Some serious changes took place in DI Natalie Ward’s life since the last book. She’s been promoted to DCI and now heads a larger, multi-professional team with some new people from other areas. She and her son Josh now live with her boyfriend Mike. His 7-year-old daughter Thea takes her time warming to her, although she does like Josh. On the night she arranged a party for the girl, she’s called to a murder scene in a multi-storey car park. A teenager is found strangled and her phone, handbag, and ID are gone. The place is also known as a hotspot for sex-workers. The girl is later identified as a runaway from Nottingham. A day later, another runaway is murdered in similar circumstances. Both girls are tied to a mysterious boyfriend ‘Tommy’ that no-one seems to know. By then, the reader knows that he is a cruel and brutal pimp that preys on teenage girls, whom he entices to run from their homes and later blackmails and forces them to work as prostitutes for him.
As a DCI, Natalie can’t be as hands-on as she’s used to and it takes time to get used to that. In this case, she’s again confronted with murdered young girls. Every time this happens, she can’t but remember her own daughter. This fuels her need to solve this case more than anything.
It’s newly-promoted DI Lucy Carmichael that heads the investigation. She’s being scrutinised and harassed by Bev Gardner, a journalist that used to be on Natalie’s back all the time. At home, she feels a growing gap between her and her partner, Bethany, since they had a baby.
DS Murray the usual partner of Lucy before she got promoted has a lot of adjusting to do. It isn’t easy for him to get orders from his former best friend and certainly doesn’t begrudge her well-earned new position but he’ll do everything he can to prove that he deserves to be promoted just as well.

The case takes centre stage of course, but there’s also a lot of attention for the home lives of the officers on the team, and not only the 3 above mentioned. That’s nice and makes the book more realistic and engaging. These are real people, not just cardboard cut-outs that come and do their lines to disappear after. Seeing that this is the 7th book in the series, I can understand that the main characters start to feel like family. For me, this is only the second one I read and I must confess that I’m starting to feel that way. They are so likeable because none of them is perfect or right at all times. It’s also interesting to see how the characters evolve and get promotions, divorces, babies, … as happens in real life. Especially promotions, you don’t see often in a police series. But it’s great to find out how everyone settles in their new roles. If you haven’t read any previous book, don’t worry, you can step right into the story.
The author gives also already a clue to what her next book may involve, with Natalie’s sister suddenly reaching out. I feel sorry for this woman as her live travels from crisis to crisis and doesn’t seem to ease down.
It’s a suspenseful story, with many twists and turns. The body count is extremely high, with a new killing every day. I didn’t guess the killer this time. But the end was plausible but also sad and tragic.
I thank Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the free ARC they gave me and this is my honest, unbiased review of it.

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Somebody's Daughter - Carol Wyer
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