The Scandal by Mari Hannah
Publishing Date: 7th March 2019
Series: Stone & Oliver Book #3
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 432
Genre: Mystery & Thrillers
When a young man is found stabbed to death in a side street in Newcastle city centre in the run up to Christmas, it looks like a botched robbery to DCI David Stone. But when DS Frankie Oliver arrives at the crime scene, she gets more than she bargained for.
She IDs the victim as Herald court reporter, thirty-two-year old Chris Adams she’s known since they were kids. With no eyewitnesses, the MIT are stumped. They discover that when Adams went out, never to return, he was working on a scoop that would make his name. But what was the story he was investigating? And who was trying to cover it up?
As detectives battle to solve the case, they uncover a link to a missing woman that turns the investigation on its head. The exposé has put more than Adams’ life in danger. And it’s not over yet.
Frankie Oliver is called to a murder scene. After arriving, she’s horrified, as she recognizes the victim – it’s her childhood friend Chris Adams. He’s a journalist, now stabbed to death, and while his death initially looks like a robbery gone wrong, further investigation implies that he was working on a big story. Frankie and David Stone start to suspect that there is much more to this case.
“The Scandal” by Mari Hannah is the third book in the Stone and Oliver series, however it can be read as a stand – alone. I haven’t read the previous books before – and I’m going to catch up with them as soon as possible, this is the greatest thing in being a book blogger I think, all the time discovering new authors/books/series and knowing that you’re for a great read.
The novel is told mostly from Frankie Oliver’s point of view and I immediately warmed to her. She has a great personality and a distinctive voice and she’s the right person in the right place, her passion to her job is palpable. Her relationship with David Stone works really well, I liked their banter and their verbal battles and the fact they weren’t afraid to say what they think.
Mostly the books are over – described. I mean, every single detail is meticulously described, all the feelings and emotions are turned upside down, there is no room for the reader’s imagination. “The Scandal” was, however, different – it was very dialogue – driven, the characters talked and talked and talked, and I absolutely loved this variation. It made the book dynamic, quick and there were enough information in those dialogues. Also, it doesn’t mean that there weren’t enough details, because Mari Hannah’s attention to them is absolutely excellent, only she doesn’t overwhelm us with miniscule descriptions. They are vivid enough, they contain enough information but there is also space left for the reader. I totally loved the way she has explained all the police procedures, their meetings etc – it felt like watching a film, the banter between the characters, being able to follow their way of thinking, seeing how they’re working. This story wis fast – paced and often it goes towards things that I would never expect, full of twists and turns. It gradually starts to make links between the murdered journalist and the missing woman and from that moment on the book gains ever more pace, and I adored the fact that it was simply unpredictable in which way it’s going to take us. There came a moment that I stopped guessing and let the author take me on a journey and waited relaxed for all the puzzle pieces to fell into their places.
The author touches upon many issues in this story. She provides a fresh, different perspective at those that were forced into homelessness and at the abuse of the elder members of the society. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, but probably my most favourite parts were the police procedural – they were simply so vivid that I had a feeling I’m a witness to all of those procedures.
Mari Hannah can so well capture all the feelings and emotions of her characters. The terror, fright, despair and grief were brilliantly brought to the pages, and the tension was visible. Also, the investigation itself is so well written, we’re starting with nothing, with no witnesses, no point of reference and it slowly builds and builds, starting with a small snowball and ending with an avalanche. The plotting is tight and clever, there are no leaking places, it’s logical yet still full of surprises. I’ll be for sure recommending “The Scandal” and reading other Hannah’s books.
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