I feel like a nosy neighbor. Someone twitching at her curtains and peeking out after dark, watching the neighborhood and wondering 'just what is gonna happen next'. Its that kind of "feel" to me.
I am not sure if that is how the author wanted a reader to feel, but it certainly did that for me.

A kind of 'sit down at the table over a cuppa and a gossip about this one and that'

I also took away something from this book about Scars

We all have them.
Some are hidden.
Some are visible by the naked eye.
Some are known to us by the actions and thoughts plus decisions we may make in the future because of them.

We can be an acress/actor, and we can cover up our scars, we can invent ourselves and pretend they are just not there...
but there they are...
beneath the surface of:
Make up
A smile
A laugh
A thought
A frown.

And some need help overcoming the Scars.

Thank you Mel for a wonderful read that kept me up last night :)

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