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Wednesday 22 December 2021

‘Come and Be Killed’ by Sally Spedding

Published by Endeavour Media Ltd,
7 September 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-71801076-5 (PB)

Frankie Holt was adopted as a baby but is made to feel as she grows up that she is not a proper part of the family. Whereas her adoptive parents’ natural daughter, Shannon is spoilt rotten and takes every opportunity to have a dig at Frankie. Seizing the chance one day she throttles Shannon and tips her into the deep water of the river Irwell.

We also meet a Martin Webb, who dreams of being a police officer, but his application seems to have been in vain. Later with his life in disarray and having to leave his job with a Turf Accountant, he moves away and starts a to train as a roofer where he meets Dora, and they soon become very close.

Meanwhile, back with Frankie, we learn that she takes a course in caring for old people so that she will not lose her dole money. Surprisingly she actually enjoys it and eventually lands a job with an agency who place her as a carer for a Merle Scott, a very wealthy woman. Frankie also carries out odd jobs for Merle’s sister Evelyn who is struggling with osteoporosis. Unknown at first to the two sisters, Frankie is trying to trace her real parents, especially her mother.

Martin, meanwhile thinking a friend of his committed suicide, is persuaded by his late friend’s partner that no way would he have taken his own life. This reawakens his keenness to be a police officer and he decides to look into the death. Little does he know what he is getting into, and that Shannon was his friend’s ex-girlfriend.

Back with Frankie, Merle then appears to have gone missing. A new Detective Avril Pinkerton takes up the case. She seems to take a dislike to Frankie who is now getting closer to finding her real mother.

Martin and his girlfriend Dora begin to understand what Frankie is capable of. She is a very deeply disturbed character. Why does she have a life-like baby doll that she believes talks back to her? It’s certainly very creepy and she tells people that she has a daughter.

As Martin gets nearer learning the truth, he begins to realise what he is up against. Can he solve his mate’s death before he meets his own, and can Frankie get away with the murder of Shannon?

Sally Spedding certainly knows how to write a deeply dark novel She has an insight into people’s disturbing characters. I found Come And Be Killed really absorbing right until the last surprising lines. Once again, I highly recommend one of her gripping crime novels.

Reviewer: Tricia Chappell

Sally Spedding was born by the sea near Porthcawl in Wales and trained in sculpture in Manchester and at St Martin's, London. Whilst her work was demand, Sally began to realise words can deliver so much more than any narrative sculpture or painting. Her first crime mystery, Wringland, was published in 2001 and has a strong historical thread and is set in the bleak fenland around Sutton Bridge. Her second book Cloven also invokes the past. Sally has written a further seven novels. Her strong familial connections with the Pyrenees, Germany and Holland have provided her with themes of loss and exclusion. The dark side of people, and landscape. The deceptive exterior, the snake in the grass are all themes which recur in her writing. In 2018 she started a series featuring DI John Lyon. There are three books in the series. More recently she has a series of five books set in France featuring Lieutenant Delphine Rougier of the French Labradelle Gendarmarie

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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