No Safe Home is a gripping crime thriller! I hate what is going on – but boy, Tara Lyons can weave a complex story about the impact of domestic violence.
DI Hamilton #2
A single mother is living alone with her little son. There is an intruder – a violent attack and two lives have ended abruptly. There was a man with an abusive father, devoted to his mother. She died five years ago and still today he can feel the pain. Then there is Katy, also a single mother. She is constantly on her guard, looking over her shoulder. Will she, can she ever trust anyone? She does not know it yet, but both she and her five-year-old son Frankie could be in danger. Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton feels emotionally involved and therefore has trouble investigating the murders, especially one that comes a bit too close to home.
Katy Royal is not pleased she is working in a bar called The Tavern but it gives her an income and the anonymity she craves. Plus: at the end of a night her boss orders a taxi for her. It is always the same driver, thus limiting the number of persons who know her home address to a minimum. She knows that the only way to keep herself and her son Frankie safe is to constantly be aware of the danger of exposure. Katy has escaped a marriage that started going downwards on her wedding day. She had no choice but to leave Brad, to make sure Frankie would not suffer any abusive behaviour. Even going to the park, quite harmless in itself, is complex for Katy. Will she ever be free of worry, of having to look behind her? There is another murder – again a single mother with a young son. Plus, there is the apparent suicide of a young girl. This event really gets to DI Hamilton, bringing back the devastating memories of his daughter’s death.
With what could very well be a serial killer at loose on his patch, now is not a good time for DI Hamilton to be two team members short. He needs at least one Detective Sergeant extra in addition to DS Lewis Clarke and DS Kelly Fraser, but the only addition to the team is PC Robbie O’Connor – ‘call me Rocky’. It is not until we read about what happened to DI Hamilton’s daughter five years ago that we can fully understand how the young girl’s suicide affects him. Katy meanwhile, is trying to pick up more than the pieces of her life: her upstairs neighbour Alexina seems nice enough and Frankie loves playing with her two daughters. Then there is Matthew, the stranger who helped her in The Tavern. Can she trust him? Or is the nightmare of domestic abuse by her violent ex Brad starting over? There is a murderer out there, of that the police is sure. One who takes pleasure in demeaning women and killing both mothers and their little sons.
No Safe Home is a fascinating psychological novel about the lasting impact of domestic violence on a person’s life. Katy tries to escape and, although she did succeed in moving away with her little son, she feels she can never be truly safe again. As I have already read ‘In the Shadows’, I loved reconnecting to DI Hamilton and his team. But this crime thriller can equally be read as a stand alone. I love the fact that there are more aspects than solely police cases, although I had difficulty with the parts where sexual violence was used against the women. Those parts of the book were not too explicitly written, I am glad to say.
Despite the grimness of the topic in this novel, it is an easy and enjoyable read, a fast-paced excellently written thriller. Additionally, it is great to see the personal lives of the Detectives and to witness how their feelings influence the way the investigations are conducted. It feels that we only now for the first time truly learn to know the man behind the job as DI Denis Hamilton is revealing parts of his private life to his team and to us, the readers. I liked Kelly Fraser, how she needed adjusting a bit, on her way to becoming a great detective. The enthusiasm of Rocky is catching! No wonder I read it in one session! I love DI Hamilton and look forward to the third novel in the series!
About the Author
Tara Lyons is a British author with a lifelong passion for English Literature, writing and reading. She started her writing career in 2015. With NY bestselling author Mel (MA) Comley, a friend and mentor, she wrote ‘Web of Deceit’. They also started an exciting series of crime novels ‘The Organized Crime Series’ of which the first book ‘The Caller’ is published in 2016. ‘In the Shadows‘ is Tara Lyons’ crime debut, the first in the ‘DI Hamilton Series’. According to Tara, she is “writing, reading, blogging and enjoying every single minute of it. It’s a dream come true.”
|Publisher||Bloodhound Books (31 Dec. 2016)|