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Shed No Tears by Caz Frear (DC Cat Kinsella Book 3)

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Published: July 23rd, 2020
Publisher: Zaffre
Format: Paperback, Kindle, Audio
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Today is my stop on the tour for this riveting thriller. Thank you to Tracy at Compulsive Readers Tours for the invitation to take part and Zaffre for the gifted copy of the book.

SYNOPSIS:

THE BRILLIANT NEW THRILLER FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE RICHARD & JUDY SEARCH FOR A BESTSELLER WINER AND NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER, SWEET LITTLE LIES.

Four victims.
Killer caught.
Case closed . . . Or is it?

Christopher Masters, known as ‘The Roommate Killer’, strangled three women over a two-week period in a London house in November 2012. Holly Kemp, his fourth victim, was never found.

Until now.

Her remains have been unearthed in a field in Cambridgeshire and DC Cat Kinsella and the Major Investigation Team are called in. But immediately there are questions surrounding the manner of her death. And with Masters now dead, no one to answer them.

Did someone get it wrong all those years ago? And if so, who killed Holly Kemp?

MY REVIEW:

In 2012 Christopher Dean Masters, also known as The Roommate Killer, was sent to prison for the murder of four women. But the body of his fourth and final victim, Holly Kemp, was never found. 

Six years later her skeletal remains are found in a Cambridgeshire field. As DC Cat Kinsella and the team investigate differences in Holly’s case to that of Masters’ other victims, they begin to wonder if someone got it wrong when first investigating. And if so, who really killed Holly?

Taut, tense and twisty, this gripping page-turner had me hooked from beginning to end. I was an instant fan of Frear’s writing when I read her last book, and with Shed No Tears she has solidified my love of this series. That being said, this could easily be read as a standalone as the author swiftly catches the reader up on ongoing storylines from the previous books. 

Cat Kinsella is a flawed and complex protagonist. She is dedicated to her job but torn between that dedication and loyalty to her family that is at odds with her chosen profession. She is wonderfully written and is very likeable and relatable, her inner conflicts only making her more real. With the way the author ended things in relation to Cat’s private life, I’m impatient for book four so I can see where life takes her next. The vast array of supporting characters are equally as well written and it didn’t take long for me to feel completely immersed in the world that Frear created. 

One of the things I enjoyed about this book is that there is no obvious bad guy. I was all set to learn a lot about Masters but he is a tiny part of this book and I was left completely flummoxed as to the identity of the perpetrator. I liked that the story took turns I didn’t see coming and enjoyed being along for the ride and like I was in the dark as much as the officers investigating the case. 

Once again Frear has crafted an intricately layered, twisty and suspenseful story that I couldn’t put down. Shed No Tears is a riveting and exciting thriller that I highly recommend. 

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰

CazFrear

MEET THE AUTHOR:

Caz Frear grew up in Coventry and spent her teenage years dreaming of moving to London and writing a novel. After fulfilling her first dream, it wasn’t until she moved back to Coventry thirteen years later that the writing dream finally came true.

She has a first-class degree in History & Politics, which she’s put to enormous use over the years by working as a waitress, shop assistant, retail merchandiser and, for the past twelve years, a headhunter.

When she’s not agonising over snappy dialogue or incisive prose, she can be found shouting at the TV when Arsenal are playing or holding court in the pub on topics she knows nothing about.

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book reviews

Review: ‘Stone Cold Heart’ by Caz Frear ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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SYNOPSIS:

A fractured marriage.

A silent family.

A secret that connects them all.

When DC Cat Kinsella is approached by Joseph Madden for help with his wife, Rachel, there’s not much she can do. Joseph claims that Rachel has been threatening him, but can’t – or won’t – give Cat details as to why. Dismissing it as a marriage on the rocks, Cat forgets about it.

That is until Naomi Lockhart, a young PA, is found dead after a party attended by both Joseph and Rachel and Joseph is arrested for the murder. Joseph says his wife is setting him up. His wife says he didn’t do it. The trail of evidence leads to even more questions…

Adulterer. Murderer. Victim.*

Who would you believe?

REVIEW:

Wow! Jaw-dropping and addictive, I absolutely loved this book and knew I was in for a great read as soon as I read the prologue. Ms Frear has a new fan in this reader after this tantilising thriller.

Twenty-two year old Naomi Lockhart is found dead by her housemate. She was last seen at a party at her boss’s house Saturday night and has been missing from work the last two days. DC Cat Kinsella and Murder Investigation Team 4 are called in to investigate and quickly learn that she died not long after the party. The evidence leads them to a suspect: Joseph Madden, the brother-in-law of Naomi’s boss. He’s not a stranger to Cat, he owns a local coffee house and even spoke to her a few months ago claiming his wife, Rachel, is threatening him and asking what he can do about it. At the time Cat viewed it as overblown marriage woes, but now he’s claiming Rachel is framing him for murder. Rachel is clearly terrified of her husband and does nothing but protest his innocence and Joseph’s claims seem like nothing but a desperate way to put the blame elsewhere.

Information trickles slowly and reluctantly from their witnesses, frustrating the police but making for an electrifying read. Is Joseph capable of murder? Is he their man? As things are revealed Cat is reluctantly dubious and it seems their witnesses are all keeping more secrets that are yet to be told. Who killed Naomi?

Cat Kinsella is a unique protagonist. She, and this book, stands out in the sea of police procedurals because of her flawed and complex character. She breaks the rules, keeps secrets and has told many lies, has a shady family, is dating someone she shouldn’t, and yet she is someone we love and can root for despite all her mistakes. I wanted her to win. I wanted her to conquer her shame of where she’s from and the toxic family she was raised in. I want her inappropriate relationship to work. She was wonderfully written and I enjoyed every minute I spent reading her.

One of the things I enjoyed about this novel was the array of unreliable and morally ambiguous characters, including almost every witness. I found myself both loving and hating so many of them and could never quite be sure what the truth was or what side they were on, other than their own, of course. Joseph Madden was a perfectly written narcissistic abuser. He made my blood run cold from his first appearance and I desperately wanted him to be guilty simply because he was such a vile person. With Rachel the author depicted the terror, shame and guilt of an abused partner in a realistic way. Your heart breaks for her over and again and you just want to make her see sense and get away from her destructive relationship.

I didn’t realise before starting that this was book two in a series. It didn’t affect my enjoyment of it though as the author not only gave enough information to catch you up on events as needed, but it all sounds so juicy that she sold the book to me while I was reading and I immediately bought it when I finished. I loved the author’s writing style, particularly the banter between Cat and her colleagues and the wit that had me laughing out loud on many occasions.

The final part of this fabulous, twisty thriller had me on tenterhooks wondering who did what and reeling from each bombshell. After the shocking concluding sentences, I am now impatiently waiting for book three and to find out what is next for Cat. I can’t recommend this book or this author highly enough.

Thank you to NetGalley, Bonnier Zaffre and Caz Frear for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publication Date: June 27th.