Scare Me To Death by CJ Carver

action-packed | pacy | intricately plotted | compelling page-turner

what it says on the cover …

A homemade bomb exploded mid-air, killing 214 people on board.

Thirteen people survived.

Sixteen years later one of the survivors is found brutally bludgeoned to death. It looks like a crime of passion but DC Lucy Davies knows something is wrong. They were trying to find the bombers.

Lucy’s search for the killer brings her into conflict with her long-lost father – who has his own secrets. Dangerous secrets which Lucy must expose so she can confront a vicious murderer with only one thing on their mind.

Keep on killing to stop the truth from being revealed.

PUBLISHED: 9th April 2021
SHELF: Fiction | Crime | Thriller
PUBLISHER: Bloodhound Books
FORMATS: Kindle | Paperback

my review

Scare Me To Death grabs your attention from the very first page, with an explosive prologue. This terrifying chapter takes place some sixteen years prior to the main story, but it sets the scene for the present day investigation, establishing the role of the book’s key characters … not to mention being a bold expression of intent by the author to seize your attention and not let it go! 

This is the fourth book in the author’s widely acclaimed ‘Dan Forrester series’, and although this is the first book I’ve read, I never once felt like I was unable to read it as a standalone novel.  The two main characters – DC Lucy Davies, and ex-MI5 agent Dan Forrester – both have strong backstories which are touched upon occasionally, but this is done with careful consideration so the reader knows enough to feel familiar, without laboriously re-iterating everything I’ve missed from the earlier books.

Scare Me To Death layers three storylines into the one book, and at times I wondered how the author would tie them all together.  In one thread, there’s Lucy and Dan’s investigation into the murder of a young woman who happened to be on the bombed airplane sixteen years ago; a young women Dan coincidentally saved from that crash which orphaned her and her younger brother.  In another thread, there’s Lucy’s search for her estranged father against her mother’s emphatic wishes to the contrary.  And lastly, there’s a plot line following a flight attendant seemingly suffering with aerotoxic syndrome.   

Through some dexterous twists and smattering of rather convenient coincidences, all three threads are stitched together extremely neatly, and at the same time they unearth the murky truth behind the bombing of flight EG220 sixteen years ago.

I have one niggle, however, and that’s the disconnect between the blurb on the book’s back cover, and the story within the pages.  It leads me to believe the thirteen survivors of the plane crash are being hunted down and murdered, when in actual fact, it’s just one survivor – Kaitlyn Rogers – who’s snared the murderous attention of powerful people with everything to hide. And the means of murder wasn’t the brutal bludgeoning eluded to in that text, but a very grizzly, albeit equally fatal, throat cutting. These inaccuracies didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book in any way, but they did prompt me to check back a few times to make sure I hadn’t misremembered the synopsis in relation to the book I was reading.

CJ has crafted a pacy, thought-provoking novel that smartly balances enjoyable fiction with the realities of commercial and political corruption. Her writing style flows extremely well making for a book that’s scarily easily to lose yourself in, all the while creating one very vivid scene after another … from the moody streets of Morocco, to the distinctly chilly and confrontational British locations.  From the outset until the closing chapters I was kept guessing by a twisting plot with many strands, gaining in momentum towards a gripping conclusion.  

Thank you to CJ for sending me a copy of Scare Me To Death in return for an impartial review.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my honest review of this book.

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author bio

CJ Carver is a half-English, half-Kiwi author living just outside Bath. Her books have been published in the UK, USA and translated throughout Europe. Her first novel Blood Junction, won the CWA Debut Dagger Award, was shortlisted for the USA Barry Award, and was also voted as one of the best mystery books of the year by Publishers Weekly. Spare Me the Truth, the first book in the Dan Forrester series, has been nominated for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. CJ lived in Australia for 10 years before taking up long distance rally driving – she has driven London to Saigon, London to Cape Town and covered 14,000 miles on the Inca Trail.

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5 thoughts on “Scare Me To Death by CJ Carver

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