Jane’s daughter is a good girl. But what is she hiding?
When thirteen-year-old Savannah Hopkins doesn’t come straight home from school as she always does, her mother Jane immediately raises the alarm. With her blonde ponytail and red school jumper, someone must have spotted Savannah.
Detective Natalie Ward is determined to help the distraught mother – her own daughter is the same age as Savannah. But before Natalie and her team can get started, their worst fears are confirmed when the teenager’s broken body is found in nearby shrubland.
Evidence points towards a local recluse, but just as Natalie closes the net around him, one of Savannah’s friends, Harriet, is reported missing. Harriet might look grown up and sophisticated but she is only fourteen…
As Natalie delves into the lives of both girls, she soon discovers a sinister video on both their phones, daring the girls to disappear from their families for 48 hours. She’s sure this is the key to the case, but before she can act, Harriet’s body is found discarded on a roadside.
Natalie’s superiors don’t have to put any extra pressure on Natalie. Devastated, she and her team work without sleep, watching that video over and over. But just as she thinks they’re getting close, the person Natalie loves more than anything goes missing.
Natalie is no stranger to loss. She is terrified and the clock is ticking. Can she push through her fear to catch this depraved killer, before her loved one becomes the next victim?
I have been a fan of Carol Wyer and her books since the moment I picked up ‘Little Girl Lost’ which is the first book in the series featuring Detective Inspector Robyn Carter. I absolutely loved it and set out to read all of her other books. Each time Carol releases a new book, I eagerly grab a copy and cancel my plans for the rest of the day. Carol’s most recent release is the third book in the Detective Inspector Natalie Ward and is called ‘The Dare’. The book was released on 25th April 2019 and I blooming loved it but more about that in a bit.
What can I say about Detective Inspector Natalie Ward? Well for a start she has the patience of a saint!! She is married although she did have a bit of a fling with a colleague. That fizzled out and whilst Natalie’s husband has forgiven her, her colleague’s marriage has ended. Mind you Natalie’s husband can’t take the moral high ground either because he has been keeping a few secrets of his own, which has left the family in debt. Natalie has two children but they are going through the stroppy ‘Kevin The Teenager’ stage. Think Kevin from the programme ‘Kevin & Perry and you have Natalie’s children. So she has stress on the home front but she also has stress on the work front too. Natalie is in charge of a small team and she certainly leads from the front. She also takes on more than her fair share of the workload. Natalie wouldn’t ask anybody to do anything that she wouldn’t be willing to do herself. Natalie is the sort of boss that I would like to work for. She is firm but fair but when the flak starts flying she would have your back. The latest case to land on Natalie’s desk is one of the toughest that she has had to deal with. The disappearance of a girl, who later turns up dead. Will Natalie and her team solve the case? Well for the answer to that question and more you are just going to have to read the book for yourselves to find out as I am not going to tell you.
I don’t usually use rude initials but OMFG (use your imagination), ‘The Dare’ was one hell of a rollercoaster of a read. As soon as I started to read the prologue I was hooked on the book. Carol Wyer certainly knows how to grab your attention and keep it all the way through the book. To say that I was gripped all the way through and I was on the edge of my seat throughout (which was rather uncomfortable as I am recovering from a back operation) seems a bit of an understatement. I can’t put into words just how much I loved this book. Reading ‘The Dare’ soon became an addiction and I refused to put the book down. It wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me. I binge read the book over the course of a day which worked to the book’s advantage because it gave me a real sense of the urgency of the police investigation. The more of the book I read, the further into the story I got and the quicker those pages seemed to be turning. At one point the pages were turning that quickly that the page numbers seemed to blur into one. I just had to keep reading to find out who the murderer was and what their motivation was.
For me, ‘The Dare’ is superbly written but then I wouldn’t expect anything else from such a fantastic author such as Carol. As I mentioned above, she certainly knows how to grab your attention. Carol writes so realistically and uses such powerful descriptions that I really did feel as though I was part of Natalie’s team. I found that I was even beginning to interact with the book. Yes, I know this is fictional but I find that if I enjoy a book to the extent that I enjoyed ‘The Dare’, I begin to ‘live’ the story as if it, and the characters within, are real. I also kept looking for clues and I began to have my own suspicions as to who did what and why. The only problem was that Carol then put a curveball or two into the story and I realised that I was completely wrong.
Reading ‘The Dare’ was like being on one of the scariest and most unpredictable rollercoaster rides that you could ever imagine. There were more twists and turns to the story than you would find on not just one ‘Snakes & Ladders’ board but half a dozen ‘Snakes & Ladders’ boards.
In short, I absolutely, totally and utterly flipping well loved reading ‘The Dare’. ‘The Dare’ really is a page turner that is impossible to put down. I would definitely recommend Carol and all of her books to other readers. In fact I am almost envious of those who haven’t discovered her books yet. I can’t wait to read what Carol comes up with next. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board just has to be 5* out of 5* although in terms of enjoyment I wish I could award it many more stars.