Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The Damselfly by SJI Holliday #BlogTour @SJIHolliday @BWPublishing

 Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie's luck runs out.
Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie s death. And it s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brother s mysterious friend?
With Banktoun s insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands...

The Damselfly by SJI Holliday was published by Black and White Publishing on 2 February 2017 and is the third novel from this author.  I've read and reviewed her two previous books here on Random Things: Black Wood (March 2015) and Willow Walk (May 2016). I'm really happy to be hosting the BLOG TOUR for The Damselfly.

The Damselfly is SJI Holliday’s third novel, and once again her readers are taken to the small Scottish town of Banktoun, the setting for her previous two novels; Black Wood and Willow Walk.
Along with the familiar setting there are characters we’ve grown to know so well, alongside some new introductions, and lots more tension and suspense. But this is not a series, and first-time readers of this author will enjoy The Damselfly just as much as existing fans as the author skilfully includes snippets from history without overloading with too much background story.

Told through the eyes of a number of characters, The Damselfly is intelligently written story. It is complex and thrilling and paced superbly.

The murder of young local girl Katie Taylor shocks the residents of Banktoun to the core. Katie was a good girl, a clever girl who was expected to go far. She came from a difficult background, with a mother who had a chequered history and a sister who she despised, but she had a loving boyfriend and a future ahead of her, and now she’s dead. Killed in her own bed.

Detective Sergeant Davie Gray is on the case. Newly promoted, he’s a local boy. He knows the family, he knows the area. Davie and Detective Constable Louise Jennings are a magnificent partnership, the author portrays their relationship brilliantly. These are characters that every reader will come to love.

Interwoven between the police investigation, and the emerging story of Katie, her boyfriend Neil and her home life are snippets taken from social media. There’s a secret Facebook group, full of accusing voices, people who think they know who killed Katie, and are not prepared to wait for the police to do their job. There are also posts from a mysterious blog that ooze darkness and tension; these are clever additions to what is already a dark and tension-filled story.

The Damselfly is a forceful, utterly gripping story that builds and builds the suspense until the stunning ending that will leave readers gasping.

SJI Hollliday’s writing goes from strength to strength. She really is one of the best crime fiction authors around. 

S.J.I. (Susi) Holliday grew up in East Lothian. A life-long fan of crime and horror, her short stories have been published in various places, and she was shortlisted for the inaugural CWA Margery Allingham prize. She has written three crime novels, a mix of police procedural and psychological thriller, set in the fictional Scottish town of Banktoun. They are: Black Wood, Willow Walk and The Damselfly - all featuring the much loved character, Davie Gray. Susi also works as a pharmaceutical statistician. She is married and lives in London, and you will find her at crime fiction events in the UK and abroad. 

You can find out more at her website: and on Facebook and Twitter @SJIHolliday.


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