Did You See Melody?

Written by Sophie Hannah

Review written by Jennifer Palmer

Jennifer Palmer has read crime fiction since her teenage years & enjoys reviewing within the many sub-genres that now exist; as a historian who lectures on real life historical mysteries she particularly appreciates historical cime fiction.


Did You See Melody?
Hodder and Stoughton
RRP: £12.99
Released: Aug 24 2017
HBK

This standalone thriller from Sophie Hannah ratchets up the suspense to an unbearable level. Cara Burrows is a troubled  English holidaymaker in Arizona who finds herself involved in the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder of a 7 year old American girl.

This clever thriller introduces the central story of the disappearance Melody by approaching it sideways. Cara Burrows arrives jet lagged, at an Arizona Airport from where she will travel to the luxurious Swallowtail Resort and Spa in the foothills of Camelback Mountain, Arizona.  She is exhausted when she finally drives her hire-car to the hotel complex.  A mistake by the receptionist takes her to the wrong room; one which is already occupied.  After some embarrassment the room confusion is rectified and the exhausted Cara finally gets some rest.

The next day she explores the enormous resort complex; so large that buggies are needed to transit from one place to another.  The spa proves particularly elaborate and attractive.  Cara is on edge - partly because of her own anxieties and the problem that has brought her on holiday alone, and partly as she learns more about the famous disappearance in 2010 of Melody Chapa, aged 7, from her school in Philadelphia.  The internet provides Cara with all the information she could want on this subject so she gradually fills out the picture of developing events and theories from 2010.  The people involved in this disappearance become clearer through her research.  

 

We return to the present day with a frightening sequence of events as some guests and hotel employees get involved in the affair.    The police are reluctantly persuaded to investigate possible sightings of Melody at the resort hotel as does the TV investigator (who had been so interested in the original disappearance of Melody).

Cara finds that she is at the centre of the puzzle, and must work out what happened in 2010 for her own safety and survival is at stake.

This is a psychological thriller of high quality, written with elegance, complete with a denouement that provokes much thought for the reader – Highly recommended



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