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If you were to ask me to recommend a crime fiction series, this is it, this is the one. Sarah Hilary has the ability to write with such beautiful, quiet clarity even when the words scream and pound at your thoughts. ‘Never Be Broken’ is the sixth in the D.I. Marnie Rome series, do go back and start at the beginning if you come to this recommendation for the first time, the books have to be read in order, just simply to make the most of every thought, every word. Sarah Hilary’s debut ‘Someone Else’s Skin’ won the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year, and I have hunted down every one in the series since. The pain and torment at the centre of London society, the stabbings, the gangs, sit at the centre of ‘Never Be Broken’. The first few pages focus on ‘now’, fiercely kicking me right in the centre of my feelings, vividly bruising me before chapter one then returns to 48 hours earlier. This is intense, startling storytelling, it feels… it feels real, as though this is happening right now. ‘Never Be Broken’ may be fiction, you could think it is fact, it hurts, it shocks, it reads so beautifully it just has to be one of my picks of the month.
Simply superb, Come and Find Me is one hell of a clever, twisting, powerful story. This series is one of my favourites and DI Marnie Rome returns here in splendid style. Taking place a short time after Quieter Than Killing, Marnie and Noah find themselves hunting an escaped prisoner, for both, work overspills into their private lives. A strikingly distinctive voice greets you as you start reading, setting the scene so completely and clearly I could feel the presence, feel the confines of the prison. Sarah Hilary has the ability to take you into the words, to actually feel, to experience, and she sent my thoughts worming and writhing. At one point I found myself so exasperated and frustrated with one of the characters, it came as a shock when I came up for air and realised where I was. The ending buffeted me, surprised me, emotionally affected me, and a certain someone is still creeping around inside my mind. I already know that Come and Find Me will be one of my favourite reads of the year, and I think this is Sarah Hilary’s best yet, I simply can’t recommend this series highly enough.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017, number four and another fabulous addition to the mind-blowingly good D.I. Marnie Rome series. Marnie and Noah find themselves slap in the middle of the deeds of a deviously twisted mind. Pain and suffering slyly join hands as the past haunts the present. Sarah Hilary’s crime series is one of my favourites, I have stalked and hunted down the publication dates since I read her award winning debut novel, ‘Someone Else’s Skin’. So my expectations were high, and I can say with absolute conviction that ‘Quieter Than Killing’ more than delivers. I forgot I was meant to be reviewing, and just read. The words wormed their way inside my mind, creating uncomfortable spaces. At times there were parts that almost physically hurt, yet I couldn’t stop reading. This is cracking, tension-filled, compelling writing, and my mind is still chitter chattering to itself as I think back over the story. So, do I recommend ‘Quieter Than Killing’, yes, yes, yes, of course I do!
One of our Books of the Year 2016, this is the third in the DI Marnie Rome series, and is just as distinctive, powerful and enthralling as the first two (Sarah Hilary’s debut won the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year). In a detached and indifferent London, an offer of shelter, food and warmth for those in need may not be all that it seems. Marnie and Noah find themselves thrust into an investigation where a series of events start to merge into the perfect nightmare. The writing ensures that you invest in these people, care about them, and in just a few perfectly chosen words you can catch an emotion, see their surroundings, feel their fear. Sarah Hilary has a knack of being able to knock your thoughts off balance, and she’s particularly sneaky about it too! I’ve been a dedicated follower of DI Rome since ‘Someone Else’s Skin’, and having snatched ‘Tastes Like Fear’ up the moment it appeared in the office, was immediately captivated. I couldn't put this particularly riveting tale down until I had reached the final, shiver-inducing page. Sarah Hilary, you rock! A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'TASTES LIKE FEAR, Sarah Hilary’s fantastic new novel is the third in the DI Marnie Rome series and is equally as brilliant as Sarah’s debut SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN and her second novel NO OTHER DARKNESS. In this novel Marnie and her sidekick Noah Jake are searching for a young girl who causes a car accident, believing she may be linked to another young girl who disappeared a few weeks before. As with her previous novels, Sarah explores devastating issues with care and sensitivity and, at its heart, this is a story about identity and how it can be eroded. It’s about being homeless, and how hopelessness and loneliness can dominate your life. It’s about control and what happens when you let someone into your life who doesn’t respect your independence. Above all, it’s frightening and tense and gripping. Sarah has an innate talent for characterisation and pace and this novel shows an author who is honing all her skills to become someone absolutely standout in the crime and thriller genre, and beyond. I absolutely loved working with her on this novel and urge you all to read it.' ~ Vicki Mellor, Editor, Headline
August 2015 Book of the Month. An amazingly touching and immensely sad tale, we have DI Marnie Rome of Someone Else’s Skin investigating her second case after the bodies of two boys are found in a bunker. This is a brilliant story, beautifully written and near impossible to put down, the tale though gets very sinister indeed. Excellent stuff. ~ Sarah Broadhurst A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Sarah Hilary is exceptional. She’s a crime author who understands that darkness can lie at the heart of us all. An author who’s compassionate about the world in which we live and wants to reveal the broken reality that sadly exists for some of us. I was thrilled with the amazing reaction to Sarah’s first novel, Someone Else's Skin, and with No Other Darkness I feel that Sarah has surpassed herself. It’s the intricate tale of two young boys and how their bodies came to be found in a London garden. It’s about the love that binds families, revenge and how everyone has choices to make. From the first page it’s harrowing and emotional – I cry every time that I read the final chapters of the novel such is the power of Sarah’s words and her ability to make you care about her characters – but it’s ultimately redemptive. I urge you all to read it, I have no doubt you will love it as much as I do.' - Vicki Mellor, Deputy Publishing Director at Headline