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Kat’s Review of Don’t Turn Around by Caroline Mitchell (Jennifer Knight #1)

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Synopsis: As D.C. Jennifer Knight investigates a routine stabbing in the quiet town of Haven, she is shocked at what seems like a personal message from beyond the grave.

When more bodies are found, Jennifer is convinced the killings are somehow linked. What she discovers is more chilling than she could possibly imagine. The murders mirror those of the notorious Grim Reaper – from over twenty years ago. A killer her mother helped convict.

Jennifer can no longer ignore the personal connection. Is there a copycat killer at work? Was the wrong man convicted? Or is there something more sinister at play …

With her mother’s terrifying legacy spiralling out of control, Jennifer must look into her own dark past in a fight not only to stop a killer – but to save herself and those she loves.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review: Okay, let’s get one thing clear…I don’t read paranormal. After reading this book, I may have to change that slightly to…”I don’t normally read Paranormal, but I do read Caroline Mitchell”. I love a good crime book, especially police procedural books, and this one seemed to fit the bill, apart from when I start to read in the synopsis about ‘messages from the grave’. Don’t get me wrong I’m not fiercely opposed or anything, I am just one of those people that has never had a belief either way and have never experienced anything like that so can’t really comment. For that reason, even though loads of fellow bloggers were raving about the book I put it further down the list, more fool me!

I decided recently that I needed to give it a try so apprehensively started to read. Well that moment when I started to read, I had no clue I would be finished later that afternoon and already on to book 2 that evening! DC Jennifer Knight is our lead and she is an incredibly readable and likeable character. In addition to Jennifer we meet her work colleague Will who I just loved. The two of them work well together but this book is a real ‘base book’. By that I mean when it comes to the characters Caroline Mitchell is giving you a real feel for them without revealing too much.

The story itself is something that concerned me. Was it going to be all hocus pocus mumbo jumbo that would ruin the fact that I liked the characters so much? In short, absolutely not! There were no magic solutions and miracle workings from premonitions. What you actually got was a brilliantly balanced book with a lead character who has a ‘more than usual’ level of perception helped along by a few other supernatural elements. It certainly wasn’t overdone and it just felt like it fitted in perfectly with the flow of the story.

The story is split between Jennifer and another character Frank. Frank evoked rather too many feelings of sympathy for my liking, although it goes to show the abilities of CM as a writer. The fact that Jennifer is a rather unconventional lead (especially the OCD made for a really compelling read. I’m ashamed to say I allowed my dislike of all things Paranormal to put me off reading this. However, Caroline Mitchell has produced a cracking debut novel that was creepy, tense and extremely unnerving. I enjoyed it so much that as soon as the last page was turned I went straight onto the second book. I would highly recommend this, even to those of you who aren’t a fan of this ‘type’ of book…after all I learned the hard way! I can’t wait to see what happens next for Jennifer. 

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