Read Taunting the Dead by Mel Sherratt Online


Nine out of ten murders are committed by someone the victim knows. So when Steph Ryder has her head bashed in within earshot of her family and friends, D.S. Allie Shenton begins her investigation close to home.Soon the lies, backtracking, and secrets multiply as each of the suspects tries to cover up their actions on that fateful night. Before long, Allie homes in on StephNine out of ten murders are committed by someone the victim knows. So when Steph Ryder has her head bashed in within earshot of her family and friends, D.S. Allie Shenton begins her investigation close to home.Soon the lies, backtracking, and secrets multiply as each of the suspects tries to cover up their actions on that fateful night. Before long, Allie homes in on Steph’s ambitious and powerful husband, Terry. Convinced he’s hiding something, she interviews him again and again—only to find that she is falling, despite herself, for his smooth charms.As the trail grows hotter, along with Allie’s feelings, the web of deceit pulls tighter and more bodies begin to pile up. Allie must race against time to uncover the shocking truth before she becomes the killer’s next victim....

Title : Taunting the Dead
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781477817575
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Taunting the Dead Reviews

  • Liz
    2019-05-09 00:03

    Oh what a tangled web we weave…. Everyone in this story is hiding something and telling lies, even DS Allie Shenton, who appears to be falling under the spell of the dead woman’s husband, a real ladies’ man.Steph Ryder was not a nice woman and got even nastier when she was drinking, which was often. So, there are lots folks who could have wanted her dead. In a unique twist, most of this mystery is told from the perspective of her friends and family and their interactions before and after her death. DS Shenton is more of a supporting character than a main one here. This story starts off slow. I was listening to the audio version and it took me awhile to get into the story. But as it progressed, I was very glad for long car rides. The narrator does a very good job differentiating the voices. I have already read the second book in the series, so am looking forward to reading the third one.

  • Sue
    2019-05-10 17:50

    "TAUNTING THE DEAD (DS Allie Shenton, #1)" by Mel Sherratt is part police procedural and part psychological thriller. The author has since written book two in the series called "FOLLOW THE LEADER", to be published February 10, 2015 followed by "ONLY THE BRAVE" on May 26th, 2015. I plan to read "FOLLOW THYE LEADER" next. Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton is the main character in the series. I have to admit that I found the beginning of this novel, Slow, with aggravating characters, none of which I liked, but after 25% into the book, the novel sped up, and the murder/mystery police procedural took over, and had me racing to the end to find out the identity of the killer. Don't give up, as this book really takes off, and is extremely satisfying! The novel begins with the murder of Steph Ryder, an alcoholic, a real bitch, who had it all, money and a good life, but really screwed up her life. She was a snob, and married to Terry, a property developer, a charmer, a crook who likes to play games. And to top it all off they had a daughter, Kirstie, a spoiled brat of a teenager that hated her mother. One big Happy family!The author then takes us back a week before the killing, when Steph was unaware that people close to her wanted her dead! We get to meet a lot of characters, who all had reasons for disposing of her. Her husband Terry just tolerated her, and her lover Phil wanted more.Once Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton is assigned to investigate the case, the story really takes off, with purpose and direction. The clues were all there, she just had to put them all together. But everyone was hiding something...and covering up for someone...and for Who? Lies and deceit are everywhere.I found this novel to be a very good start to a series, with strong characters. I am now looking forward to reading Book two, "Follow the Leader", and feel confident that it will not disappoint me. Definitely check out this talented writer. You won't be disappointed.P.S. This is the second time I wrote a review for this novel, as the site went down when I submitted my original review.

