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Willow Walk: A heart-pounding, unputdownable psychological thriller with an astonishing twist (Banktoun Trilogy) Kindle Edition
|Length: 256 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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This book can be read as a standalone as the main story is self contained but, to get the best from it, it would be better to have read Black Wood first. We pick up several characters from book one here and even though enough backstory is explained for things to make sense, it's always better to get the big picture. Also, Black Wood is a good read so why wouldn't you?
The book opens with a rather disturbing scene. Someone wakes up at a house party to find everyone else dead. What has happened? More interestingly, for me anyway, why has this person been spared?
We then switch over to follow Davie Gray the Police Sergeant for the village of Banktoun. After the shenanigans of book one, he is concentrating on his personal life and is currently seeing Marie. Things are not all rosy in their life at the moment though and he is not sure if she is cooling off him or if there is something on her mind. He has too much time to think though as work is quiet so he has been assisting detecting by doing grunt work for them on legal highs that have been doing the rounds. But, it's the quiet before the storm as Davie is soon to find out. And boy what a storm it turns out to be. The fair is also in town but it's another kind of thrilling ride that we end up with.
It was so good to return to the wonderful village of Banktoun although, to be honest, I was only away overnight as I re-read Black Wood only the day before starting this one! I really love the brilliantly atmospheric village that Ms Holliday has created. It is one of those settings that is so front and centre that I would definitely consider it to be a character in the book along with the people!
Unlike Jo from book one, I warmed to Marie much better. As we find out in the book, she has been through so much in her life before moving to Banktoun, desperate to escape her past. Sadly for her, in this book, her past catches up with her and she is put through the emotional wringer once again as she receives a letter from someone she thought she had escaped from. This letter puts her on a path she is unable to veer from, even though she has people in her new life that can help her, she feels unable to share her past as she is unwilling to expose herself for fear of rejection. Something I think most people can relate to albeit with secrets nowhere near as bad as Marie's. She really did tug at my heartstrings at times and I found myself getting quite emotionally invested in her plight. Also, I felt quite sorry for Davie as he couldn't understand her blowing hot and cold all the time. But then he didn't help himself as he also learned things that he could have broached with her. Suffice to say, their reluctance to communicate culminated in a rather exciting climax that left me rather shocked.
As with book one, we have quite a few characters here, some of whom we already knew from Black Wood so that made things a lot easier for me to follow. We also have letters every so often, written from Graeme to Marie. These are rather sinister in nature as, due to circumstances, they never reached their final destination. We also have flashbacks which made for some very uncomfortable reading at times. It's a very hard hitting book, shocking and chilling throughout.
Davie has his hands full too as he is helping investigate the murder of a woman as well as trying to stop the legal highs that are becoming rife in his area. We also revisit Laura who is embarking on her first relationship with Mark. Things also don't quite go right for these two young lovers as Mark becomes caught up with a lad at the fairground. Sounds like a very busy book, well it is, equally as with Black Wood, we have a lot going on aside from the main story here. In this book, the author has matured so much with her writing that these threads weave themselves seamlessly around each other and meander along until they all come together at the end, culminating in a very satisfying ending. I left the book breathless but completely sated.
I have been extremely fortunate to have snaffled an advance copy of the final book in this trilogy. Having loved my starter and my main course, I can't wait to see what Ms Holliday serves me up for pudding. I'm putting the coffee on in anticipation!
Sergeant Davie Gray is called to the ICU following the brutal attack of an unknown woman. He doesn’t understand why he’s called but he begrudgingly goes. Only when he arrives at the hospital does he realise that the victim bears a staggering resemblance to his girlfriend, Marie. He’s not there to assist in the case as he first thought, he’s there for identification purposes. Thankfully it’s not Marie but she is acting strangely; pushing him away and drinking more than usual. What secrets is Marie hiding and why is she so cagey about the letters hidden in her kitchen cupboard? Can Davie work out what implications Marie’s past has on their future and the lives of their friends…?
I was drawn in to this book straight away by the incredibly creepy prologue. I had to find out more! Who was this woman and how had she ended up here, surrounded by total devastation at a drink and drug fuelled party? From there the story builds filling in the gaps so that events start to make more sense. I felt at times that there was a lot going on but it was still easy to follow and everything is beautifully tied up at the end.
Some of the themes are quite upsetting but SJI Holliday has done a terrific job of setting the scene without going too far. It is quite an uncomfortable and unsettling read in places so be warned. I had a sense of foreboding (introduced by that creepy prologue) from the start, which didn’t leave me until I closed the back cover and took a deep calming breath.
Would I recommend this book? If you’re looking for a character driven psychological thriller then I most certainly would. It’s a cracking read, very compelling and cleverly written by Susi Holliday.
Four out of five stars.
Many thanks to THE Book Club on Facebook (TBC), the author and the publisher for providing me with a copy of Willow Walk in exchange for an honest review.
Most recent customer reviews
Laura is a teenager dabbling with her first boyfriend.Read more
Black Wood was a really enjoyable novel that was dark and steeped with lies and...Read more