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An unsettling psychological thriller driven by a novice female detective trying to solve a complex murder case against the clock.
One Left Alive, the first in a new series by Helen Phifer, is a pacey, chilling psychological thriller driven by personality and a creeping sense of time running out.
Rookie Detective Morgan Brookes is well and truly thrown in at the deep end when she’s called to a suicide scene. Though new to this, she feels bolstered “as the adrenalin kicked in. She hadn’t attended a suicide on her own before, but she had been to several when she was completing her training and in company with a more experienced officer. She was ready for this.” Ready or not, she’s first on the scene and takes charge. Too late to save the woman hanging from a tree in her front garden, Morgan realises that there’s more to this than initially meets the eye when the woman’s husband and daughters are found in the basement - at least one of her daughters is still alive. This fragile girl drives Morgan to do whatever it takes to solve the case, with added layers of intrigue and suspense coming courtesy of another body, and a case from the past.
Fans of in-your-face thrillers will surely take satisfaction from trying to figure out the case alongside Morgan. The writing is bluntly impactful, with short to-the-point sentences, but evocative with it, and the tension escalates as it becomes clear that Morgan must make progress before someone comes for the girl.
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A gentle breeze blew her blonde hair across her face, her glazed eyes staring blankly into the sunset. Her small frame looked lost hanging from the large oak tree. On the branch next to her was a worn child’s rope swing. She looked too young and beautiful to be dead.
When the body of a woman is found hanging from a tree in her front garden, rookie Detective Morgan Brookes is first on the scene. But Olivia Potter is past saving. And when her husband and daughters cannot be traced, Morgan knows there is more to this tragedy. And then she finds them. Lying huddled together in the dark basement, each of their faces covered with a small cotton cloth, their bodies cold to the touch.
But as Morgan kneels beside the family, she realises that one of the girls is still breathing. As she holds Bronte’s fragile hand in hers, begging her to hold on, she vows to find out who has done this.
Every day Morgan wakes at 4.25 a.m., her old insomnia now mixed with a new fixation on the case. But every clue about the murdered family leads to a dead end. Until, trawling through old files, she discovers a link to a cold case from years ago. Another family was found murdered, their innocent faces covered with white cloths.
When Morgan returns to the scene of the crime to discover more about this forgotten case, she finds another body. With Bronte still unconscious in hospital, Morgan must act fast to solve this case before the killer returns for the girl left alive…
|Publication date:||1st September 2020|
|Primary Genre||Crime and Mystery|
Closing date: 30/06/2021
Helen Phifer’s love of reading began with Enid Blyton, before progressing on to Laura Ingals Wilder and scaring herself with Stephen King. If she can’t write for any particular reason she finds herself getting itchy fingers and really irritable. She loves reading as much as writing and is also very fond of chocolate, Prosecco, The Lake District, New York, white Zinfandel wine, her children and grandchildren, her friends, porn star martini cocktails, Stephen King, watching scary films, Marilyn Monroe, Melissa McCarthy, Idris Elba, Simon Baker, Spandau Ballet, The Munsters and coffee. In no particular order.More About Helen Phifer