Thank you to R and R Book Tours for my free copy, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.This is the second ‘debut’ psychological thriller I have read in one month, all I can say is ‘girl, that’s how it’s done! Good job’ Let’s get into this 5 star review!!
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Sarah Hastings is a rookie cop who works the night shift in Amber Forest, a small rural town nestled in the Western Pennsylvania mountains. After repeatedly responding to an abandoned and allegedly haunted farmhouse for 911 hang up calls, she discovers a dead body in a secret room. The forensic investigators determine that the body has only been dead for three to four days, but the case takes an unexpected turn when Sarah runs the victim’s fingerprints and finds that her Jane Doe actually died 20 years ago.
The murder investigation is complicated with a sloppy autopsy and delayed forensic reports. When the US Marshals and FBI join the case, Sarah realizes that she is caught in a web of jurisdictional politics that seem to care less about the victim and are more concerned with a larger confidential case. Sarah soon realizes that she may be closer to the victim than she thought and finds herself drawn deeper into the case, threatening not just her career, but her life.
Kim’s Review 5 ‘that’s how it’s done’ stars!
The book blurb got me as soon as I read it, twenty years ago the victim died?? I thought, okay this should be good, and it was. This is the author’s first full novel from what I understand, from my reading experience she is talented, and I would for sure read more thrillers from her. Here’s what I loved.
Characters- all very believable in my opinion, especially Sarah herself. At times I forgot she is only twenty-five, she came across as more than a ‘rookie’ cop. Her whole persona as a character really did shine through.
The other detective she works with later ( no spoilers) Matt, he is really cool as well. I mean that literally, when dealing with suspects he had that ‘smoothness’ about him. But the scene where he literally losses his s*hit and said ‘that b*itch is lawyering up’ when he was interviewing a suspect, had me rolling in laughter. Because the whole thing was written so well, the tense atmosphere I could feel it while he was questioning a suspect trying to be cool, then lost it when he left the interview room. Here, I gave the author a high five as a reader because I felt the whole scene of tension as a reader.
The other characters really surprised me, and I liked that this author factored in a major real life ‘situation’ around mental illness, and even sixth sense ability. It to me appeared to be accurate how the characters behaved and well researched. Overall, great character line up.
Pace and storytelling- ohhh this author knows how to tell a tale in ‘beats’, I was taken on a journey as a reader. I personally feel in the thriller genre, as a reader this is what I want, it excites me when I can’t put the book down, because the author has me like ‘ but hold on, what happens next?’ I felt as a reader it started out moving quickly, I got into the story straight away from the first few pages. Then, it came across like a cosy mystery as things were unfolding at a slower pace, hints of things were sprinkled through the story to keep you thinking. In the end it all tied up.
Then about just over half way BOOM!!! The red herring, the part of the author’s plot to throw me as a reader came in. As I read this new twist in the plot, I turned the page and said in my head ‘damn, I never expected that, so who was it then?’ Then, the character ( the detective), said the same thing I just said to myself. He said it as I the reader, learned what he just learned as the detective the ‘plot twist.’ Again, I high fived the author, because the twist was cool, and the way a character voiced what I was thinking as a reader to me was really cool too.
Overall, in my reading experience Patch Lane is a thriller in its true sense of the meaning, no BS, not underdeveloped and no plot gaps or predictable. In addition, it is a great story very enjoyable and engaging, and delivers what’s on the blurb. I really really really enjoyed it and found it hard to put down. Also, it’s just 200 pages, and it’s 200 pages of a plot that moves! Not drags. I loved it, 5 stars I would recommend Patch Lane to all thriller, crime, and detective ‘cosy mystery’ lovers. Me, I’m waiting impatiently for the next one to drop, I can’t wait to read it. Well done S.F Barkley!
S.F. Barkley is a former police officer who uses her law enforcement knowledge and experience along with her love for all things creepy to create short stories and novels. She had several eerie experiences as a cop, including having discovered secret underground tunnels and responding to 911 hang up calls to an abandoned industrial building. She has published short horror stories in various anthologies and is publishing her debut mystery novel, Patch Lane, in October 2019. She was raised in Western Pennsylvania and currently resides in Maryland with her husband and their rescue pup.
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