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Friday, 31 January 2020

‘The Bad Place’ by M.K. Hill

Published by Head of Zeus,
5 September 2019.
ISBN: 978-1-78854826-7

Twenty-six years ago six teenagers were held prisoner at Baden Place since nicknamed The Bad Place. Their captor was a Jerry Swann and they all escaped except Becky, he slit her throat.

Since then they have all met up each year at one of the girl’s places, Karin's. This year she decides it will be the last as none of them really enjoy it and they don't get on too well either.

They have all arrived except Lydia, who comes in late in floods of tears. She tells them she witnessed a girl of fourteen or fifteen being pulled into a van. She is convinced Jerry is back, but he was shot dead by the police all those years ago as the five of them escaped.

Sammi a teenager is then reported missing and later a stolen van is found abandoned with her coat inside.

Detective Inspector Sasha Dawson heads the team looking into the abduction. She was actually a newly recruited police officer when the children were snatched all those years ago and remembers them all. As enquiries progress it becomes clear that somehow one or all of the remaining five hostages must have something to do with the latest girl being taken.

Then Karin starts receiving texts purporting to be from Becky the close friend of hers who was the only one of the six to die. Is someone trying to drive her insane?

When a teenage boy is then snatched, they all start to wonder, can Jerry be back? Someone is obviously trying to unnerve the survivors, but why after all these years?

Not only does Sasha have the abductions to deal with, but she is having problems at home. Her husband Kev has been acting very strangely recently and now her mother has left her father and unexpectedly arrived at Sasha's to live. However, she is very interfering and controlling especially where the children are concerned. Then tragedy strikes.

Now Sasha not only has pressures at work to contend with, but her home life falls apart and she has to use her detective powers to solve a family crisis. Is she strong enough to deal with so much stress?

A very cleverly interwoven plot connecting the past to the present. It shows how even after many years, events can still come back to haunt the people involved. It is interesting to read how the different characters deal with the guilt of having survived their ordeal whilst their friend Becky did not.

I found the story all the more interesting as the action takes place in and around Southend, a place I know well.
I can't recommend this book enough, it grips the reader from beginning to end, I felt quite exhausted when I finished it!
Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

M K Hill is a pseudonym used by Mark Hill who has been a journalist and an award-winning music radio producer. He worked for about five minutes in PR. He now writes the Drake and Crowley thriller series. Mark says he loves writing. It's his dream job.  The Bad Place is the first book in the Sasha Dawson series written under the name M K Hill.  The Woman in the Wood, the second book in the series will be published 3 September 2020.
Twitter @markhillwriter
Instagram: @markhillwriter

Tricia Chappell. I have a great love of books and reading, especially crime and thrillers. I play the occasional game of golf (when I am not reading). My great love is cruising especially to far flung places, when there are long days at sea for plenty more reading! I am really enjoying reviewing books and have found lots of great new authors.

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