An absolutely gripping new crime thriller of secrets and lies from the author of Dead Inside.
I was lucky enough to win 6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holton in a competition held by https://twitter.com/ScotlandYardCSI.
Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license.
At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.
Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…
Don’t miss the first nerve-shredding standalone thriller from Noelle Holten, author of the Maggie Jamieson series.
6 Ripley Avenue is the first book I’ve read by Noelle Holten, but I’d heard enough of her brilliant books, and her skilful writing from other readers, to enter the competition run by @ScotlandYardCSI for this book, and I was thrilled to win.
I was thoroughly engrossed from the first page. It’s no spoiler to say it opens with the murder of one Danny Wells, a criminal on probation at the hostel, the main setting for this book, which is so evocatively described that the reader can envisage the characters moving around and outside the building.
This author is certainly talented, I loved her swiftly paced writing style, and the intriguing plot she has conjured up, that twists first one way and then the other to keep the reader guessing until the denouement. And her knowledge of the criminal justice system is exemplary. Something I knew nothing about and found fascinating.
The story is written from the points of view of four of the characters. The murderer who speaks directly to the reader in an almost conversational manner, which becomes more sinister and intriguing as the story moves on. Then there is Jeanette, the overworked and dedicated Senior Probation Officer at the hostel, who is desperate to keep the place open, yet gradually begins to doubt the honesty and integrity of her staff. Her role, for much of the time, is to keep any information about the murder and all details of the residents at 6 Ripley Avenue from the young journalist, Sloane, a woman with an intriguing background who will go to any lengths to get her story. And then there is Helen, a widow in her late sixties, an unwilling neighbour to the hostel, who volunteers there, with the sole reason to infiltrate and discover anything she believes could close the place down. (And who, by the way, is the one character I found to be flawed in her portrayal – the way the author has written this character shows her as a much older woman: in both her spoken and internal dialogue, her habits, the way she moves, the way she lives. She becomes almost a caricature and, for me, this weakens her part in the story. This is my only criticism of the book, and no way detracts from the virtuosity of the plot – and is obviously my own opinion)
Despite this small negative observation, I found this to be a powerfully written thriller, woven throughout with subtle clues, suspense and danger. I loved it. And I have no qualms in recommending 6 Ripley Avenue to any reader who is a crime genre, addict.
And, as a last word, I like to say that I’d be delighted if there is another opportunity for the journalist, Sloane, to return to investigate and report on another crime in her own inimitable way. And, also by the way, for the reader to learn more about her background.
About the author:
Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 6 Ripley Avenue is her first stand-alone crime thriller.
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