  • Christine
    2019-04-21 00:00

    After a slow start, I ended up really liking Taunting the Dead. The book is divided into 2 parts, the first part making up the first third of the novel. The first section introduced a large number of characters. I was using the Search button a lot to keep everyone straight. The main character in this section was Steph Ryder, and there was very little to like about her. In fact, there wasn’t much to like about any of the featured characters in the first third of the story. I also found a problem with having to reread sections to determine whom pronouns were referring to. This really interrupted the flow for me. Unlikeable characters and slow flow almost did me in.Fortunately, the second two-thirds of the book was much better! The protagonist, Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton, finally took center stage. I found Allie to be highly likeable, though still a bit green as a policewoman (not a criticism). The pronoun problem amazingly seemed to disappear, and the flow of the story was highly satisfactory. The pace quickened considerably as things started to happen in rapid succession. It got to the point where it was really hard to put the book down. The reader gets a good idea of what went down with several murders, but was not privy to everything that happened. Though we knew more than Allie, it was still very suspenseful following her efforts to bring down the baddies. There was also that little detail of Allie fighting like mad not to succumb to the charms of Terry Ryder, a most powerful player and murder suspect. I felt like screaming into the book for her to get a grip! I thought Ms. Sherratt did a great job in developing Allie’s character. I enjoyed her interactions with her husband Mark and her disabled sister Karen, though I wish there had been more development of Allie’s relationships with her work colleagues. Again, all the goings on in the last 67% of the book were highly entertaining and accompanied by a great deal of suspense. I will definitely be reading the 2nd Allie Stenton book within the next month or so, and will likely try Ms. Sherratt’s other novels as well. I recommend Taunting the Dead for all fans of thrillers, mystery, and suspense. I think Mel Sherratt is an author to be watched.4 stars

  • Janet
    2019-05-03 17:58

    This is the third book I have read of Ms Sherratt's so I'm now quite familiar with her style of writing, her 'grit lit.'The book is a tale of a bored housewife, Steph, who is a married to a 'gangster' husband, Terry, with movie idol looks and a reputation to suit. Add a brash 17 year old daughter to the mix and we have a family that wouldn't be out of place on 'reality or soap opera tv!' The book is split into two parts. Part one largely consists of Steph and her story, the kind of woman she is and where she sits amongst the quite large cast of characters. Here the book centres around the last week of Steph's life and who may be plotting to see her sad demise.Part two is then made up of trying to solve Steph's murder and that's pretty much the premise of the book. There's a fairly large cast of characters including protagonist DS Allie Shenton who along with her team have been investigating into the affairs of Terry and his dodgy dealings. It's an interesting place to be where virtually every character is so unlikeable, and boy are they, especially the fragrant Steph who is an alcoholic nightmare!! I'm being generous!! Hardly surprising that many wanted to bump her off! I can't say that I took to Allie's character either, I found her a bit weak in places with her constantly blushing every time she was in Terry's presence. Not an unlikeable character, well not as much as the rest, more flawed in parts with questionable decision making that left me shaking my head. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep readers hooked and Ms Sherratt keeps us dangling right to the very end. My favourite part of the whole book, however, was Allie's back story and her relationship with her sister, I found that touching and revealing. And at the very end of the book in the epilogue there's a tantalising nugget of their story continuing. Now, THAT'S the story I want to read and hope Ms Sherratt follows up on that with her next offering in the DS Allie Shenton series, Follow The Leader.Not a bad book by any means but not quite up to the mark of Watching Over You which is why I'm giving this one 3.5 stars.

  • Sean Peters
    2019-04-29 19:40

    Well Mel Sherratt, am I happy to have find you, been recommended by my friends, and reading reviews.Two after reading my first book my your good self, I am happy you are doing a Q & A for my group " A Good Thriller" on the 24th February... Thanks.How far would you go to protect the ones you love? And how much further would you go to betray them?Nine out of ten murders are committed by someone the victim knows. So when our victim has her head bashed in within earshot of her family and friends, DS Allie Shenton begins her investigation close to home.Soon the lies, backtracking, and secrets multiply as each of the suspects tries to cover up their actions on that fateful night. Before long, Allie homes in on Steph’s ambitious and powerful husband, Terry. Convinced he’s hiding something, she interviews him again and again—only to find that she is falling, despite herself, for his smooth charms.As the trail grows hotter, along with Allie’s feelings, the web of deceit pulls tighter and more bodies begin to pile up. Allie must race against time to uncover the shocking truth before she becomes the killer’s next victim.The first book in the DS Allie Shenton series, Taunting the Dead is a dark, gritty, sexually charged thriller that will leave you gasping for breath.This book is filled with strong characters, believable personalities, great twists and turns, action packed, with so much plot that you do not know where the story is going but just cannot stop reading to know !!I highly recommend this author and this highly charged rollercoaster of a book

