Monday, 31 December 2018

The Birthday by Carol Wyer - Book Review

The Birthday book cover, a pair of yellow shoes on a patch of dark grass

One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward . A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will send shivers down your spine. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

My Review

I haven't read any of Carol Wyer's work before so I didn't know what to expect, and what a brilliant author I have discovered! Carol's style of writing is excellent, and the pace of this book was absolutely perfect. My heart was in mouth at certain points throughout. The Birthday is quite a chilling read in parts, which is to be expected when reading about child abductions. What wasn't expected was the standard of writing and the feeling that I just had to find out what was happening.

If you are a regular reader of my reviews you will know I love chapters from a mysterious person, which is given in this book, from the side of a quite clearly troubled young mind. 

Detective Natalie Wood is a brilliant character, who gets frustrated at times because she just wants to find the culprit. I enjoyed reading about her personal life as well as professional, and seeing how a past case influences how she investigates this one.

I tried to guess a few times whilst reading who the culprit was and was wrong each time. Carol Wyer has delivered an outstanding read, full of twists that will make you second guess what is going on.

This is the first in a series of Detective Natalie Ward books and I have already started reading the next part, Last Lullaby, so keep an eye for my review of that.

Thanks to Bookouture via NetGalley for the chance to read this book.



  1. I haven't read any Carol Wyer books either but I've heard some great things. This sounds right up my street! So intriguing! And great review :)


  2. I've never heard of this author before, but I will definitely be getting my hands on this book! I've only recently been getting into the thriller genre and I definitely need to add some more books to my collection - great review!!

    Taylor x

  3. This book sounds incredibly gripping! Just from reading this I'm intrigued to find out all the answers. Fab review, thank you for sharing!

    Chloe xx

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  5. I have this book on my kindle waiting to be read and I've been so excited for it, even more so now!

  6. Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. laffaz entertainment blog


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