[ About the Book ]
Six women hunted one by one
Each receives a copy of an old school group photo, in which their own face has been savagely scratched out.
Within three weeks, two of them are dead.
A Detective in a race against time
Known to her colleagues as the Hound, DS Tina Bassett believes the women were all murdered by the same person. Someone out there is hunting down the class of 98.
As the death toll continues to rise, DS Bassett desperately delves deeper into the pasts of the women to help uncover the true catalyst to the unfolding rampage in the present.
Will she succeed in stopping a killer hell bent on having their revenge?
Or will the class of 98 finally pay their price…
[ My Review ]
Bad Sweet Things by Maria Hoey was recently published with Spellbound Books and is described as a ‘gripping Irish Crime thriller’.
DS Tina Bassett is having a really bad day when a call to Howth Head lands on her desk. With her partner JP O’ Rourke, they are asked to further investigate the discovery of a young woman’s body at the base of the cliff. The victim was Nicola Brady, ‘thirty-seven years old, PR executive, single, running enthusiast’. When Nicola had failed to turn up for a lunch date with her brother, he raised the alarm.
On initial inspection, it looks like an accident. Nicola always took the same route when exercising, so the first thoughts are she either slipped or chose to end her life here. Bassett and O’ Rourke visit the Brady family home and, after an initial shock that takes the wind out of Tina Bassett’s sails, they get a better picture of Nicola and her life to date. Her family are adamant that Nicola was in a happy place in her life and suicide was not something they are willing to accept. With no obvious signs of suspicious activity, this investigation should be relatively straight-forward and wrapped up as a tragic accident.
Meanwhile Nicola’s old school friends are shocked by her sudden death. Only recently all had received an old school photograph from over twenty years previously. Each had been sent a copy with a sinister difference – their own face had been scratched out with fierce deliberation. Now by her graveside, The A Team, as the six friends were known in their school days, are back together, but minus Nicola.
When Bethany Doyle, another member of The A Team, is the victim of a brutal hit-and-run within days of Nicola’s death, the remaining four, Anna Fox, Rachel Quinn, Jennifer O’ Keeffe and Megan McGrath start to get concerned for their safety. Tina Bassett is alerted to the photographs and becomes convinced that something very threatening is afoot, but trying to convince her superiors of this is proving very difficult.
Bad Sweet Things is an engaging read. I did have an issue with a number of errors in the text that should have been picked up during the final proof-read and, unfortunately, did impact my overall reading experience. However Maria Hoey and the publisher are aware of this so it will hopefully be rectified going forward.
Bad Sweet Things explores some very disturbing themes. The reader is taken back in time, with Maria Hoey’s writing bringing the past very much alive, depicting extremely vivid descriptions of a sordid tale that was to impact the lives of many. DS Tina Bassett is a great character and, I expect, we will see more of her in the future. She is tenacious in her actions and doesn’t easily accept the obvious. Always fighting for the underdog, she is strong-willed and steadfast in her actions. Jealousy and retribution, secrets and lies, past mistakes and righting a wrong all knit together into this dark and vengeful tale that raises the question – can you ever really escape your past?
[ Bio ]
Maria is a writer from Dublin, Ireland. Her poetry has appeared in Ireland’s foremost poetry publication, Poetry Ireland. Her short stories have featured in various publications and been shortlisted for a number of awards.
In 2017, Maria’s debut novel, The Last Lost Girl was published by Poolbeg Press, and went on to be shortlisted for the Kate O’Brien Debut Award 2018. Her second novel, On Bone Bridge was published by Poolbeg in 2018. She has also had a book for children, published by Poolbeg in 2019, The Little Book of Irish Saints. Bad Sweet Things is her third crime novel.
Maria has one daughter, Rebecca, and lives in Portmarnock, Co Dublin, with her husband, Garrett, and their moustachioed cat, Midge.
Twitter – @MariaHoey