On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the latest book in the DI Sasha Dawson series by M.K. Hill, The Woman in the Wood.
A reality TV star becomes a suspect in an Essex murder case in the sharp, funny and moving new thriller from M.K. Hill
Three years ago, Danny ‘Abs’ Cruikshank, star of reality show Laid in Essex!, was living the dream. And then, on the night of the party, everything changed.
It was supposed to be an intimate weekend gathering. Just a few close friends in a remote cottage in Wales. But after a night of heavy drinking in the village pub, a local girl was reported missing, presumed dead. Abs and his friends had been the last to see her alive.
No-one was ever charged, but the controversy destroyed Abs’s career. So now, three years later, the celebrity who once captured the heart of millions is opening Southend’s new branch of Quidstore. And then one of Abs’s mates is murdered. Does someone know what really happened that night in Wales? DI Sasha Dawson and her team must race against the clock to find the killer before they strike again – but first she must discover what happened to Rhiannon Jenkins on the night she vanished. Will the truth set Abs free? Or bury him?
I loved the first book in the DI Sasha Dawson series by M.K. Hill, and I couldn’t wait to read the next book in the series. M.K. Hill’s writing is very engaging, and this time round, in The Woman in the Wood, he delves into the scene of reality TV. Reality TV has seen a huge boom in popularity in recent years, with shows such as Love Island and The Only Way is Essex. It made for an intriguing backdrop to the story, and it gave the book a unique hook.
I personally have never seen the appeal of reality television. The show which M.K. Hill has created in his book, is called Laid in Essex and I can definitely imagine a show such as this existing. A former star of the show, Abs, is one of the central characters in the book. He has been in the limelight for several years now; people recognise him in the street and feel as though they know him, even though they haven’t met him before. M.K. Hill takes you into that world, especially as Abs tries to make a comeback.
Abs was a character who I didn’t really warm to. I thought he was quite unpleasant at times, particularly in the way how he revelled in his fame and how he tried to flirt with women, but that is part of who he is. He can’t talk to someone without a complimentary, cheesy chat-up line. He is haunted by what happened three years ago, when a young woman disappeared while he was in Wales, he was once labelled a suspect in the disappearance, but no evidence could be found against him. And when one of his friends who was with him at the time is killed, it sends him into a panic frenzy. He fears that because of what happened in Wales they are now being targeted.
M.K. Hill’s writing made this book a very addictive read. I really wanted to know what Abs and his friends were hiding about what happened three years earlier. I also wanted to know who was targeting them, and M.K. Hill throws in several twists, which will keep you turning the pages. The final chapters were very chilling as the truth was revealed.
You don’t need to have read The Bad Place to enjoy this book, but I would highly recommend that you do so. DI Sasha Dawson is a great character, and this is turning into an exciting, must-read crime series. I hope that there are going to be many more books in the series to come.
Publisher: Head of Zeus
Publication date: 4th March 2021
Print length: 432 pages
The Woman in the Wood is available to buy: