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Karola – :
*** free ARC
I was really hooked up with this book and read through it in two days! The story of Kate and Gina is well interlaced with the finding of a skeleton and the mystery in itself. Although I think it’s very helpful to read the previous book first, I loved this one. And at the end I was very curious what comes next with Kate and Gina, Gina’s mother, the secret admirer…? There must be a plan for book 3?! Now I go read book #1
rebeccakbarrus2 – :
*Note: I was provided with a free copy of the book by Ylva Publishing in exchange for a fair review
Bramhall’s second book in the Norfolk Coast Investigation series is just as pleasant as her first one. Under Parr is a cozy murder mystery in which the readers get reacquinanted with characters from the first book. I appreciated the fact that Kate and Gina’s personalities were further deepened and complicated, as was their relationship. There was interpersonal drama without it becoming overwrought. It also dealt with the after effects of the trauma that Sammy and Gina went through in the first book, which I thought was a nice touch. Lots of murder mysteries don’t engage with the idea that the things characters go through scar them in significant ways.
The murder arc of the story was neatly tied up at the end in a plausible and satisfying way, but some of the personal elements weren’t quite resolved. I imagine it’s to drum up interest in the next book, but it was still jarring to get to the end of the book without that kind of closure.
I’d definitely recommend this book for readers who love murder mysteries and lesbians and murder mysteries solved by lesbians.
Jane Shambler – :
OMG I can not believe Bramall ended her book the way she did. Talk about leaving it open, Frustrated is an understatement. So I’m guessing there is going to be a third. If not I am not going to be very happy. I hope it is released soon.
This book is the second book in an on going series. Yes, you could read this as a stand alone book, but I personally would not advise it. Although the author keeps you up to date by referring to book one, I think you would enjoy it better having read book one first.
If you want a good mystery then this book is for you. The main character Kate is really easy to like. She is honest and straight forward copper (Police). Old School in someways. Her partner Gina is where you need book one as she is coping from her ordeal and so is her daughter Sammy. That is all you are getting. This is a down to earth police investigation on the North Norfolk coast. With all the problems that result from such an investigation.
I really enjoyed this book and I really could not put it down. The other thing I liked was that it is set just up the road from me. I was able to recognise the places and language used a lot easier. Also, I like the way Bramall continued the aftermath from book. It added more depth to just a mystery.
I would recommend this book to all crime fans, but with the caution that you should read Collide-o-Scope first.
*ARC provided by publisher via Ylva Publishing*
Velvet Lounger – :
When a skeleton is found in a previously sealed up WWII bunker Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon is faced with a cold case which some intriguing twists. Scraps of women’s clothes on a man’s bones, different names on the labels, different sized shoes on the wrong feet. Kate isn’t sure they will ever find out who he was, let alone how he died and ended up in a bunker that has been sealed since the storm floods of 2013, but she is determined to do her best find out.
As the investigation unfolds the twists and turns become more of a puzzle, unusual activity at the golf course, above average deaths at the local care-home, and a series of clues that just make the detective’s radar ping.
Book 2 of the Norfolk Coast Investigation Stories series and the events of book 1, Collide-O-Scope, are still being felt in the fishing village of Brandale. Gina has recovered physically but emotionally the scars are deep. Sammy is having nightmares and being bullied at school by kids whose fathers are either waiting for trial or out of a job. The impact on Kate and Gina isn’t good either, Gina has withdrawn, and Kate doesn’t know how to get through to her.
As always Andrea Bramhall’s story arc are excellently thought through and executed. This is a solid detective story, occasional leaps of intuition and faith, but essentially the local “Plod”* following a series of interrelated clues and gradually uncovering how the events we see in the prologue came about.
The characters are becoming old friends, deepening as we get to know them, filling out details, colouring in history; their friendships and relationships growing over time. The police team has a new member who doesn’t quite fit and is definitely causing friction, but Kate and Stella’s friendship provides wonderful light relief and flashes of laugh out loud humour.
Sammy is particularly well drawn and the combination of childhood simplicity and trauma induced maturity is intriguing to read. Bramhall always manages to introduce a serious theme in her novels and here we have several; Sammy’s bullying, Gina’s emotional struggles and care-home abuse. However this is not a heavy book, these serious threads add to the reality without detracting from the gentle romance. The flashes of humour and the reasonably fast paced unfolding make it a genuinely pleasurable read.
Under Parr is set a few weeks after the events in Collide-O-Scope and while it stands alone as a story arc there is no doubt it is firmly part of a series; indeed we are left with a tantalising thread to carry over into book 3. I would definitely recommend reading them as a series, if you like romance/crime and excellent writing, this is one you don’t want to miss.
Set on the east coast of England these stories have a decidedly English feel, and are a delight to read. The characters are solid, the events fit the time and place, even the weather has a very English role to play. The angst is there but underplayed, the emotions and relationships are realistic and the whole is grounded in a very English setting. Midsomer Murders with a lesbian twist.
*Plod is English slang for the local police, affectionate although implying slow thinking and moving, comes from the old-fashioned Bobbies walking the streets with their slow heavy pace.
Karen Mcintosh – :
I’ve been looking forward to reading this book as I really enjoyed the first in the series. I was not disappointed. Detective Sergeant Kate Brannon is back solving a new and rather perplexing crime but is still helping her girlfriend Gina deal with the repercussions of her attack. I really appreciated that there was continuity from the last case as it made it all the more realistic and well rounded. Kate and Gina are both very relatable characters and Andrea Bramhall doesn’t give easy solutions to the issues they face together. She has written a really good mystery that kept me interested from page one. And I wait with baited breath for the next tale of life for these Norfolk ladies.
I was given this ARC by Ylva Publishing in return for an honest review.