Fleeing the terrors of her former life, Isabel has left England, and at last is beginning to feel safe.Then a letter shatters her world, and she returns home determined not to let fear rule her life any more.But she's unable to shake off the feeling that someone who knows her better than she knows herself may be following her.Watching. Waiting.Ready to step back into her life and take control all over again.
You Belong To Me by Samantha Hayes was published by Century in paperback on 12 March 2015, and is the third in a series that features DCI Lorraine Fisher. I was a little unsure how I would fare with this one as I haven't read the first two in the series; Until You're Mine (June 2013) and Before You Die (April 2014). I was assured that You Belong To Me works perfectly as a stand alone story, so I got stuck in. I really had no need to worry, in fact I forgot that this is book three in a series whilst I was reading, the author cleverly lets the reader have enough background information, and the story flows very well.
It's really difficult to review You Belong To Me without giving away spoilers. However, I can say that when I turned the last page, my brain was fizzing! Samantha Hayes has written a story that twists and turns in so many directions that the reader feels as though they are riding a bloody huge roller coaster.
The reader meets Isabel, a young woman who is working in a small hotel in India. She's there because she has run away, but we are not quite sure who or what she is running from. When she receives some devastating news, she has to return to England. She doesn't want to, she's terrified of what will happen when she gets there, but she knows that she must.
Isabel's story is woven into an unsolved murder case. DCI Lorraine Fisher is on the verge of a breakdown, she is determined to solve this one, but her life seems to be spiralling out of control, and her boss has insisted that she take a 'holiday'.
I really can't go into any more detail, all I can say is that You Belong To Me is incredibly complex, very intricate and extremely cleverly written. At times, I became just a little confused as a new chapter would start in a new voice, and it took a few paragraphs to work out who was speaking. Apart from this tiny criticism, I was well and truly hooked. At times I was scared, really scared and at other times I was just stunned by the feeling of tension and suspense created by Samantha Hayes.
The character creation in this novel is expertly done. There are some seriously fucked up folk populating this story. We have manipulation, exploitation, absolute madness and total control freakery, this is a cast of people who you definitely would not like to come across in real life. Despite the evil and the madness, this story is totally compelling, it's psychologically chilling and so very very tense, and oh that ending! That ending that creeps up and scares the shit out of you, and is so totally unexpected.
You Belong To Me is a fabulous read, I enjoyed every minute of it.
My thanks to the publisher and author who sent my copy for review.
Samantha Hayes grew up in the West Midlands, left school at sixteen, avoided university and took jobs ranging from being a private detective to barmaid to fruit picker and factory worker. She lived on a kibbutz, and spent time in Australia and the USA, before finally becoming a crime writer.
Her writing career began when she won a short story competition in 2003. Her novels are family-based psychological thrillers, with the emphasis being on 'real life fiction'. She focuses on current issues, and when she writes, she sets out to make her reader ask, 'What if this happened to me or my family?' With three children of her own, Samantha is well-versed to talk about how the aftershocks of crime impact upon families and communities.
Until You're Mine was longlisted for Theakston's Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year 2014.
To find out more visit her website www.samhayes.co.uk
Follow her on Twitter @samhayes
Visit her author page on Facebook