  • ReadAlong With Sue
    2019-04-23 17:59

    I love Mel Sherratt's style of writing. Plus she is a Brit like me!We meet Steph, she is married to a gangster. He is good looking, and he knows it. They have a 17 year old daughter who seems grown up before her time. Brash and uncouth to boot.Steph is murdered, but who done it?We see many things unfolding as Mel Sherratt writes the last movements that Steph undertakes before she is murdered. You think you might suss it, well, I didn't. I thought I had at one stage, but I was wrong. I remember reading somewhere that the murder victim is usually killed by someone they know. So keeping that in mind I tried to be an Investigator along the way. I don't think I made a good one, because I went off the beaten track.The author had me screaming in frustration at times, but I just wanted to be right. There are lots in here that have things to hide. It got uncovered though bit by bit.Thoroughly enjoyable 'whodunnit' mystery with other things thrown in.

  • Christine
    2019-04-28 19:57

    Steph Ryder is murdered. We get to know her as a shallow, vain wife of a shady businessman. She is Stoke's answer to Sue-Ellen Ewing, with a fondness for booze. The book follows the events leading up to her death, and the criminal investigation. Detective Sargeant Allie becomes caught up in the case, as well as developing an attachment to the prime suspect.I wanted to like this. But for me, there were too many voices drowning out each other. I became very impatient for Steph to be killed. It took 1/3 of the way into the book for that to even happen. It felt like there was too much of her and nothing really to empathise with. Steph was so unlikeable that it was hardly a surprise that someone wanted to bump her off. Allie was the most interesting and has potential, as a character. I think the book lacked something for me and the writing style didn't suit my taste.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-19 20:47

    3.5 stars

  • BookwormDH
    2019-05-05 21:01

    Well, that was a bit bloody good!!This is the first time I have read any of Mel Sherratt's work and this didn't disappoint at all!A superbly executed storyline with extremely realistic characters. Very, very gritty in parts (which I love) A combination of strong emotions with sexy undertones, this novel is a splendid mix of crime, passion, and revenge with a great leading D.S - Allie Shenton.It was good to start at the beginning with this series, and I will definitely be reading more.

  • Jean
    2019-05-20 22:55

    I have read so many good things about Taunting the Dead that I was excited to finally dig in. Unfortunately, I do not share the enthusiasm that many have shared for Ms. Sherratt’s virgin grit lit novel. In Part 1, we are introduced to Steph Ryder, the alcoholic wife of a well-to-do businessman who thinks that she is the center of the universe. Her husband Terry is known for his shady dealings, but he is a smooth operator, and the police have never been able to pin anything on him. Their seventeen-year-old daughter Kirstie is rude, spoiled, and like her parents, thoroughly unlikeable. We also meet Phil Kennedy, Steph’s lover, who also happens to work for Terry, and his son Lee, who is dating the Ryders’ daughter against their wishes. Other major players are friends Shaun and Carole, who likewise figure in the whole sordid mess.On the good guys’ side, there is Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton, whose back-story tragically explains why she got into law enforcement. Her older sister was brutally raped, beaten, and left for dead. The assailant was never caught, and her sister lives in a convalescent home, unable to speak or care for herself. Part 1 goes on and on and on describing Steph’s drinking, her affair with Phil, and her self-absorbed behavior. Allie has encounters with Terry while she investigates another murder, and even though she is aware of his reputation and the ongoing attempts by police to find evidence connecting him to his crimes, she nonetheless finds herself charmed by him, much to the resentment of her husband Mark. While this sets up the murder and gives the reader a number of possible suspects, it is, in my opinion, tedious and much too lengthy. Not only are there too many characters, no one is the least bit pleasant, and it takes far too much time to set up the actual killing. We know that Steph is going to be killed. Someone DO IT already!Part 2 moves along at a more tolerable rate as, finally, Steph is murdered, and Allie and her partner, Sam, begin their investigation. This puts Allie in more frequent contact with Terry Ryder, and this is also where I have problems with believability. The supposed attraction that Allie feels toward Terry just didn’t work for me. She’s flustered and blushing every time he even looks at her! Yes, he is known to be very charming, sexy, and all of that, but I didn’t feel that that worked very well. Come on, Allie, the guy is CREEPY! And she knows it. Why are we told she’s acting like a schoolgirl around him? Terry is, in reality, a thug. He is also a womanizer who seduces, but truly disrespects, uses, and abuses women. Is he also a killer?Something else that I wasn’t buying was the sexual relationship between Terry and another woman who gives Allie a few bits of information that she needs to help break the case. I won’t spoil it by naming her; she just isn't the type of woman Terry would go for, so for me, that also didn’t fit. The last few chapters moved rapidly, and I do have to say that even though the way thing wrapped up was a bit of a surprise, I was satisfied with the ending. In Taunting the Dead, Mel Sherratt has written a promising lead character in DS Allie Shenton. In the end, she manages to be professional, getting control over her emotions to wrap up the case. I have mixed feelings about her husband, who is both supportive and possessive, wanting to be there for her, especially as she continues to cope emotionally with her sister’s situation but jealous of the time and energy she spends on her job. The mystery of who attacked her sister is more intriguing, and one that I hope to read.3 of 5 stars

