The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt


*My thanks to the author for my review copy*

About the book:

One warm spring evening, five teenagers meet in a local park. Only four will come out alive.

Six months after the stabbing of sixteen-year-old Deanna Barker, someone is coming after the teenagers of Stockleigh, as a spate of vicious assaults rocks this small community. Revenge for Deanna? Or something more?

Detective Eden Berrisford is locked into a race against time to catch the twisted individual behind the attacks – but when her own niece, Jess Mountford, goes missing, the case gets personal.

With the kidnapper threatening Jess’s life, can Eden bring back her niece to safety? Or will the people of Stockleigh be forced to mourn another daughter…?


The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

About the author (via Goodreads):

I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and women’s fiction with a punch – or grit-lit, as I call it. Shortlisted for the prestigious CWA (Crime Writer’s Association) Dagger in Library Award 2014, my inspiration comes from authors such as Martina Cole, Lynda la Plante, Mandasue Heller and Elizabeth Haynes.

TAUNTING THE DEAD is part police procedural/part psychological thriller. It has been a standalone for two years but I have now written two more books with Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton as a main character and created a new series. FOLLOW THE LEADER will be published on 10 February 2015 followed by ONLY THE BRAVE on 26 May 2015.

THE ESTATE SERIES are a mix of women’s fiction, psychological suspense and crime thriller. They are often too dark for women’s fiction alone – although the subject matters and issues are often referred to in this genre – too light in places for crime thrillers, and often not enough for the psychological suspense readers out there. They are drama meets crime.

WATCHING OVER YOU is a standalone psychological thriller. It’s dark in places, light in places, disturbing in places too – where obsession and friendship turns to murder.

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books. You can find out more at my website or I’m on Twitter at @writermels


My thoughts:

I was delighted to hear that Mel Sherratt had a new book coming out and I was lucky enough to be able to read an early copy of The Girls Next Door. 

The Girls Next Door introduces readers to Detective Eden Berrisford and her team as they undertake an investigation into the murder of sixteen year old Deanna Barker. What unfolds in the midst of this investigation has wide ranging consequences for many of the characters in this book.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I started this book as I read a lot of crime books, but The Girls Next Door stood out for many reasons. The humanity of the characters, coupled with the sense of community made this an unusual read in that it was explored much more than in traditional crime novels. Mel Sherratt has a knack for writing accessible, likeable and fundamentally human characters, The Girls Next Door was no different.

I found the plot really engaging too. Yes, it’s hard to read about gangs and murder, but the author has done a great job with it. Weaving a wide-reaching web of stories together while making it appear effortless, Mel Sherratt has written a really well plotted novel. There are some tense moments, unexpected twists and some really emotive scenes.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Girls Next Door. I raced through it and couldn’t put it down as I reached the final few chapters! Highly recommended! 

Previous reviews for Mel Sherratt and Mel writing as Marcie Steele:

Written In The Scars by Mel Sherratt

That’s What Friends Are For by Marcie Steele

The Second Chance Shoe Shop by Marcie Steele Blog Tour

4 thoughts on “The Girls Next Door by Mel Sherratt

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