Follow The Leader – Mel Sherratt
Days later, a second victim is found, this time with the letter V tucked into her clothing.
As the body count rises, the eerie, childlike clues point to a pattern that sends DS Allie Shenton and her colleagues into full alert.
The race is on. Allie and the team must work quickly to determine where the killer will strike next. The rules are simple but deadly—to catch the killer, they must follow the leader.
From the acclaimed author of Taunting the Dead comes a flesh-creeping tale of a child’s game with a terrifying, grown-up twist. This is the second book in the DS Allie Shenton series but can be enjoyed as a stand-alone story.
My review copy was provided through Netgalley.
When I lurk around Twitter I look to see what other book bloggers are reading. Every now and then you find that one book will dominate the chat or one author will grab the spotlight. However, over a period of several months I noticed that Mel Sherratt’s name cropped up frequently and always positively. A little more investigation revealed that the bloggers I engage with most frequently have been reading and enjoying the Allie Shenton books – it was time for me to catch up.
Having been let down by the ‘buzz’ surrounding one or two high profile novels in 2014 I was delighted to find that Follow The Leader fully justified the positivity from the blogging community – I was hooked by a brilliant story.
As the intro explains, this is the second book in the DS Shenton series. Obviously, I have not read the first book and I generally try to avoid jumping into a series when I know there are earlier volumes to read. I was pleased to find that there were no continuity problems which could have impaired my enjoyment of Follow The Leader – everything I needed to know was deftly dropped into the plot without the feeling I was reading the “recap chapter.”
Follow The Leader was a great read – Shenton is a likeable central character, seemingly fighting a losing battle to maintain a work/life balance. She finds herself embroiled in a murder investigation where it appears that a killer that is specifically targeting former pupils of her old high school. It is clear to Shenton and the investigating team that the murders are linked as the killer is leaving a magnetic plastic letter at the scene of each crime.
What I particularly liked about Follow The Leader (as I also noted when I recently reviewed Karen Long’s The Vault) was that the reader gets to see who the murderer is quite early in the story. This means that we can keep tabs on the investigation while also having the benefit of discovering who the next victim will be – usually before they become a victim! I refer to this as the Columbo effect (my reading preferences clearly shaped by Peter Falk).
Follow The Leader keeps a good pace throughout and there were plenty of action points and surprises that kept me reading well into the wee small hours. There is a clear sign of an ongoing story which began in book 1 (Taunting The Dead), flows through Follow and looks likely to spin on into book 3. A nice way to ensure I will definitely return to see how Allie Shenton copes with what seems to be coming her way.
In short: great fun, well written and held my attention throughout with the added bonus of a cliffhanger that will make me a guaranteed reader of the next book. Everything I want from my crime thrillers so a review score of five out of five seems to be in order. Highly recommended.
You can follow Mel Sherratt on Twitter @writermels Follow The Leader and Taunting The Dead are available now…go get them!
One last update – just before I posted my review of Follow The Leader I discovered that the next Allie Shenton book, Only The Brave, is due for release on 26th May. Already excited for that!