  • Book Addict Shaun
    2019-04-24 22:09

    The book opens with the murder of Steph Ryder, with the next chapter taking us back a week to a time when Steph was blissfully unaware that people close to her were plotting her demise. Steph herself isn't a particularly likeable character, and along the way we are introduced to a number of people, all of whom could have their reasons for wanting her dead. Some have reasons which are more believable than others, for example her husband Terry, her lover Phil, her lover's son Lee and her daughter Kirstie who she has somewhat of a fractured relationship with. There's a couple of secondary characters involved, but I found their involvement to be a little contrived in the beginning.I have to say that I did find the book a little bit slow in the beginning, there were times I found the descriptions of some things to be unnecessary or a bit lengthy but at the same time wondered if there were clues in there somewhere... I'm a reader that just wants to get straight into the action, and I was a little bit impatient for it to start here. I'd say that's probably because we know Steph is going to die, and it wasn't until we reached that point (again) in the book that it became exciting and I got caught up in the case along with DS Allie Shenton, finding it very hard to put the book down.Once the investigation kicks off the story really gets going, Mel writes in a way that left me confused one minute, and convinced I knew who killed Steph the next. Even when I thought I was right, I was slapped in the face with a brilliant twist. I did feel a little bit of dread when I read the blurb and it mentioned that Allie might fall for the charms of Terry. I'm not a fan of police officers who fall for criminals, and hoped that wouldn't be the case here. I didn't feel it added anything to the story and found at times it felt a little forced. Allie is otherwise a very interesting character and there's a thread in the book concerning her personal life that's going to be continued in the next book and with a fantastic cliffhanger at the end of this one, readers will be left wanting more.It is described as a police procedural but I'd say it's a combination of a couple of different genres. Mel describes it as grit-lit, which I think describes it well enough. You can see why her books are compared to the likes of Martina Cole and that she takes her inspiration from authors such as Lynda La Plante. There is a gritty realism to her books, and she paints a believable picture of Stoke-on-Trent using it as the backdrop to the story along with some wry observations about the city. Certain parts of the story might not be to everybody's taste but overall it's a solid read, and a very good start to a series. Book two, Follow the Leader sounds incredibly exciting and with the events in this book regarding Allie's personal life being explored further, it sounds like it's going to be an action packed read.

  • Cleo Bannister
    2019-04-21 22:59

    When Allie Shenton is tasked with investigating the murder of Steph Ryder she follows the maxim that 90% of murders are committed to someone close to the victim which leads her to Terry Ryder someone already on the force’s radar for a scam that has afforded him a mansion for him, his wife and his stroppy teenage daughter Kirstie. Allie soon runs into problems though finding Terry unbearably charming and attractive despite all that she knows, or at the very least, suspects him of. His wife, the now departed with a bashed in head, was less attractive and seemed to have few real friends left due in part to her reliance on alcohol to get her through the day.The structure of the story is good, giving us an insight into Steph’s days in the run up to the murder, we know what she was up to and with whom and we also are privy to who else knows these details all of which is going to be important to knowing who did the dastardly deed but at the time with the numerous criminals being added to the mix felt a little confusing and long-winded at the time, but then we get to Steph’s death. This isn’t a spoiler we know it is going to happen from the start and from here on in the book became a race against time to find the right killer and hope for the safety of numerous other characters.Allie Shenton is a likeable character, in a relationship with a banker which is slightly shaky at times and more than a tad immature but she comes across as realistic. As all good cops in this genre are, she goes off-piste when she feels necessary and takes extraordinary risks to catch the culprit. As a gritty crime the language is fruity and many of the characters seem to be shady in the extreme. With loan-sharks, dodgy tenant scams, drugs and blackmail, I have to say Stoke-On-Trent sounded an increasingly dangerous place to reside!An ideal read to lose yourself in and enjoy the rollercoaster ride which has enough loops to keep you on the edge of your seat, as Mel Sherratt misdirects with aplomb. The only minor criticism I have is that there were a couple of times there were sentences that I simply couldn’t make sense of in the first section.I’m now looking forward to the release of Follow The Leader to find out what Allie does next!

