Monday, 7 November 2016

Bones in the Nest by Helen Cadbury, book review

Having read the fabulous debut novel 'To Catch a Rabbit' by NWA award-winning writer Helen Cadbury, I was expecting great things from the second book, I was not disappointed.

About the book: The second book in the Sean Denton series. A young woman is trying to rebuild her life after prison, but someone is out there who won't let her forget what she's done. Racial tension is bubbling up on the Chasebridge Estate and Sean is drawn back into a web of family and neighbours he'd rather avoid. When a body is found in the stairwell of a block of flats, Sean is right at the heart of the case.

Two years on from the first novel, former PCSO Sean Denton is now a Constable in Doncaster, finding his feet in his new role.  The body of a Muslim man is found in the stairwell of the flats that Sean's father lives in, forcing him back to a life and memories he would rather forget, instigating racial tensions.  At the same time, the infamous Chasebridge Killer is released from prison, causing anger. 

The racial tensions in Doncaster are played out against the backdrop of Chloe Toms trying to reintegrate back into society, in York and she is a vulnerable and emotive character.  The strength of Denton in facing his past and relying on his instincts to keep those he cares about safe, and protect his fledgling career.

It is great to have the Yorkshire location rather than London or Scotland in a crime book, especially as I am a Yorkshire gal, and loved the familiar place names.

Cadbury treads this sensitive subject area with a deftness that pulls you in and horrifies you at the same time.  In the current climate, it seems more poignant to show in the novel that difference can result in such hatred and as such, this is a topical read.  An evocative reflection of society, the novel handles the subject matter well, stoking your emotions alongside the police procedural aspect, hooking you and keeping hold until the end.

With some great twists and turns, it keeps you guessing until the end, the reader treading the path along with Sean as he connects the dots.  I enjoyed new character DCI Nasir Khan and hope to see more of him in future books.

As I said after the first novel, Denton is a refreshing main character, none of the embittered drunk that we are so used to in this genre, but a genuinely warm and enthusiastic young man that is both relatable and likeable.  I eagerly await the next novel.

About the author: Helen Cadbury writes fiction, poetry and plays. She worked as an actor before becoming a teacher. She now divides her time between writing, teaching in a women’s prison and delivering training in youth arts. She has an MA in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. Helen grew up in Birmingham and Oldham. After living in London for many years, she came north and settled in York, where she lives with her family.

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