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Book Review: Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer

After devouring The Birthday, for my birthday, I couldn’t wait to get stuck into the second instalment of DI Natalie Ward. Last Lullaby is already out, it definitely can be read as a standalone but I would highly recommend reading The Birthday first if you haven’t yet – you really want to maximise the Natalie’s character development, and also those of the rest of the cast!

Last Lullaby by Carol Wyer

Genre: Fiction/Crime Fiction/Crime, Thriller & Mystery

BUG Rating: 5/5

Overall: I could not put this down! Following Natalie and team, we get some (really) gruesome crimes, a smart complex villain, all of which will literally have you on the edge of your seat. Carol’s writing is terrific – perfectly crafting nightmarish and heartbreaking scenes at the same time, literally taking us on the ride of our lives! What a skill! This is my top pick for February and I cannot wait to read book 3, The Dare, this weekend.

Dreams are exactly that – dreams. Yours seem realistic to you, but they’re still only dreams.

Plot:

Charlotte’s baby is safe. But is she?

When the body of young mother Charlotte Brannon is discovered by her husband in their immaculate, silver bedroom, Detective Natalie Ward is first on the scene. The killer has left a chilling calling card: the word ‘Why?’ written on the wall in blood. 

Determined to find justice, Natalie quickly discovers the husband is hiding a troubled past, and she’s sure the teenage babysitter’s alibi doesn’t quite add up.

But before Natalie can dig deeper, another mother is murdered, her young son left distraught, staring at a fresh ‘who’ scrawled beside her.

Natalie knows it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again, but all the key suspects have alibis. It’s her toughest case yet, and with her marriage hanging by a thread, the cracks are beginning to show.

Just when Natalie finds an unsettling clue she thinks could solve the case, another young woman and her baby disappear, and a member of Natalie’s team is put in terrible danger. 

Can Natalie stop this twisted killer and save one of her own before more families are torn apart forever?


I was still on a total high from reading The Birthday and I literally could not wait to dive into the Last Lullaby.

The book jumps straight into action, following the story of a young couple, Adam and Charlotte Brannon, who are on their way back from celebrating Charlotte’s parents 30th anniversary. Before we know it, a brutal attack on Charlotte has taken place, in their exclusive home, and she is left dead with her baby screaming in the next room. Where is Adam?

The plot then follows DI Natalie Ward, and her beloved team – yes they are all back! Lucy, Ian and Murray! As usual, they will stop at nothing to uncover the truth and bring the killer to justice. Will they manage to catch them before they strike again? 

Yet again, Carol has managed to create an absolutely chilling masterpiece. I LOVED this book. It had just the right amount of character development, allowing me to get that little bit closer to all the main cast and understand them a bit more, and enough of twists and turns and murders to keep me on the edge of my seat trying to work out who the killer was. I was convinced I knew ‘Who dun it’ and then changed my mind, several times. In the end I gave up even trying to guess! 

What a twistttt …. I really enjoyed the structure of the book. I loved having the chapter split by dates/time and then also having the journal type entries where we are allowed to get into the head of the killer and understand what motivates them and drives them to kill. These people look so ordinary on the outside, yet when the mask they have held up for society slips, they can be complete monsters. It’s scary to think there are many, many individuals out there like this!

Just to touch on the characters … Natalie is amazing. I love her – she’s an extremely driven, determined police officer who will really stop at nothing until the killer is caught. Sometimes to the detriment of her relationship with her husband, and children. But I can really relate to this, it’s difficult to manage the work life balance, especially as a female in a predominantly male driven role/environment – the more I read about Natalie, the more I understand and relate to her character, which makes this book even more of a special read for me. I have really been able to connect with her character. Her family dynamics are fascinating to follow, her relationship with her husband, David, is on rocky grounds, but as in the previous book, we can still feel she does have love for him, but I’m not sure she is in love with him. Mike, the forensics guy, is also back, and I constantly find myself wondering – will they, won’t they – maybe he is what she needs.

We are also starting to uncover snippets about Natalie’s past, as parallels between the lives of the victim and her sister also remind her of her own relationship with her sister, Frances. I can’t wait to find out more.

Natalie’s team is also as loveable as ever too. The  dynamics are perfectly balanced, a serious, dedicated team, yet able to have some fun! Lucy’s personal storyline, focuses on her starting to come to terms with some upcoming life events, so in this instalment we also see her drop the really confident mask, and show us she also has fears and emotions. Loving it!

