Cracked by Louise McCreesh

I received a review copy of Cracked from the publisher, however the decision to read and take part in this blog tour was my own and this review forms my honest opinion.

Blurb

Seven patients. One dark secret.

PHILLIP WALTON HAS BEEN MURDERED.
AND THIS IS NOT THE FIRST MURDER.

Jenny Nilson hasn’t seen her former psychiatrist Phillip since she left the Hillside Psychiatric Unit eight years ago. She wanted to forget everything about her time there, so she kept her secrets buried deep. Especially from her new husband.

But now the police are knocking at her door with evidence of her involvement in Phillip’s death. It seems as though everything she’s kept hidden is about to spill out.

Jenny desperately needs to speak to old friends, and old enemies, from those dark years. Because they are the only ones who know what really happened at Hillside, and about the dark secret that Phillip kept for them all – that this is not the first death.

THIS IS NOT THE FIRST MURDER.

Review

I had determined that August would be a blog tour free month and that I would instead attack my TBR pile. Then the email came through for this, and I was fully in. It’s been a while since I’ve read a thriller and this really tickled my fancy, so before I knew it my virtual hand had shot up.

And happily, it was a knee-jerk reaction I do not regret. There are very few authors who can grab me quickly, but this is exactly what happened with Cracked. Intending to read a chapter or two at bedtime, I suddenly realised I was 25% in and midnight was just a memory. The writing style is very easy digestible, whilst also being compelling.

Told in the first person through the eyes of Jenny, a former patient at Hillside Psychiatric Unit, the narrative alternates between ‘Before’ and ‘After’. The incident and the happenings surrounding it are revealed throughout the novel, being linked to the murder of psychiatrist Phillip Walton. It’s an intriguing tale, which held my attention throughout. As expected there are twists and turns along the way and I felt entirely satisfied by its conclusion. My only very tiny negative is that it wasn’t longer as I felt some elements of the novel could have been explored in more depth. While it didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the novel as was, there were a couple of characters whose backstories I would have loved to have known more about.

Just one word of warning however, a good chunk of the novel deals with mental health, dealing with various conditions. While nothing is gratuitous and everything is sensitively handled, fully in keeping with the tone and content of the novel; if you are sensitive, please be aware of this as elements could be triggering for some.

Cracked is a novel I would heartily recommend, especially if you are a fan of the genre. It had everything I was looking for; a whodunnit style mystery, complex characters, a compelling narrative and a fast-paced yet suspenseful plot.

Cracked is available to buy now!

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