Book Review: The Secret, by Katerina Diamond #KeepTheSecret

Publisher:  Avon Books UK (Harper Collins)

Publication date:  20th October 2016

the-secret-my-review

the-secret-by-katerina-diamondAre you familiar with Katerina Diamond’s debut, The Teacher? No? Well, you ought to know that she’s not shy where plot grimness is concerned, pushing her characters beyond the reasonable limits of day-to-day normality. The Secret is no exception, only this time she gives ’em a damn good shove until they’re teetering on the edge.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting the return of the emotionally isolated Miles and Grey, and here they are – the detective duo with more issues than Reader’s Digest. They wear their poker faces 24/7 to ensure their vulnerable sides are never exposed and any relationship they engage in is frenetic, brooding or fractured. They have an endless supply of sarcastic retorts to suit every occasion, and both halves of this exclusive team spot the early warning signs when they have breached each other’s personal space.

Yes indeedy, Miles and Grey are back and I love them to bits for their spectacular faults, wisecracks, and the bad luck fired at them by the bucket load.

The Secret is a tricky bread crumb trail of lies, and it was fab to delve deeper into the dynamics of the latest criminal fraternity VS law ensemble to decide where to place my trust, which wasn’t easy as there’s some serious deviousness going on! The main focus leans toward the enigma that is DI Imogen Grey. During the current investigation to find a missing woman who has links to her old partner, Grey’s past trickles to the surface including the quirks of her mother’s hoarding, the life challenges that made her as hard as nails, and the near fatal hideousness of a previous case forcing a move from Plymouth Constabulary to Exeter touched on in book one. A LOT of stagnant water rushes under the bridge for Grey in this one, dragging the truth with it to rage like a torrent throughout the pages.

This case leads us into the realms of some truly abhorrent crimes. Not only do we hear accounts of the missing woman’s imprisonment in a place where the concept of time and reality has left the building, there’s one hell of a HUMONGOUS revelation for Grey and potential trouble brewing for Miles’s ex-wife too. And I mustn’t forget the intermittent monologues of a depraved and insecure individual. These moments shine a light into their mind as they develop their private recreational activities in the name of twisted gratification. But life just wouldn’t be the same without a creepy oddball living out their dream while discreetly losing their mind, would it?

The Secret rarely strays out of the dark. Pretty much anything goes, and what does go is often explored in lurid detail. It’s extreme, wicked and disturbing – and I’m THOROUGHLY looking forward to the next one…

Rating:  4/5

(I received an advanced digital copy of this title from the publishers via NetGalley with my thanks, and this is my unbiased review.)

the-secret-book-summary

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

‘Diamond is the master of gripping literature.’ EVENING STANDARD

The Queen of Grip-lit is back… All hail the new Queen of Crime!’ HEAT

‘A web of a plot that twists and turns and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat. This formidable debut is a page-turner, but don’t read it before bed if you’re easily spooked!’ SUN

Can you keep a secret? Your life depends on it…

Bridget Reid has a secret, one that could get her killed… If she can escape the man who is keeping her locked in a basement bedroom.

DS Imogen Grey is good at keeping secrets – truths she’d never reveal to her colleagues at Exeter Police. She worked hard to get where she is – she nearly died for it. Now her past is catching up with her…

As DS Grey and her partner DS Adrian Miles search for Bridget, they uncover a terrifying web of abuse, betrayal and murder. And they realise that some secrets are better left buried…

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the-secret-author-profile

(Courtesy of Amazon UK)

Katerina Diamond was born in Weston in the seventies. She moved to Thessaloniki in Greece and attended Greek school where she learnt Greek in just 6 months. After her parents’ divorce, they relocated to Devon. After school, and working in her uncle’s fish and chip shop, she went (briefly) to university at Derby, where she met her husband and had two children. Katerina now lives in the East Kent Coast with her husband and children.

Her debut novel, The Teacher, was a No.1 bestseller in ebook, and a Sunday Times bestseller in paperback.

TWITTER   |   WEBSITE / BLOG

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The Teacher - Kindle Cover

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Book Review: The Teacher, by Katerina Diamond #DoYouDare?

Publisher: Avon (Harper Collins UK)   |   Publication date:  10th March 2016

The Teacher - My Review

The TeacherYes, yes, that apple on the cover looks intriguing, doesn’t it? But you know what they say about biting off more than you can chew, hmmm? Well that applies more than you would know on this occasion. When this book summary says “not for the faint-hearted” it means it, with absolute sincerity.

The Teacher doesn’t simply contain borderline obscene, graphic and explicit content, it crosses over it into another style of crime read altogether; not quite stomach-churning, horror, yet not your run-of-the-mill police thriller either. Why so unsavoury do you ask? Well, every sadistic act that is committed throughout the narrative possesses a much deeper meaning for the murderer, which you will discover if you actually make it to the end.

