#Blogtour Burning Secrets by Ruth Sutton @ruthsutton @fahrenheitpress #DampPebblesBlogTours

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Burning Secrets by Ruth Sutton   Fahrenheit Press July 18th 2018

It’s the spring of 2001 and Foot & Mouth disease is raging across Cumbria. 

Twelve-year-old Helen Heslop is forced to leave her family farm and move in with relatives in a nearby town because the strict quarantine means she can’t travel back and forth to school in case she inadvertently helps spread the disease.

As the authorities and the local farming communities try desperately to contain the outbreak, tensions run high and everyone’s emotions are close to the surface.

And then Helen disappears.

The police search expands all over the northwest coast where farms are barricaded and farming families have been plunged into chaos – not least the Hislop family, where potentially explosive fault lines are exposed.

Under the strain tensions build inside the police team too, where local DC Maureen Pritchard is caught between old school DI Bell and new broom DS Anna Penrose.

Will Helen survive? And can life for the Heslop family ever be the same, once burning secrets are discovered and old scores settled?

My Review

If, like me, you will remember the foot and mouth outbreak, you will also recall the utter destruction of the many farms and livestock, but imagine all that and then suddenly your daughter disappears.

For the Helson family it adds to their woes, yet mother Rose remained remarkably calm, almost unworried. Husband Eric seemed more concerned about his livestock. I did wonder if all was as it seemed, or were they all harbouring secrets, secrets that they wanted and needed to remain hidden.

Rose was not a character I particularly liked. I found her very frustrating, and even though I knew she was probably suffering from depression i felt very little sympathy for her. It was a lack of sympathy that seemed escalate as the secrets and truth slowly tumbled out. When she finally did get her act together and realised the consequences of her actions, i still didn’t warm to her, still wanted to shake her.

I did feel a modicum of sympathy for Eric, but again his ostrich like attitude, his utter sense of failure still didn’t twang my emotions.

I think the only person I did like was their daughter, Helen, a young girl, a pawn in a dangerous game.

The investigating officers Sgt Anne Penrose and Maureen Fitzgerald were both very engaging and their relationship a real highlight of the novel. Here was, Anna, the newcomer, the young upstart, promoted over Maureen. I loved the tension that Sutton created and it was wonderfully sustained throughout.

What impressed most was Sutton portrayal of the landscape, the wildness of the Lake District, and the desolation and isolation of the farm,

You could almost smell the rotting, burning flesh of the slaughtered cattle and the images of lorries full of dead livestock were not ones that I will forget.

The foot and mouth epidemic created the perfect backdrop and added to the drama and tension, the stakes raised for all the characters involved.

Unlike most thrillers, Burning Secrets was not fast paced. Instead Sutton took her time setting the scene, looking deep into her characters. The novel wasn’t full of cliches, or easily guessed outcomes, making it a refreshing change and a thoroughly enjoyable read.

I would like to thank Fahrenheit Press for a copy of Burning Secrets to read and review and to Emma Welton of Damp Pebble Blog Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.

About the author

ruth sutton

Ruth is a very independent person, which – like many things – is good up to a point, but can get tricky sometimes. She lives in a very beautiful place, but it’s a long way to a cinema, or a big supermarket, and if the time comes when she can’t or doesn’t want to drive, she’ll have to move as there’s no public transport. She qualifies for a bus pass, but there aren’t any buses. Her daughter and her family live quite close by, and she loves to see her two grandchildren. After decades on her own, she has a partner whom she loves. They each have their own house, 40 minutes apart, and this life style suits them both. Ruth wrote her first novel after she was 60.

In addition, Ruth has self-published a trilogy entitled Between the Mountains and the Sea; A Good Liar tells the story of Jessie who risks career and independence with a love affair, whilst her secret past draws ever closer. Forgiven is set among the coal mines and fells of the Cumberland coast. Jessie’s struggle for happiness continues. Fallout features the nuclear disaster at Windscale, which brings a compelling stranger into Jessie’s world.

If you would like to follow Ruth on social media via the following links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ruthsutton

Website: http://ruthsutton.co.uk/wordpress/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1?ie=UTF8&text=Ruth+Sutton&search-alias=digital-text&field-author=Ruth+Sutton&sort=relevancerank

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