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The Family Home: Prologue

Friday 20th June

Sally’s eyes opened to complete blackness. Where was she? Did it matter? She was so tired, so very tired. She’d just close her eyes for another few moments and then try to work out what was happening. When she woke again, she was still in the dark. A voice in her head was yelling, trying to tell her something. What? Something crucial to remember about where she was, but she couldn’t grasp the thought. Maybe it wasn’t important. She just wanted to sleep, but the voice wouldn’t stop yelling.

Wake up! Wake up!

But it was too hard. She needed to go back to sleep.

Wake up! Wake up!

Sally attempted to sit up, but she couldn’t. She tried to move her hands, but they
seemed to be tied together. She struggled to lift them, but they didn’t reach very far.
Something was in the way. It felt like material. Was she wrapped in a blanket? The soft drowsy feeling crept over her again, so she closed her eyes. She’d figure everything out later, when she woke up properly.

Wake up! I must wake up!

Her eyes opened again. It was still dark. Where was she? Then she felt herself being dragged. Someone was moving her.

‘Help me!’ she cried, again and again as she was bumped over uneven ground.

Suddenly, there was a falling sensation. The breath left her body as she hit the bottom.

Sally screamed. ‘Let me out! Who are you? Why are you doing this to me?’

She could barely move. The material was all around her. She was in a cocoon. Who put her here?

Lifting her hands as far as they would go, she tried to rip her way through the material, but it wouldn’t give.

‘Oh no, you don’t! You’re staying down there.’

Sally knew that voice. Her memories returned with sickening clarity. She had to
escape now or she would die in this hole, but she couldn’t move. Couldn’t get her hands free.

And then she felt clump after clump of earth land on her body.

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Reviews of D. I. Sterling series

Chilling but amazing

Oh my goodness, what an opening!! Lorraine certainly knows how to write a gripping thriller. This book was chilling but amazing.

Reviewer

Consistent and gripping

Fast paced, twists and turns, did not want to put it down. Same characters that we know. Cannot wait for the 6th … the series is consistent and gripping

Reviewer

Vivid and realistic storytelling

Reading ‘Love Me Tender’ felt like being on a very unpredictable rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns to it than you could possibly count. I felt as though I was part of the story and that’s all thanks to Lorraine’s very vivid and realistic storytelling. For me, ‘Love Me Tender’ is a tightly plotted and gripping read that held my attention throughout and which kept me on the edge of my seat.

Reviewer

Twists and turns by the dozen

Great addition to the series. Twists and turns by the dozen. Fast paced, all plots unravelled and tidied up by the last page. I cannot wait for the next instalment.

Reviewer

Everything I want

From start to finish this book kept me fully engrossed. It had everything that I want in a crime thriller to keep me hooked. Mystery, murder, torture, intrigue and a well thought out plotline.

Reviewer

I really, really enjoyed this novel

This is my first foray into the DI Sterling series and I must admit that I am going to hunt down and consume the rest because I really, really enjoyed this novel. Not reading any of the other books in the series had little impact, rather the relationships between characters are so well constructed that I am eager to read the earlier novels to see how they have developed and grown.

Reviewer

Kept me guessing

I was warned that reading the first few pages would make me squirm and I did! Another Great story and characters. Kept me guessing to the end, I really had no idea who would turn out to be the villain. I like the way the characters are developing and look forward to the next book. Recommended.

Reviewer

Edge of your seat

This is the fourth book in the D.I. Paolo Sterling series. Yet again Lorraine Mace keeps you on the edge of your seat, trying to guess the perpetrator. This is another fast, well plotted read.

Reviewer

Intense

Whilst this story was not as dark as the previous two in this series, it felt more intense. As DI Sterling investigated the case, he kept hitting brick wall after brick wall and you could sense he was up against the clock the catch the killer. The use of insulin was a unique weapon of choice and I learnt that something that would save lives would kill others horrifically.

Reviewer

Already a huge fan

I’m already a huge fan of DI Paolo Sterling mysteries but I think this is my favourite book in the series so far!

Reviewer

Beautifully written page-turner

This was a fascinating and beautifully written page-turner, with believable, interesting and sympathetic characters. The author has avoided the character cliches, and created an exciting and frighteningly credible plot. I couldn’t put this down until I’d finished it. Also very impressed with the excellent pace and the tight ending.

Reviewer

Fast-paced gripping read

I couldn’t put this book down. A fast-paced gripping read with a credible plot and authentic characters. It had me hooked until the end and I can’t wait to read more of Lorraine’s books.

Reviewer

Highly recommended

Great read from this author. Gripping tale, good characters. Highly recommended.

Reviewer

Right down to the nitty gritty

This is the second in the D.I. Sterling series, written by the brilliant Lorraine Mace. Her books lure you in from the first page and get right down to the nitty gritty from the start. They are not for the faint hearted, certainly not cosy reading, but well written for anyone who enjoys a good crime novel.

Reviewer

Brilliantly written

Brilliantly written and fast paced, loved this book. I’m hooked on this fantastic author!

Reviewer

Compelling crime novel

This is a well conceived and compelling crime novel that deals sympathetically with an unsympathetic investigation. I liked the honesty and authenticity at the heart of this book, helped greatly by a new kind of lead detective who carries with him an air of being a true gentleman.

Reviewer

Gripped me

This is an edge-of-the-seat crime thriller, starring Di Paolo Stirling, which gripped me right to the end. Lorraine Mace certainly knows how to keep you hooked!

Reviewer

I was hooked

From page 1 I was hooked! Mace certainly knows how to employ a shock tactic or two… This was one of those un-put-downable, gripping, read-in-one-sitting crime novels from an author who is evidently Queen of the red herrings.

Reviewer

Loved this book so much!

I loved this book so much! My first with Paolo Sterling but definitely not my last.

Reviewer

Well thought out plot

Well thought out plot, lots of red herrings to keep you guessing pretty much to the end and a lead character that, although he has his flaws, you are rooting for.

Reviewer

great British crime drama

I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I can’t wait to start the next book in the series!

The Northern Witch’s Book Blog

excellent police procedural

This book kept me hooked and at one point I was convinced up to 4 different people could be the killer!

Books and Emma

could not put my kindle down while reading this!

It isn’t very often that I just know I’m gonna fall in love with a series halfway through the first book!

Feed the Crime

Wonderfully dark crime procedural

it’s a hidden gem of a perfect crime novel

Radzy Writes and Reviews

kept me guessing right until the end

Every time I thought I had it figured out, another spanner was thrown in the works and all my amateur detective work was thrown out the window!

K T Robson Reviews

Retriever of Souls is a wonderfully crafted novel

It’s filled with all sorts of twists and turns that not only kept me hooked till the last page but also made me excited for the next installment in the series.

Off the Record

A first class crime novel

Retriever of Souls is sinister, menacing and jam-packed with jaw dropping twists and turns …

Bookish Jottings

Instantly engaging

D.I. Paolo Sterling is instantly engaging – Children in Chains is a dark, gripping and unflinching read.

Louise Phillips, winner of the Best Irish Crime Novel of the Year, longlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award for her entire body of work.

Unflinching plots

Delve into the dark side. Well-constructed with unflinching plots.  Satisfying enough for the most discerning crime reader.

Ruth Dugdall, winner of the CWA Debut Dagger Award and author of best-selling psychological crime.

Compelling

Gripping, fast-paced crime fiction with a compelling central character. Fans of Karin Slaughter and Tess Gerritsen will love Lorraine Mace.

Sheila Bugler, author of the DI Ellen Kelly series.

Compulsive reading

Fast-paced and compulsive reading with tension ratcheted to the max. D.I. Paolo Sterling’s humanity is tested by gut-wrenching crimes and damaged killers. Fans of Mo Hayder should love this series.

Chris Curran, author of psychological thrillers

Gritty and gripping

A gritty and positively compelling crime novel

Colette McCormick, author of Ribbons in Her Hair.

Gut-wrenching thriller

‘A visceral, no-punches-pulled, gut-wrenching thriller. A disturbing and gripping tale of child prostitution, and the tragic detective Paolo Sterling dealing with the heartache of his own daughter’s sexual assault. Crime Noir at its darkest’ 

Caroline Dunford, A Death in the Family 

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