6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ooh what a cleverly written and tense thriller this is. I was so enjoying trying to figure out whodunnit, I was silently screaming ‘Nooo’ when I realised I was about to find out. Well I was near the end and so I braced myself to be parting with a read that had kept me utterly engrossed throughout. Guess what? I was wrong! Yet another brilliant twist left me astonished and hugely a satisfied. All the clues were there but it was truly a ‘wow!’ moment. The author brings into play her knowledge gained from many years’ experience as a Senior Probation Officer, looking at the workings of the probation system and an approved hostel housing high risk offenders released on license. It’s absorbing and useful information. The place is like a boiling pot amidst a community concerned they are at risk, simmering nicely as a murder occurs within its walls. There are some wonderful red herrings and I was quite sure I knew who the murderer was … several times. I felt for the characters, from the loveable and wily busybody Helen next door to the hotel manager, Jeanette, who is trying to do everything by the book. My favourite character has to be Sloane, and investigative journalist who is immediately at loggerheads with Jeanette. The two are on opposite sides, it seems, yet both have the interests of the community and all those who live in it at heart. Sloane’s backstory is perfect, never overwhelming, just enough to tell you what drives her and to establish that she has principles. I would love to see this character again going forwards. 6 Ripley Avenue really is a fascinating read, If you love a gritty whodunnit that will keep you turning the pages I would highly recommend it.