Ian and Murray, the other two team members are being revealed to us slowly too, we learn more about Ian and his personal life. Murray still remains a bit of a mystery, but that’s ok, I am sure we will find out more throughout the books – we don’t want everything revealed all at once 🙂

Last Lullaby is yet another read by Carol Wyer that had it all – a total page turner, gruesome and somewhat emotional read. I absolutely, loved loved loved this book and already have book 3, The Dare, loaded on my Kindle and ready to go, courtesy of publisher, Bookouture, which will be out in April this year. Stay tuned for my review, I will also be participating in the #booktour at the beginning of April!


2 Comments

  • Carol Wyer
    March 2, 2019 at 1:52 pm

    I hold you totally responsible for the enormous smile on my face! Reviews don’t get better than this and I can’t thank you enough. I truly hope you end THE DARE as much and thank you… very much indeed xxx

    Reply
    • bookedupgirl
      March 2, 2019 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you … and I’m sure it will be!

      Reply

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Synopsis:
Adam Brandt is a forensic psychologist, well used to dealing with the most damaged members of society. But he's never met anyone like Kassie.The teenager claims to have a terrible gift - with one look into your eyes, she can see when and how you will die.Obviously, Adam knows Kassie must be insane.
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🔮 Or maybe she’s not??? I am really loving this book so far, Kassie’s character is awesome... as is Adam’s! Hoping to finish in a couple of days ... so stay tuned for the full review 🤓
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Back to Books: To mark IWD I’ve selected my Top 6 Reads (link in bio)
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Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton: Highlights also the importance of female friendships, and how women need to build each other up together.
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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood: Centred around a frightening dystopian society – highlighting corruption, oppression and the role of women. This book actually fits in perfectly in the age of the #MeToo Movement!
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She: A Celebration of Renegade Women by Harriet Hall: From Mathematician Ada Lovelace to Beyoncé and Michelle Obama, this book honours 100 female heroes throughout history (some forgotten) who have paved the way for women and  gender driven equality.
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Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong – and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story by Angela Saini: Full of scientific research, it challenges deeply rooted preconceptions on gender/sex. Blows gender stereotypes out of the water!
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Feminists Don’t Wear Pink (and other lies) by Scarlett Curtis: Feminism through a variety of perspectives from a wide range of smart, brave and strong women.
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The War on Women and the brave ones who fight back by Sue Lloyd – Roberts and Sarah Morris: Disturbing read, this goes much further than just women’s rights but human rights.It really highlights the ongoing importance of feminism, courage and compassion.
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💫 An inspirational and powerful book surrounding gender equality. Personal and unique essays from a range of women, in different industries, from different backgrounds. The essays explore what feminism means to each of the women and highlights that feminism doesn’t mean one thing but many and we all have our own definition. 🙌🏻 One of my favourites,  The Weaker Sex by Kiera Knightley.
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  • My 🌟 Top Pick for February 🌟 was Last Lullaby by @carolwyer - review now up, link in bio!
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Carol Wyer is now firmly on my favourite author list, thanks to another epic read! 💎
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I could not put this down! DI Natalie Ward and team are assigned to a really gruesome case with a smart complex villain, all of which will literally have you on the edge of your seat. 👀The writing is terrific – perfectly crafting nightmarish and heartbreaking scenes at the same time, literally taking us on the ride of our lives! 🎢
•
💭 Anyone else loving the DI Natalie Ward series at the moment? The Dare is book 3 and set to hit the shelves next month - I will be starting my advance reader copy this weekend, hopefully 🤞🏻
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  • February WRAP UP 🎀
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I’ve had a blast of a time this month, with some really epic reads! A huge thank you to @netgalley @bookouture for the many ARCs I’ve got through!
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I was however, aiming for 10 but fell short ... work was just crazy busy so it didn’t happen 😔 All reviews are up on the blog 💻 (link in bio).
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Recap below 🖤
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1. Graham Smith - A Body in the Lakes (4.5/5)
2. @robertbryndza - Deadly Secrets (5/5)
3. Caroline Kepnes- Hidden Bodies (3.5/5)
4. Kerry Watts - Heartlands (4.5/5)
5. @carolwyer - The Birthday (5/5)
6. Sarah Denzil - Only Daughter (4.5/5)
7. @carlvonderau - Murderabilia (4/5)
8. @carolwyer - Last Lullaby (5/5) - I have a few chapters left but I WILL finish it by the end of the night, review will be up at the weekend🌟Top Pick🌟
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💭 Have you folks read any of these? Your thoughts? 👇🏻👇🏻
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