by Sharon Bolton
Publisher: Bantam Press
Release: 20th April 2017
Genre: Crime Fiction, Thriller
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
"Just before dawn in the hills near the Scottish border, a man murders a young woman. At the same time, a hot-air balloon crashes out of the sky. There’s just one survivor.
She’s seen the killer’s face – but he’s also seen hers. And he won’t rest until he’s eliminated the only witness to his crime.
Alone, scared, trusting no one, she’s running to where she feels safe – but it could be the most dangerous place of all..."
As a surprise for her sister's 40th birthday, Jessica Lane takes Bella on a hot air balloon ride over the beautiful Northumberland National Park but what starts off as an idyllic trip soon turns into a living nightmare as they witness a man murdering a woman in the park below them.
When the killer catches sight of the hot air balloon his gun swiftly turns on them killing their pilot, as they crash from the sky most of the passengers are killed on impact. When the police arrive on the crime scene it becomes apparent that Jessica Lane is the sole survivor of the crash and she's gone on the run because although she saw the killer's face he's also seen hers and he'll stop at nothing to make sure that every witness to his crime is dead.
Wow, wow, wow! Dead Woman Walking is an immensely clever thrill ride of a read! The first fifty pages were perhaps the most intense opening to a book that I have ever read. What starts off as your typical cat and mouse chase between the killer and his victim quickly twists and turns adding layer upon layer of mystery that overtime creates a complex plot so that by the final page all of the little threads come together creating a bigger picture. I thought I knew where I was going with this book but I was completely wrong!
The story is told from multiple points of view and alternates between different timelines using short, snappy chapters so that you're slowly drip-fed small amounts of information at a time. This kept the pace moving at breakneck speed and it was so easy to think 'just one more chapter' which of course led me to read several more than I intended. I love a good twist in a book and this one had several that made me gasp out loud. It certainly gave me a good runaround!
The only thing that stopped Dead Woman Walking from getting the full 5 stars from me was that there were a few instances where I had to suspend belief and I couldn't always understand the actions that the characters made but this is only a small complaint as I still enjoyed the book immensely.
Dead Woman Walking is one of the best crime novels that I've read so far in 2017. With an intricate plot, fleshed out characters and twists galore it ticks all the boxes that make up an outstanding thriller. Don't miss it!
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