Willow Walk by SJI Holliday
Genre; Psychological Crime
When a woman is brutally attacked on a lonely country road by an escaped inmate from a nearby psychiatric hospital, Sergeant Davie Gray must track him down before he strikes again. But Gray is already facing a series of deaths connected to legal highs and a local fairground, as well as dealing with his girlfriend Marie’s bizarre behaviour. As Gray investigates the crimes, he suspects a horrifying link between Marie and the man on the run – but how can he confront her when she’s pushing him away? As a terrified Marie is pulled back into a violent past she thought she’d escaped, she makes an irrevocable decision. And when events come to a head at a house party on Willow Walk, can Gray piece together the puzzle in time to stop the sleepy town of Banktoun being rocked by tragedy once more?
This is another of those posts where I have to leave a disclaimer that I’m friends with the author and I’m proud to say I’m quoted inside this, so you can take whatever I say about the book, however, you want to, but the fact that I quoted for it, gives an indication of my thoughts already.
For me, Holliday has done it again. She has created characters who are believable and relatable, and shrouded them in a dark suffocating psychological thriller that has you gripped from start to finish. (Quote) 🙂
We are back in Banktoun, which is the setting for her debut novel, Black Wood. It doesn’t follow on as such, but there are a couple of characters you recognise because it is a small town. And small town settings are wonderful places for crime fiction because of the closed in feel they can generate, and Holliday certainly makes the most of it in the fictional Banktoun.
I loved meeting a couple of characters I already knew and I definitely enjoyed meeting the new ones. The main person you recognise from previous reading is the Sergeant, Davie Gray. I thought Black Wood was creepy, but Holliday ups the creep in Willow Walk, ten-fold. Some of the new characters you really wouldn’t want to meet on a dark street.
The narrative swaps between the viewpoints of Davie Gray and his girlfriend, Marie, and it steadily builds up the tension as you start to realise there is a very real problem in town and you start to turn the pages that bit faster. The darkness within and the relationships between some of these characters is just sublime. She manages to weave everyone together masterfully without you really noticing, until the end where you are left reeling. If you are a fan of the psychological crime novel, this is a read for you.
Holliday has upped her game and I’m really looking forward to the next book in the Banktoun series.