The upshot of the story is our anonymous and savage killer is targeting a generation of upstanding members of the community, mainly persons connected to a private educational establishment. The chosen few are subjected to an unthinkable darkness tailored to inflict the most pain, each having absolute precision and attention to detail.

I’ll be honest it took me a while to warm to the investigative team that were on the scene. They have their own share of issues that are more than your usual downtrodden cop angst. The author gives very little away so at first they appear challenged, but unlikeable. Give them a chance, they’ve exceeded their emotional baggage allowance twice over.

Their past is their driving force and has shaped them to become who they are today. Mistakes at previous levels of their careers leaves them vulnerable to being singled-out by the top brass and having to accept their pecking order within the department. The ‘misfit duo’ are thrown together thinking the move will punish them somehow, but unbeknown to those around them their individual suffering will make them more suited to catch a vicious killer than any of their esteemed colleagues with their popularity and ‘unblemished’ records.

DS Adrian ‘Miley’ Miles is one half of the duo. He is told to work leads from behind the scenes, as he previously showed stalker tendencies toward the son of one of the victims. But will the cases be linked without him? Unorthodox methods of policing come into play to push his line of enquiry forward, much to the disapproval of those above. And no partnership would be complete without another sacrificial lamb in the form of DS Imogen Grey, who ‘Miley’ says dresses like the skater Tony Hawks.

As the odd couple accept each others idiosyncrasies, an excellent repartee and witty personal insults evolve to flood the pages. It creates an extremely successful mini-team that goes from strength to strength.

Brutality and degradation continues to feature heavily, even for secondary characters – the good, the bad, and the ugly (and pretty much anyone really), won’t escape attention. The content will surely raise a few eyebrows here and there. It has a wicked pace that might leave you wincing, but it yields an end result that is spot-on for the nature of the plot.

In its defence The Teacher begs the question of what happens when justice can’t be served in the traditional manner we all rely on. Sometimes the only way forward is to fight fire with fire. Despite the heinous nature of their first outing together I’d like to see these firefighters again. Although they are unrefined and bullish one trait they share is being wholly committed, even when the burden of their own demons are doing a terrific job of interfering with their better judgement.

Can they make the right choices to ensure those responsible get what they deserve? Would they recognise who that is any more? This is not an open and shut case for DS Miles and Grey. Don’t say you haven’t been warned…

Rating: 4/5

(My thanks to the Publisher and Helena Sheffield for providing a digital copy of this book for review, via NetGalley.)

The Teacher Book Summary

(Courtesy of the Publisher)

You think you know who to trust? You think you know the difference between good and evil?

You’re wrong …

The Teacher is a debut crime novel from Katerina DiamondIt will upturn everything you thought you knew …

A LESSON YOU WILL NEVER FORGET … DO YOU DARE?

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.

Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

SMART. GRIPPING. GRUESOME.

This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.

WARNING:  Most definitely *not* for the faint-hearted!

BUY THE BOOK

#DoYouDare?

The Teacher Author Links

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR, KATERINA DIAMOND:

TWITTER     |     AUTHOR’S BLOG / SITE

 

 

 

COVER REVEAL: The Teacher, by Katerina Diamond #DoYouDare?

The Teacher Cover Reveal

You think you know who to trust?

You think you know the difference between good and evil?

You’re wrong …

The Teacher

The Teacher is a debut crime novel from Katerina Diamond

It will upturn everything you thought you knew …

… DO YOU DARE?

 

The Teacher Book Summary

Published by Avon (Harper Collins UK)    Publication date, March 2016

~ A LESSON YOU WILL NEVER FORGET ~

The body of the head teacher of an exclusive Devon school is found hanging from the rafters in the assembly hall.

Hours earlier he’d received a package, and only he could understand the silent message it conveyed. It meant the end.

As Exeter suffers a rising count of gruesome deaths, troubled DS Imogen Grey and DS Adrian Miles must solve the case and make their city safe again.

But as they’re drawn into a network of corruption, lies and exploitation, every step brings them closer to grim secrets hidden at the heart of their community.

And once they learn what’s motivating this killer, will they truly want to stop him?

The Teacher Tag Line

This is a psychological crime thriller in a class of its own.

WARNING:  Most definitely *not* for the faint-hearted!

AMAZON UK LINK

The Teacher Author Links

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR, KATERINA DIAMOND:

TWITTER     |     AUTHOR’S BLOG / SITE

Well, all I can think after that is like, “whoa, that got my attention! How ’bout you …?!”

Thanks for taking five to stop by,

Wendy sig