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Feature book: Deadly Past

2 June 2021

Deadly Past by Phillipa Nefri Clark

Series: Charlotte Dean mysteries #4
Subgenre: Australian small town mystery
Release date: 21 Sep 2020
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook and print
Length: 294 pages
RRP: $4.99 (ebook); $24.68 (print)

This book follows straight on from Book 3 in the series, Deadly Secrets. And just when you thought it might be safe to come back to Kingfisher Falls, there’s another deadly crime!

The local rest estate office suddenly burns down one evening. To everyone’s horror, a body is found inside. Charlotte suspects foul play, and Trev and the other two detectives Katrina and Bryce are of a similar mind, especially when alarming evidence confirms it. But what was the motivation for the crime? And who did it?

Charlotte is a bit distracted in this book. She’s still reeling from the two secrets her mother revealed in the last book—which I can’t really tell you about—spoilers and all that. She also feels like she’s being watched, and when she actually catches a proper glimpse of the ‘watcher’, it’s like a nightmare flashback. I can tell you her past has definitely come back to haunt her—or so Charlotte thinks. Is she right? There are still doubts … Has her own unresolved issues and anxiety worked against her so she’s imagining something that isn’t there?

Hooked? I was, but I felt a vague unease as I read this book. It was quite creepy in parts. I have to say Charlotte is a lot more intrepid than me as she sleuths around. Even in the face of her past and her doubts, she continues to work with Trev and the other police to solve the fire crime. Anything to take her mind off the unthinkable stuff from her past. To make matters worse the horrible ex-policeman Sid Browne and his nasty wife Marguerite are back in town. Why? And why is Sid acting so aggressively (again)?

On the plus side in this book is the romance between Charlotte and Trev. Things progress! That lightens the general mood to give this book some very happy moments, and a secondary romance is just as delightful. On a trivial note, I also enjoyed all the food!

Of course, Charlotte’s sleuthing pays off, even though it nearly means her death. And someone very special is added to the growing character list, someone you’ll be very pleased to meet! Enjoy.

Reviewed by Malvina

A review copy of this book was provided by the author.

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