  • Petra
    2019-05-08 19:02

    The first book in the DS Allie Shenton series set in Stoke-on-Trent. Steph Ryder, a woman pretty much disliked by everybody, is murdered on a night out. There are plenty of suspects from her bratty teenage daughter, Kirstie, to her shady husband, Terry, to her 'best' friend Carole; everyone is lying for one reason or another. I didn't find any of the characters likable, and while that doesn't usually put me off, I need to feel something to make the characters interesting and become invested in the story. For some reason, I just didn't care about these characters. The sexual attraction between DS Allie Shenton and the victim's husband, Terry, didn't work for me. Just didn't feel it, sorry. I started to like Allie more towards the end of the book, and the indication that the next book may deal with the case of Allie's sister made it interesting enough that I will read it at some stage in the future. Overall, this was an entertaining enough listen that didn't require a lot of concentration and was relatively fast-paced with a couple of nice twists but just nothing very memorable. The narration by Heather Wilds was well done.

  • Gemma
    2019-05-09 22:57

    Looking at all the other reviews I feel as if I have read a different book!As much as I thought this book was ok, I didnt feel it had the suspense I had expected. Now that I have finished it I feel rather disappointed.I didnt feel the need to go back to this book whenever I could, to continue reading.In parts the main character, Allie, annoyed me. I felt her actions were unrealistic and a bit hard to believe.I wouldnt say this is a bad book at all I just personally feel there are better books to be read.

  • Susan
    2019-04-24 19:58

    Another great read by Mel Sherratt. After discovering The Estate series last year, I was looking forward to start another series and this did not disappoint. DS Allie Shenton is a likeable and relatable character, so I enjoyed getting a glimpse into her personal life as well as her current case. Even the case was not as open and shut as you first think. Looking forward to book number 2.

  • Stacia
    2019-05-21 00:01

    I'm not entirely sure how to review this book. I enjoyed some aspects of it--there was a decent crime thriller at the heart of the book--but the things I didn't enjoy outweighed them. The structure of the book was problematic, because the crime occurred at the very start, and the jump back in time made for a substantial lag and loss of suspense. The focus on sex and romance also took away from the book's tension, primarily because I tired of hearing again and again how sexually compelling one of the characters was, when the only evidence of that was women mooning over him. To me as a reader, he was violent, creepy, and disgusting; because I couldn't imagine any reasonable woman being attracted to him, this had the effect of making me not be able to take the women seriously. And when one of those women is the central character in the series, that's a problem. I might give this series another try. Not sure yet.

  • Rebecka Helgeson
    2019-05-09 19:47

    I was really looking forward to reading this book as the reviews were so good. However, I didn't enjoy it as I thought the writing very basic, almost like a teenager writing. I didn't empathise with any characters and didn't understand a lot of the interaction between them, for example I just couldn't get my head round the attraction between the police officer and the main character - totally bizarre! A disappointment unfortunately.

  • Brenda
    2019-04-28 00:01

    The characters were totally screwed up and I wasn't enjoying the story at all. I got 70 pages in and just couldn't go any further.

