Black Wood by Susi Halliday
Something happened to Claire and Jo in Black Wood: something that left Claire paralysed and Jo with deep mental scars. But with Claire suffering memory loss and no evidence to be found, nobody believes Jo’s story. Twenty-three years later, a familiar face walks into the bookshop where Jo works, dredging up painful memories and rekindling her desire for vengeance. And at the same time, Sergeant Davie Gray is investigating a balaclava-clad man who is attacking women on a disused railway, shocking the sleepy village of Banktoun. But what is the connection between Jo’s visitor and the masked man? To catch the assailant, and to give Jo her long-awaited justice, Gray must unravel a tangled web of past secrets, broken friendship and tainted love. But can he crack the case before Jo finds herself with blood on her hands?
Black Wood – Book Review by Kelly Lacey
A little back story first about why this book means a lot to me.
Do you ever think you are meant to wait for the right time to read a book? Like perhaps there is a lesson you’ve to learn. I have had that happen to me a few times in life. Where I have started the book and thought oh no this isn’t for me. Then picked it up at another time and loved it.
Well, l for me I think Black Wood was meant to wait for a while so I could reflect back at my book blogging journey. Susie’s launch for Black Wood was in 2017 and it was the first event I went to that was in the city and I was right at the end of five years never having left the house with my agoraphobia. I was so lonely and really shouting at the world that I needed something to help me.
Going to the launch was terrifying, everyone knew each other and they were hugging and air-kissing. I was sitting in my coat a big coat that was too warm and I was dying inside with fear. I had spoken to a random stranger on Facebook called Joanne Baird, who was also going to the launch and who happened to be a book blogger. I attempted to exist Edinburgh, Waterstones when I was finding it hard to breathe but they had blocked the back exist. So I had to walk towards the lift and that’s when I met Joanne. That single meeting changed my whole life. I am lucky Joanne was so nice because in my head I look back and think I must have been acting so weird. But Joanne arranged to meet me for lunch and on that lunch, she showed me how to make a WordPress blog. Suddenly I had a life again and most importantly maybe a new friend.
Fast forward almost four years and Joanne is one of my closest friends and we have had so many adventures and laughs together. Book blogging changed my life and gradually I reentered the world and made lots of new friends and acquaintances.
So the point is Black Wood was the book that changed my life. So quite appropriate to read it now when things are a little array with the COVID virus and life once again has been altered. But the one thing to remember is there is always hope. A chance meeting, at a book launch. or just baby steps with whatever you’re struggling with, there is always hope.
Now the book review.
Susi Halliday has created a fictional town called Banktoun, with a cast of unpredictable and engaging characters. This is the first book in a trilogy and I love that we get to gentle settle into our new surroundings. Gradually getting our bearings of the town and the who’s who of people.
Susi Halliday sets the perfect pace of the writing, it is not super fast-paced and it is not a slow burner. It has an enjoyable steady pulse with moments of suspense and emotion. It will get your heart racing and your mind will be a whirl trying to figure out who the baddie is for sure.
My favourite character is Jo as she is fragile and flawed. Screaming out for help but nobody knows (not even she does) what to do. Her mind so jammed packed with memories, feelings and emotions. The pressure to be “normal” and let things go and just try and fit in is slowly imploding her mind. Susi Halliday really caught Jo’s anxiousness and it carries across to the reader. I felt my heart beating faster and my own breath getting more rapid when I was reading about Jo.
Sometimes the first book in a series can feel like a television pilot where you are just getting all the pieces you need and the author ties them all up for you nicely. Not the case with Black Wood, we learn more and more about the characters and the town throughout and the book could be standalone. If you don’t want to start a new series, you need not worry. If you only read Black Wood you will be completely satisfied. I, however, can’t wait to dive into the other two books.
An engaging crime fiction thriller, if this is just the start of what Susi Halliday has to offer I just can’t wait to read the back catalogue of adventures.
Why not visit our own little Love Books Bookstore today, just click the link below?
Thank you for taking the time to stop by today.
In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for us (at no extra cost for you).