Author: Rachel Amplett
Narrator: Alison Campbell
Length: 7 hours 15 minutes
Series: Detective Kay Hunter, Book 2
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural
Reputation is everything.
When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as “Suicide Mile”, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.
As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realizes the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.
With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.
When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realizes the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him….
Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future….
Before turning to writing, Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio as a presenter and freelance producer for the BBC, and worked in publishing as a sub-editor and editorial assistant.
She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction and spy novels, including the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the Detective Kay Hunter series.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel cites her writing influences as Michael Connelly, Lee Child, and Robert Ludlum. She’s also a huge fan of Peter James, Val McDermid, Robert Crais, Stuart MacBride, and many more.
She’s a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint, and the first four books in the Dan Taylor espionage series contracted to Germany’s Luzifer Verlag.
The voice appeared to be coming from the direction of the railway line. She took a few steps forward and, emboldened, the dog took up the slack and pulled once more. ‘Hello?’ A moment’s pause, then— ‘Help! Please— somebody help me!’ Her heart hammering, Elsa began to hurry across the uneven ground, and cried out as her ankle turned. She kept her balance, ignored the painful twinge from her arthritic hip, and made her way down the gentle slope towards the tracks. A tangle of vines covered a wire mesh fence that had been erected between the field and the railway, and she paced beside it until she found an area that was less densely covered in vegetation. She waved her torch in the direction of the voice, her breath escaping her lips in short bursts, until the beam fell upon a length of material that lay across the tracks. She blinked, and then the material moved.
Suicide is never easy to accept; however, when families of suicide victims find out that their loved ones may have been murdered, what feelings would arise? How would you feel? Would it be any easier to accept that someone took their life against their will instead of themselves taking their own life? Amphlett has an intriguing second installment in her Detective Kay Hunter Mystery series which will leave readers entertained and guessing for most of the story.
Detective Kay Hunter is on the case, yet again. A man, or rather his body parts, were found on the train tracks after a woman witnessed and attempted to free him. Appearing to be a suicide, the case closes faster than it opened. With a gut instinct and after hearing that the man plead for his life before he died, Detective Kay Hunter decides to dig further even though it could cause her career to be on the line. After more supposed suicides turn up, Hunter gets more support from her squad, allowing them to begin investigating friends, family and associates of the victims. What do all of these victims have in common? Why stage all on the train tracks to appear as suicides? Could Detective Hunter’s assessments get her into more danger than she realizes?
Amphlett has a great second installment with her Detective Kay Hunter Mystery series, Scared to Death. The character development is purposefully slow as to not give away the whole story-line right away, but the pace and flow are steady. Since this review is complementing the audiobook, the narrator portrayed the characters beautifully and with the author’s vivid description, they both gave life to the story together. If you are a reader of murder mystery and crime fiction, you may enjoy this book. With this being the second installment in the Detective Kay Hunter series, readers can still read or listen to this book as a standalone, but their are hints and nods back to the first installment, called Scared to Death.
An audiobook was provided to Turning Another Page by Audiobookworm Promotions and in no way affects the honesty of this review. We provide a five-star rating for Will to Live by Rachel Amphlett.
Rachel Amphlett’s Favourite Books in the Crime Fiction Genre
I think, like many crime thriller authors, my love of the genre started when I was about five years old and started reading the famous five series by Enid Blyton.
By the time I was in my very early teens, I was working my way through my mum’s collection of Dick Francis books and adding to those each birthday and Christmas when I received book tokens in lieu of presents. On top of that, every time my parents stocked up their bookshelves via jumble sales, I’d be devouring the likes of Ed McBain, PD James, and Robert Goddard. By the time I left school, I’d devoured most of the crime fiction section in my secondary school library, including books by Ken Follett, Agatha Christie, and Michael Crichton.
To this day, I’m unable to walk past a secondhand bookshop…
So, what’s the attraction to this genre as a reader?
For me, it’s a mixture of entertainment and escapism.
There’s nothing like perusing the shelves in a bookshop or library, spotting a cover or a spine of a book, and then reading the blurb and thinking “I’ve got to read this”.
The opening chapter is probably the most important part of a crime thriller for a reader. The anticipation of lifting the front cover and reading that first line, then the second, then turning the page, and then getting completely sucked into the mystery via an opening scene that leads you stunned is second to none.
You know (with a few exceptions) that the villain will be apprehended by the time you reach the last page, the detective will have solved the mystery, and all will be right with the world, but it’s the excitement between the first page in the last and trying to work out who the bad guy is, or how they will be stopped, before the detective does.
I have to admit, although I do like reading (and writing) stand-alone crime thrillers, I do enjoy reading books in a series because you get to know the detective over a period of time. You begin to appreciate what drives them. For instance, take Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. That character has grown so much since first appearing in The Black Echo, and I think that’s what keeps the series fresh. It’s not just about the investigation of murder in each book, it’s how the main character’s life is changed by the investigation and the world around him.
It’s the same reason why I enjoyed reading all the Val McDermid Tony Hill series, and the Roy Grace series by Peter James – as well as the fact that the stories aren’t just about the main characters, but include a regular supporting cast.
As a crime thriller author, I’m re-reading a lot of the books on my shelves through different eyes these days – I find I’m analysing them more, trying to pinpoint exactly why those stories have endured.
I hope by re-reading the masters, my own writing will continue to grow.
It’s also a great excuse to forget the housework for a while…