  • Leah
    2019-04-22 21:58

    I’ve really been getting in to crime thrillers lately, and trying out lots of new authors I wouldn’t usually try, but I find that I’m actually enjoying finding new authors to read. It’s opening up a whole new reading world for me, which is a good thing (except for my bank balance, obvs). One such new author is Mel Sherratt, a very, very successful crime author if the reviews are to be believed, and someone who started out self-publishing before being picked up by Amazon.Taunting The Dead is Sherratt’s first “Allie Shenton” novel and it’s quite the novel to wrap your head around – there are literally loads of characters to keep track of, and at times, I did forget who certain people were. It all centers on the Ryder family. Terry and Steph Ryder are purportedly a happily married couple, but both keep secrets from each other; Terry has some dodgy dealings, and, Steph winds up dead. The question is who killed her, and there are A LOT OF SUSPECTS, folks. A LOT. In fact I was never quite sure who had done it.I quite enjoyed Taunting The Dead. It’s a very long book, which means it does begin to lack in the middle, especially as it takes until the middle of the book for Steph to wind up dead (well, she’s dead in the Prologue, but then it spools backwards so we get the build up to her death) and then the second half focuses on who did it. I had rather mixed feelings about Allie Shenton, out lead character. I liked her, sure, but I never understood the whole attraction thing between herself and Terry. It was icky. She suspected him of doing bad things, he was under investigation of doing bad things, and yet there she was, flirting with him and thinking about him etc. Honestly, it was unprofessional. To be brought in to Terry’s mind games made me lose a bit of respect for her; she should have known better, and should have reacted better, too. Apart from that, it was a very entertaining read. I’ve never read a book with so many baddies before, and it was mildly amusing to see them all doing their gangsta thang. ;)I’m very curious to see where the series goes. I have the next book Follow The Leader to read, and I’m very interested to learn more about Allie’s sister and her attack. The end of Taunting The Dead definitely teased that there’s a lot more to come from that end, so we will have to see.

  • Cameron Wiggins
    2019-05-19 18:02

    “Taunting the Dead” is a police procedural written by Mel Sherratt. The novel showcases the very vulnerable protagonist DS Allie Shenton. Allie definitely needs some propping up and needs to develop much stronger character for future books in the series. That being said, “Taunting the Dead” is still a pretty good book.Terry and Steph Ryder are a power couple in the good graces of society’s eyes. However, things are not as they always appear. Steph is an emotional disaster, and an alcoholic to boot. Terry does everything he can to keep her out of trouble but, eventually Steph turns up dead, and what’s more, she was pregnant. Terry is beside himself. He knows that this is not possible.Women throw themselves at Terry Ryder at every chance. It is all that Allie can do to keep her distance during the murder investigation. Terry, while keeping society at bay, is involved in a number of illegal activities. He is a very unsavory character, and soon becomes the focus of the investigation.The book starts out slow for the first few chapters, but then picks up speed. At the end of the book the pace is very fast. Some parts of the book are completely unnecessary. The book would be better off without them. Of course, that is an opinion. “Taunting the Dead” is loaded with unlikable characters. In fact, there are only two likable characters in the book and they are minor players. Of course, this too is an opinion. In spite of all of these negatives, Sherratt has spun a pretty good police procedural in “Taunting the Dead.” It is not for everyone, but I intend to continue the series to see where it goes. 3 Stars.Cam

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-05-06 19:44

    Well. Mel Sheraratt is a lovely lady so I'm very pleased to say that this, my first foray into one of her novels, was fantastic. One insomnia filled night and I completed this in record time which is testament to how good it was...and here is why.Detective Sergeant Allie Shenton is investigating the murder of Steph Ryder - and in doing so starts at the beginning - with the victims family and friends. However in a nice little play on the usual, we start by learning about Steph's final movements and interactions with those around her and a little something about these people - I loved that aspect of the book because I felt it gave us, the readers, a good insight and a chance to solve the crime ourselves! Sadly I didnt solve it - I had to wait like everyone else, but still, cleverly done! Allie becomes convinced that Steph's husband may know more than he's telling - and as she starts to feel attracted to him, she risks a lot to discover the truth.Its a clever little mystery, well written and absorbing. Characterisation has a high degree of realism - you will feel these are real people doing real things - and certainly that had a lot to do with my enjoyment of the book. I was fond of Allie - flawed but determined she is easy to like. And its a twisty tale - I had no clue what was going on and those are the best reads - the ones where you really don't know until the author chooses to tell you. Brilliant. More please! Happy Reading Folks!

