Hi everyone! I am excited to be one of today’s tour stops for Her Secret Past by Kerry Watts, which is hosted by the lovely team at Bookouture!
Her Secret Past
Author: Kerry Watts
Publication Date: 22 January 2020
Genre: Adult Fiction – Crime Thriller
Jean Angus pours the last of the lukewarm tea into her chipped cup, shivering as she looks outside into the dark night. Her eyes are drawn to a slow movement not far from her cosy farmhouse. She’s not expecting visitors. And as the back door opens with a bang, she doesn’t even have time to shout for help.
On a dark winter night, the bodies of Malcolm and Jean Angus lie cold and still in a pool of blood in their kitchen. Detective Jessie Blake is called in to find out what happened to the reclusive pair.
Searching the couple’s property, Jessie learns about a vicious dispute with a nearby land owner, Rachel Ferguson, and when Jessie looks into Rachel further, she doesn’t expect what comes up. Rachel isn’t the person everyone thinks she is and a previous murder conviction just made her Jessie’s prime suspect.
The small Perthshire town begins to gossip about the double murder and Jessie’s own past comes back to haunt her, when her abusive ex-husband begins to interfere in her new life. As the town starts a witch hunt against Rachel, Jessie is under pressure to find out what really happened in the farmhouse that night. Because if it isn’t Rachel, then who is the murderer living among them, waiting to kill again?
If you like LJ Ross, Val McDermid and Helen H. Durrant, you’ll love this addictive new crime thriller from Kerry Watts. Her Secret Past will have you hooked from the start!
Even though this is the third book in the Jessie Blakes series, it can definitely be read as a standalone, which is what I did. This was my first book by Kerry Watts, and it will definitely not be my last.
The prologue begins in 1990 when a husband and wife are viciously slaughtered by their teenage daughter (14) and her boyfriend (19) as a result of the parents forbidding the daughter from seeing her older boyfriend. Her boyfriend was sent to prison for 25 years. Now, she changed her name and remained free, but the events that transpired on that night continue to haunt her.
It’s Boxing Day and DI Jessie Blake and her partner are called to a gruesome scene where they find Malcolm and Jean Angus beaten bludgeoned with a hammer. What is even more odd about the crime scene is that their grandson was found nonchalantly eating in the kitchen even though there is blood everywhere. Needless to say, he quickly becomes a suspect in their deaths.
While investigating the murders, Blake learns that Malcolm and Jean were involved in a property feud with their neighbor Rachel Ferguson. Blake uncovers some rather surprising information regarding Rachel. She is not the person she claims to be and her previous involvement in a murder case makes her a suspect as well. Now Blake must race against time to determine who killed Malcolm and Jean and to prevent more murders from happening.
This was a fast-paced thriller dripping with suspense and intrigue. I loved that there were twists and turns along that way that kept me guessing. I loved the strength and independence of Jessie’s character especially when it came to dealing with her abusive ex-husband.
Overall, if you like psychological thrillers mixed with police procedurals, definitely check this one out!
Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for providing an eARC. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.
Get your copy of Her Secret Past here!
Kerry Watts was born and grew up in a small town in the East of Scotland where she still lives today. She is always writing and carries a little notebook and pen with her wherever she goes because at her age ideas need to be captured before they disappear.
Kerry specialises in crime fiction because she enjoys pushing the boundaries of what it is to be human. The nature versus nurture debate.