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Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett
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Scared to Death

by Rachel Amphlett

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Scared to Death is the first in a new series by Rachel Amphlett. I had not read anything by Rachel Amphlett before I read this book, but as a big time crime fan was I intrigued by the premise and the cover of the book. So, what makes this so special that you should pick it over other crime books?

Personally, I just love when I instantly like the main character and Kay Hunter was just the kind of tough female cop that I like to read about. And, it was quite nice that she seems to be quite stable, despite recent problems both at home and at work. Not, that I don't like my heroines flawed, I do. But, having a woman cop, in a stable relationship felt like a nice change. I just loved that she and Adam have a loving and understanding relationship, despite that they have just been through hell together.

As for the case, it's tragic, the whole case feels like just an awful nightmare. Without giving too much away is this case a typical example of what could happen when someone that has been abused for years suddenly snaps. It's such a chilling story. Also, the story has some brilliant twists. Just the way I like it.

I want to thank the author for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Dec 14, 2017 |
Scared to Death is the first book in the Detective Kay Hunter series. The story pulled me in from the very beginning. The suspense is gripping and each scene is vividly described making the events spine-chillingly real.

DS Kay Hunter is dedicated. She doesn’t dwell on the problems in her life and the backstory tells us she has plenty of personal problems she could be dwelling on.
It’s a nice change to have a detective that’s not a divorced alcoholic. The reader is not heaped with Hunter’s personal life. We are just given a few snippets here and there to let you know a bit about her, she was bullied at school, gets annoyed by her mother and sister and has a loving supportive partner. The story focuses mainly on the case at hand.

The pace is fast. The chapters are short and precise which makes this book an easy, quick read but not easy to read as there are quite a few skin crawling adrenaline pumping moments.

The killer has a troubled background but the reader is never urged to feel sorry for him. The victims are kept slightly detached although they are not completely innocent themselves.

If you enjoy adrenaline pumping action and suspense I highly recommend “Scared to Death.”

I was provided with an ERC from the author to read and review. ( )
  Ronnie293 | Jun 5, 2017 |
SCARED TO DEATH is the first in a new series from author Rachel Amphlett. It's a switch from the earlier espionage styled Dan Taylor novels, to a police procedural featuring Detective Kay Hunter.

From the opening scenes with parents Yvonne and Tony racing to provide the ransom money and recover their daughter Melanie, through to the police investigation that follows, there's plenty of intrigue and pace built into SCARED TO DEATH. It is a novel structured in form of police procedural precisely, building a great team around a really strong, central character, looking at the pitfalls, slog and highs of crime investigation. This is a crime that seems to be a kidnapping that's gone horribly wrong, but Hunter always feels there was something not right about the whole scenario. A very odd cause of death is one thing, the way that the ransom was collected is another, and then a second strange death, seems to Hunter to be designed to deflect further investigation setting her up on a collison course with her bosses, and a very nasty killer.

An interesting touch, there's an idea here about the need to keep investigating even if things seem very clear cut. The concept of making darn sure that the seemingly obvious is correct is something that has been reflected in some historical true crime analysis that's been around recently, and it's explored well in this particular novel. Doing it from the point of view of one dedicated, almost obsessive cop has resonance as well - giving readers plenty of ways of connecting with Hunter, especially as she's also got more than a few skeletons in the cupboard.

Given this is the first in a new series, the balance between character and team setup, and creating a fully fleshed out story as well, is nicely done. The plot is tight and clever, the action fast paced and there are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The scenario is complicated without being complex, and even allowing for some aspects from the darker side of crime fiction, it's not overly confrontational or uncomfortable reading.

SCARED TO DEATH is really well written, delivering a plot from the darker side, with a strong female character who is flawed enough to be believable and strong enough to have potential to carry this series forward. There's a good supporting cast of characters and a strong sense of good, old-fashioned, police procedural - investigation, evidence gathering and a touch of intuition.

https://www.austcrimefiction.org/review/review-scared-death-rachel-amphlett ( )
  austcrimefiction | Dec 5, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 099443376X, Paperback)

A serial killer murdering for kicks. A detective seeking revenge.


When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

For the killer, the game has only just begun...



Scared to Death is the first book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

If you like Angela Marsons, Peter James and Mark Billingham, discover Rachel Amphlett’s new series today – at a special launch price.



What people are saying about Scared to Death



Thrilling start to a new series. Scared to Death is a stylish, smart and gripping crime thrillerRobert Bryndza, USA Today bestselling author of The Girl In The Ice

A fast-paced, deeply disturbing thriller that had me on the edge of my seat from start to finishBooks Of All Kinds

“Oohhh what a FANTASTIC beginning to a new series! This is dark and gritty, with surprises that I didn’t see coming.” Novel Gossip

“A dead body, a psychotic killer and an honest dependable detective ... If you like your crime fiction uncomplicated, fast-paced and real Scared to Death is the PERFECT read for you…” Swirl and Thread

“Extremely well-plotted, this really is a novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat!Jo’s Book Blog

“In this novel, I actually believed the reason for the killings. It was new, interesting, and made a refreshing amount of sense … reminded me at times of Chris Chibnall’s Broadchurch seriesThe Crime Review

“A really solid series opener, featuring Detective Kay Hunter … she’s definitely keeping the strong female detective fresh and alive!” It Takes A Woman

“A fast paced thriller of a story that draws you in from the start and will make your heart quicken!The Great British Book Off

“A gutsy, fast and dark book that is packed full with unsuspecting twists. Moves at a relentless pace, with an intensely dark plot, featuring a top notch female protagonist.” Mrs B’s Book Reviews

“The murders shock, and the plot is pacey, twisting with action … with more than one surprise within it pages, Scared to Death will satisfy any lover of serial killer fiction” Postcard Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 05 Dec 2016 18:52:04 -0500)

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