Author: Kerry Watts
Publication Day: 21/03/2019
Call it mother’s intuition, but I knew she was dead the moment she was late home. As I listened to her phone ring and ring, that’s when I knew for sure. My little girl was gone.
Twenty years ago, Sophie Nicoll never came home from school. Days later her body was found in a shallow grave on a remote farm a few miles from her hometown. Two boys from her school were found guilty. The press called the boys evil. Sophie’s family wanted them dead. The judge promised they’d never walk free.
Two decades later and schoolgirl Shannon Ross has vanished from a small town in the Scottish Highlands.
It’s Detective Jessie Blake’s first big case since she joined Perthshire Police. Having recently arrived from London, Jessie lives in fear of people finding out about her past and her reasons for moving north.
When Shannon’s body is found in the river on the outskirts of Inverlochty, Jessie discovers she’s not the only one with something to hide. As the small community begins to crack under pressure, people begin to point fingers. And soon, the big secrets hidden within the small town are revealed – with devastating consequences.
This shocking crime thriller set in the dramatic Scottish Highlands will have you reading well into the night. If you like LJ Ross, Cara Hunter or Robert Bryndza, you will absolutely love this.
When Shannon Ross, a teenage girl, disappears out of thin air, it is up to Detective Jessie Blake and her partner, Dylan to find out what has become of the missing girl. Is she alive? Did someone kill her? What does Shannon’s disappearance have to do with another case almost two decades ago? Are both cases related somehow?
These are just some of the questions that are left unanswered at the start of this new series by Kerry Watts. The mystery surrounding Shannon’s disappearance is really held strong for a good part of this story and I felt really drawn in into what happened this this teenage girl. Watts really knows how to keep you guessing by introducing a host of characters where anyone can be the culprit. I had a hard time in determining who was behind it all. Watts also runs a story parallel to the main story about a girl named Sophie who was murdered almost two decades ago. I was not sure at first what the connection was going to be and I feel that Watts really did such a fantastic job at keeping you guessing right up until almost the end. I will say though that the beginning of this book is quite overwhelming with the introduction of many characters, but after the first forty pages or so I was able to get a handle on all of the characters and the roles they in the story. With that being said, please do not let that deter you from reading as it does get easier.
There are two main couples in Heartlands – Rob and Cassie and Louise and Jason. I do feel like they were well rounded characters and that I really got a chance to come to know them and sympathize with what they were going through both as couples and as their stories centered around Shannon’s disappearance evolved. As far as Detective Jessie Blake, I think we really just scratched the surface with her, so it would be interesting to see her story slowly come about as the series progresses. Although, I would have loved to know more about Jessie, I think the focus was mainly placed on the case of Shannon’s disappearance.
Heartlands by Kerry Watts is a gripping police procedural with many twists and turns. These twists and turns are really shocking and quite expertly placed. We are also left with a bit of a cliffhanger which was a huge surprise and now makes me want to know what will happen next.
Kerry Watts was born and grew up in a small town in the East of Scotland where she still lives today. She is always writing and carries a little notebook and pen with her wherever she goes because at her age ideas need to be captured before they disappear.
Kerry specialises in crime fiction because she enjoys pushing the boundaries of what it is to be human. The nature versus nurture debate
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