Blog Tour: Willow Walk by SJI Holliday

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Welcome to the Willow Walk Blog Tour!

I kindly received an advance copy of Willow Walk in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author and Laura Nichol at Black & White Publishing.

About the book:image

Published: 10th June 2016 (Black & White Publishing) – already available as ebook

When the past catches up, do you run and hide or stand and fight?

When a woman is brutally attacked on a lonely country road by an escaped inmate from a nearby psychiatric hospital, Sergeant Davie Gray must track him down before he strikes again. But Gray is already facing a series of deaths connected to legal highs and a local fairground, as well as dealing with his girlfriend Marie’s bizarre behaviour. As Gray investigates the crimes, he suspects a horrifying link between Marie and the man on the run – but how can he confront her when she’s pushing him away?

As a terrified Marie is pulled back into a violent past she thought she’d escaped, she makes an irrevocable decision. And when events come to a head at a house party on Willow Walk, can Gray piece together the puzzle in time to stop the sleepy town of Banktoun being rocked by tragedy once more?

My review:

imageI know that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover (I do, hands up!) but this is an absolutely wonderful cover which sets the dark atmospheric tone of the book and Banktoun. Willow Walk was received from the publishers with a fairground ticket and a letter which was all very intriguing – and how creepy is that letter!

Willow Walk is set in the small Scottish town of Banktoun and is centred around Marie, a very complex character who clearly is traumatised by something that happened to her when she was younger, the first chapter confirms that from the outset, it is clear that she doesn’t want to be reminded of Graeme, whoever Graeme is.

Whilst Marie is the main protagonist, the story is told from three perspectives, alongside Marie there is Sergeant Davie Gray, in charge of the local small police station and Laura, a 16 year old local girl who has fallen for the charms of Mark. Banktoun seems to be a place where everyone knows everyone else therefore these 3 characters move in and out one another’s lives and therefore narratives.

The story opens as it means to go on, with a dark prologue of the aftermath of a party where clearly something has gone very very wrong. Within the first couple of chapters, we learn of the vicious assault on a unknown female who bears a striking resemblance to Marie; so much so that DI Malkie Reid asks Davie to go to the hospital to identify if it was her.

As well as the use of different, first person narratives, the letters that Graeme is writing to Marie are also included which are printed to look as though they are handwritten. I really liked this element as it brought Graeme’s character to life and the terror that he has brought to Marie’s life.

This is a wonderful thriller/detective investigation whereby, as the story progresses, the dark secrets start to be revealed and Marie’s life unravels as a result of Graeme’s mind games.

Whilst this is the second book in the Banktoun trilogy after Black Wood, it can be read in isolation. Willow Walk is well-written, fast paced book that will keep you turning the pages, unable to believe what is unfolding.

About the author:

S.J.I. Holliday grew up in Haddington, East Lothian – a small town near Edinburgh, Scotland. She spent many years working in her family’s newsagent and pub before going off to study microbiology and statistics at university. She has worked as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry for over sixteen years, but it was on a six-month round-the-world-trip that she took with her husband ten years ago that she rediscovered her passion for writing. Her first novel, BLACK WOOD was published in 2015, the second, WILLOW WALK is out in June 2016.

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