  • Laura Wilkinson
    2019-05-05 19:00

    Sexy, smart debutAs crime novels go, you’ll be hard pushed to find a faster paced, more thrilling story than Taunting the Dead. It’s perfect to lose yourself in on dark, wet, winter days, and I’m sure you’ll devour it in just a few sittings. I certainly did.Set in the seedy underbelly of Stoke on Trent it sets DS Allie Shenton, an officer with her own axe to grind, against a glorious cast of villains, led by the charismatic Terry Ryder . The plot, like all the best thrillers, is labyrinthine, with a devastating twist at the denouement. And it’s worth adding that it is to Mel Sherratt’s credit that she evokes sympathy for the victim, Steph Ryder, a vacuous alcoholic with little concern for others.This is a great debut from an exciting new talent; I can see the TV series now.

  • Lynda Kelly
    2019-05-11 16:40

    I got 19% into this and gave up. It was boring me and some of the phrases used I just didn't understand however many times I read them back, which was making it needlessly hard-going.For example..."She twirled her round with so much force that Kirstie landed on her chest".....whose chest ? It made no sense to me then "In the dark, he had the upper hand"...WHY ??? Then during a meal Allie says "But Nick is my superior" apropos of nothing !!The argument with Allie and her husband I found too juvenile for grown-ups and I got tired of reading about people waking up with hangovers, too.I was quite surprised it had so many terrific reviews. I bought it on the back of those but it just wasn't for me.

  • Jamie
    2019-05-08 22:46

    I received this book as part of the First Reads Giveaways. I was not particularly enthusiastic about this book. The plot was interesting, drew me in and the writing good. However, I don't understand the supposed attraction between Allie and Terry that caused such a disruption. If felt forced and underdeveloped. Some of the story seemed unnecessary as well, and the reader solves the mystery long before the main character. It left me hanging around and waiting for Allie to catch up. Also, I didn't particularly like any of the characters; they all did something awful, didn't have any redeeming qualities, and the women received particularly poor treatment. This made it very hard to relate to any of the characters. The book was decent but didn't quite hit the spot.

  • Sue Batcheler
    2019-05-03 00:10

    I think I finished it out of duty..

  • Lynne Abbott
    2019-05-01 23:45

    Very enjoyable. I think Mel Sherratt books are very easy reading.

  • Eva
    2019-04-29 22:46

    Una bella sorpresa. Un thriller mozzafiato, in cui ogni personaggio ha qualcosa da nascondere, e in cui poco é come sembra. Facile sentirsi vicini al personaggio di Allie, una persona prima che un detective. Ottimo anche lo stile di scrittura. Sicuramente leggerò altro della stessa autrice. Grazie alla bibliotecaria per la dritta!

  • Paula Dennan
    2019-05-16 00:53

    Steph Ryder has been murdered. The prologue was gripping and had me looking forward to seeing how this case played out, but it was all downhill from there.The story flashes back, to the week before Ryder’s death as we see the plot to kill her unfold. We are introduced to Steph, her ambitious husband Terry, their daughter Kirstie and various friends and associates. All of whom may have had a reason to kill Steph. She wasn’t a likeable person, made worse by her alcohol problem.Following the murder, DS Allie Shenton begins her investigation by looking at the people closest to Steph. DS Shenton is convinced that Terry Ryder is more involved than he is letting on. As a result of a family incident (it’s explained in the book, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers) DS Shenton is more deeply affected by cases involving violence against women than her colleagues. These types of cases are all consuming for her, which means her home life suffers especially her relationship with her husband, Mark. The tensions between Mark and Allie didn’t ring true for me. It read like conflict for the sake of conflict, rather than a reaction that comes naturally to Mark. Although, it is difficult to know what comes naturally to Mark as we don’t learn enough about him to provide context for his outbursts. On an intellectual level, not all of Mark’s concerns are unwarranted but the manner in which they are portrayed makes him seem whiny which I think is being unfair to him. Or, at least, unfair to the version of Mark that I read between the lines. Whether my version of Mark is the same as everyone else’s is another matter. So much of this novel hangs on the power, energy, charm and seductiveness of Terry Ryder. The actions of the women in Taunting the Dead are supposed to be because they find Terry irresistible and difficult to say no to. Throughout the investigation; DS Shenton finds herself, despite herself, falling for his charms.Here’s the thing; none of this seems plausible. We keep being told how he has this way with women, how they find him difficult to resist. In a classic case of telling instead of showing, Terry doesn’t jump off the page in a believable way. Meaning everything that follows is difficult to make sense of. The fear people had of Terry being violent I could understand, but women constantly falling for him not so much.By the end I didn’t care which of the many characters (there are too many, as far as I’m concerned, they drown each other out) actually killed Steph. The pacing was off, for me, too little happens for so long and then everything happens at once. Taunting the Dead is the first in a series of novels involving DS Allie Shenton. I’m not sure whether I’ll read the second one, Follow the Leader, but the character development will need to improve in order for me to stay with Mel Sherratt’s work.

  • Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
    2019-05-11 17:46

    Stoke-on-Trent. One of the wealthiest women in town, Steph Ryder is bludgeoned to death outside a pub.The first part of the book takes us back in time to relive Steph's last week among the living. Steph is a self-centred alcoholic, with a nasty character living an extravagant life and thinking that the world spins around her. She rampantly betrays her husband with one of his most trusted men, Phil Kennedy. Phil's son Lee, a good-for-nothing, is in a relationship with Steph's spoilt daughter Kirstie. A relationship not approved by the Ryders.Her husband Terry is a villain who runs a number of legitimate businesses with other dodgy affairs on the side. He is a manipulative crook who can use both his charm and connections to get what he wants. The police has been on his trail for a long time but somehow he has always managed to stay one step ahead.It is immediately evident that Steph is hated by a lot of people. This means that many people want her dead, but who does actually kill her? Early on we know who is the mind behind the murder; what we don't know is who actually delivered the final blow and we’ll have to wait till the end to find this out.The second part of the book starts with the discovery of Steph's body and the ensuing investigation. DS Allie Shenton, the main character in this series, is called to the scene. She is a successful detective with a number of solved cases under her belt. She is however consumed by a deep sense of guilt. Cases involving brutal attacks force her to relive a painful and terrifying past experience which she can never forget.Allie starts digging by interrogating Terry. Under his hypnotising stare and good looks, she finds herself struggling not to let him get underneath her skin; not to fall for his charm. Allie is faced with a tangled web of deceit, lies and secrets and when more blood is spilt, she realises that in order to solve the case she'll have to risk everything she holds dear.For a debut novel, this was very good, maybe a little dragging at times and with too many things going on at the same time. Many of the characters were hateful and the rough sex scenes may be off putting for some readers. I wasn't particularly blown away by how the murder was resolved, but the ending certainly indicates a development on Allies' tragic history. Will read the rest of the series!

  • Best Crime Books & More
    2019-04-25 20:59

    I have read one of Mel’s Estate Series books as well as Watching Over You. With her imminent release of book 2 featuring DS Allie Shenton I figured I should read book 1 to familiarise myself. I am pretty glad that I did now as I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I also find it’s an added bonus that I have the next book as the ending was brilliant, albeit a cliffhanger! Allie Shenton is a good character and easily likeable. She’s a copper who is working in Stoke, the place she was born and bred. The story itself was a bit of a slow burner, but by the second third I was well and truly gripped and read it right through to the end.Steph Ryder and her dodgy husband Terry are the main focus of this book. Steph was frankly a rather despicable character. A virtual alcoholic we get to know exactly what are whop are relevant in her life. Terry Ryder, although an obvious gangster with a legit front, had a rather endearing character! We also meet additional characters that are all added to the mix such as Phil Kennedy who works for Terry, Steph’s friend Carole and her husband Shaun as well as Terry and Steph’s daughter.The layers of the story are put there, and at times I thought they were maybe too much but I realised by the end that there is a method to Mel’s madness, namely the next book. As well as all the colourful characters, we get to know a bit about Allie, we meet her husband, her boss and her sister. All of this becomes a lot more relevant as the story continues. When Steph is murdered, nobody (including me) could work out what on earth was going on. It certainly added another layer of intrigue as each time I thought both they and I had figured it out, I was wrong!This book certainly had me well and truly gripped, especially the last quarter of the book, and frankly the last chapter had me screaming in frustration. Luckily, the new book is already on my Kindle (due for release 10th Feb 2015) so I could get stuck straight back in. I think Mel Sherratt is definitely an underated author and I for one am starting straight on book 2. I think if you haven’t read Mel Sherratt before this book (or one of the Estate Books) is a fantastic place to start. Now if you don’t mind…I have another Allie Shenton book to read!