I’m delighted to be sharing my thoughts on book number six in the DI Natalie Ward series by Carol Wyer, The Secret Admirer.
‘I tried to talk to you today but you snubbed me and walked away. It wasn’t wise to give me the brush-off, Gemma. I can be a truly good friend but I also make the perfect enemy.’
Sasha’s eighteen-year-old daughter Gemma was all she had in the world. Sasha fell pregnant with Gemma when she was still at school, and the two are as close as sisters. So when Gemma’s burned and broken body is found, Sasha’s world ends. What kind of person would want her beautiful daughter dead?
Leading the case is Detective Natalie Ward, scarred by her own recent tragedy. When she finds a note in Gemma’s diary from ‘a secret admirer’, she moves quickly, determined to un-mask them. But interviews with Gemma’s devastated ex-boyfriend, and her charismatic teacher, who has been seen embracing his student far away from the classroom, don’t give Natalie the answers she’d hoped for…
And then the case takes a devastating, personal twist. CCTV footage reveals Natalie’s estranged husband David followed Gemma home every evening the week before she died.
Natalie is forced to put personal feelings aside and follow procedure, even though she can’t believe David could be guilty. But when Gemma’s housemate is found murdered, Natalie thinks the killer could still be at large. Is she right to trust her instincts about David and can she discover the truth before another precious life is taken?
After reading the last book in Carol Wyer’s DI Natalie Ward series, The Blossom Twins, I had to take a bit of a break before diving into book six. The last book in the series left me reeling, and I didn’t know how things were going to pan out for the characters in the next book, The Secret Admirer. If you haven’t read book five, then book six does contain some major spoilers. This is why I would suggest at least reading book five first if you haven’t read the other books in this series. You can find my review of The Blossom Twins by clicking here.
DI Natalie Ward has a new, complex case to get stuck into. A young girl, Gemma, has died following a horrific attack after acid was thrown in her face. Was this a random attack? Or was she specifically targeted? Over the last few years, I have seen quite a few reports on acid attacks in the news. Some of them, scarily, seem to have just been random attacks. This is what makes it so scary. Natalie and her team aren’t short of a list of suspects to investigate which is what makes this case particularly difficult. Things get even tougher for Natalie, though, when her own husband comes into the frame. The case takes a darker turn when Gemma’s housemates are soon targeted as well.
I really felt for Natalie and her family in this book, but particularly for her ex-husband, Dave. The recent events which have taken place in the series have really taken their toll on him. Natalie throws herself in her work to try and move forward with her life. As the investigation into the young girl’s attack and murder moves forward, Natalie is concerned that all they have is only circumstantial evidence. They don’t have the silver bullet that will help them to nail one of the persons of interest in the frame. This is when things particularly start to heat up, especially when Gemma’s friends soon turn up dead as well.
I raced through this book to get the truth. I was desperate to know who was behind the attacks and why. I had some inclination along the way as to who the culprit was, and my guesses were proven correct, but I still found the ending very dramatic. The confessions that come are devastating, and they really put you in the mind-set of the person behind the killings.
This book will take you on a whirlwind of emotions. Carol certainly knows how to reel her readers in. I’m really trying not to give anything away here, but now I’m even more concerned for Natalie and her family, and how things are going to pan out for them in the next book in the series.
The Secret Admirer is another top read in this series, and I’m really excited to find out what happens next.
Publication date: 2nd April 2020
Print length: 370 pages
The Secret Admirer is available to buy: