Did You See Melody by Sophie Hannah Hodder and Stoughton August 24th 2017
Cara Burrows is running away. Using some of her families savings she books her self into a 5 star hotel and spa in Arizona. Arriving late at night she is booked in by the hotel receptionist and given the key to her room. As she enters the room Cara realises she is not alone, as a man and a young girl emerge in the darkness. Beating a hasty retreat Cara is rewarded for the receptionists mistake and upgraded to one of the hotels luxury suites, but that is not the end for Cara when she realises that the young girl bears a remarkable resemblance to America’s most famous murder victim Melody Chapa. Melody Chapa was supposedly murdered by her parents who are now serving a life sentence, but can it really be her and what is the true story behind the supposed crime?
And so Cara embarks on a search for the truth as well as a solution to her own issues.
This novel has it all, a twisty turny mystery and a delightful collection of characters. Cara herself, is a mystery, a mystery that is slowly revealed as the novel progresses. I loved the tenaciousness of Cara and her inner strength to fight her own demons yet remain strong in the face of adversity.
Bonnie Juror, the TV journalist is loud, self opinionated, and hugely annoying, to the point I wanted to shout at her to shut up at times, yet she is central to the plot with a huge secret of her own.
The mother and daughter, Tarina and Zellie whom Cara befriends provide light relief. The mother Tarin, outspoken and fancying herself as a bit of detective, and Zellie, hugely intolerant and despairing of her larger than life mother.
The mystery of Melody Chapa is complex and Hannah handles the complexities extremely well making it easy for the reader to navigate. The writing is engaging and compelling and whilst some aspects are slightly unbelievable it does not in anyway detract from what is a hugely enjoyable novel.
Having never read Sophie Hannah before I will definitely be reading another novel very soon!
Thank you to Louise Swannell and Hodder and Stoughton for a proof copy to read and review.
About the author
Born in 1971, in Manchester Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling crime writer. Her books have been translated into 32 different languages. In 2014 Hannah was approached by the estate of author Agatha Christie to write a new Hercule Poirot novel, subsequently named the Monogram Murders. Her second Poirot novel, The Closed Casket was published in 2016.
Sophie is also an acclaimed poet, and her collection Pessimism for Beginners was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award.
Sophie currently lives in Cambridge where she is a Fellow Commoner of Lucy Cavendish College.