I gave The Nesting Place 5*
Megan Pritchard is reported missing during a party in an isolated house in the Vale of Glamorgan.
A short time afterwards, her body is found. It looks like an accident, the result of consuming too much alcohol. But DI Mandy Wilde is suspicious. And Megan’s friends are hiding something.
As Mandy and the team dig deeper, they uncover a catalogue of secrets, and reasons why being friends with Megan could be difficult.
I love Jacqueline Harrett’s writing style, the excellent narrative of The Nesting Place slots seamlessly into the crime genre, with a main plot that moves along at a steady pace and has enough twists and turns to keep the reader engrossed. And, threaded throughout is a subplot that strengthens the story by revealing the emotional stress that the protagonist, Detective Inspector Mandy Wilde, is battling with as she and her team struggle to uncover the truth of the mysterious death of a young woman.
Mandy Wilde is a many layered character, her professional façade, shown through both the spoken and internal dialogue as curt, stubborn, often irritable, sometimes cracks to reveal a more sympathetic and empathetic personality… when earned by any of the other characters. And also reveals a conflicting familial wish to concentrate on a search for her missing twin sister and taking care of her deserted niece.
This is a distinct contrast to the ambiguous emotions of the four friends of the victim, Megan Pritchard, who is discovered dead after she has walked away from a party in a house in a remote area of Wales. Each of them has an unresolved issue with the dead woman. Each of them could be responsible for her death. Or not…
A good plot, characters that evolve as the story unfolds, dialogue that identifies every character, descriptions that bring instant images to the settings, and themes of love and loyalty juxtaposing distrust and suspicion. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Except more was what I wanted when I reluctantly left the world of Mandy Wilde. So I was delighted to discover that Jacqueline Harrett has written a second Detective Inspector Mandy Wilde novel, The Whispering Trees.
I’m looking forward to reading it.
In the meantime I thoroughly recommend The Nesting Place to readers who enjoy well written crime drama.
About Jacqueline Harrett
Former teacher and lecturer with a passion for storytelling. Retired from education but still loves learning. Writes in different genres. Crime series with DI Mandy Wilde as the detective. Women’s fiction with Janet Laugharne as J. L. Harland – What Lies Between Them.