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Detective Eden Berrisford #2

Don't Look Behind You

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She got into bed but sleep didn’t come easily. Every creak in the house made her alert. She was waiting for him to come and get her.

The small city of Stockleigh is in shock as three women are brutally attacked within days of each other. Are they random acts of violence or is there a link between the victims? For Detective Eden Berrisford, it’s her most chilling case yet.

The investigation leads Eden to cross paths with Carla, a woman trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to a cruel and abusive man ended in unimaginable tragedy. Her husband Ryan was imprisoned for his crimes but, now he’s out and coming for her.

As Eden starts to close in on the attacker, she also puts herself in grave danger. Can she stop him before he strikes again? And can Carla, terrified for her life, save herself - before the past wreaks a terrible revenge?

330 pages, Kindle Edition

First published January 31, 2017

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About the author

Mel Sherratt

35 books493 followers
I write police procedurals, psychological suspense and women's fiction with a punch - or grit-lit, as I call it.

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, with my husband and terrier, Dexter (named after the TV serial killer) and makes liberal use of my hometown as a backdrop for some of my books.

You can find out more at my website www.melsherratt.co.uk or I'm on Twitter at @writermels

I also write women's fiction under the pen name of Marcie Steele.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 146 reviews
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
382 reviews1,656 followers
February 10, 2017
This was my first book by this author and I loved every minute of it!
I devoured it. This is the second book in the Eden Berrisford series. I have not read the first book yet but will sometime this month. This is a very gritty, dark, disturbing, twisting, suspenseful read. It is not for the faint of heart. It deals with some very sensitive subject matters in domestic violence and rape.

This book is about Eden and her team looking into the brutal attacks on several local women. The attacker keeps his faced covered and does not even speak to his victims and with the attacks all happening within a few days of each other, it is clear this monster's behavior is escalating quickly. Another storyline featured is a survivor named Carla. Broken down after an abusive marriage and her daughter's death, spends her time helping women in The Willows, a women's refuge, constantly looking over her shoulder. Ryan has been in jail for a long time now and wants to make her pay.

This is a fantastic action book. It gets at you at page one and doesn't let up till the end. I love the characters of Eden and the relationship of her team. I love the fact that she is a strong female character. The story was brilliantly written with some very well thought out added twists in to throw you off. The story on the other hand is quite emotional. I am hoping that I don't have to wait long for book three to come out. I recommend this to all gritty dark suspenseful mystery and thriller fans.

I want to thank NetGalley, Mel Sherratt and the publisher for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christine on hiatus, see “About me”.
589 reviews1,142 followers
February 6, 2017
4.5 stars

Don’t Look Behind You is a thoroughly engaging novel written by Brit Grit Lit master Mel Sherratt. This book is #2 in the Eden Berrisford series and even better than the first. I love Mel Sherratt because of her success in melding gritty crime fiction with “gritty women’s fiction.” The mix is terrific. I also like that she sets all of her stories in Stockleigh, England, with a bit of overlapping of her characters from other books. And how can I not mention (again) how engaging I find her use of the local language. Don’t worry, you do not have to be an expert of British English; you can glean the meaning of any strictly British words from the context in which it is written.

We learn more about Eden in this installment. She has a tough side as do many of the policewomen protagonists these days. But she also has a very soft side, which is endearing. She has a close, respectful relationship with her team members, all of who seem to be pretty happy, well-adjusted people—something you don’t see that much in police procedurals. I am interested in seeing how these characters evolve in future books.

The story moves along nicely with short crisp chapters. There is a good deal of suspense relating to a number of characters being in dangerous relationships in addition to an attacker of young women being on the loose. I liked that Ms. Sherratt provides each of the victims with a little backstory that makes the reader root a little more fervently for the baddie to be apprehended. Also, the author throws in some nice twists to shake things up. I missed the book when I had to tend to real life and couldn’t wait to get back to it.

I loved the fact that one of the arcs involved the goings on at a woman’s refuge.

If I were in a position to make a minor suggestion to the author, I would propose adding a few more pages to the wrap-up as I felt tying everything up was a tad rushed. I will say though that everything did come together well, and I found the epilogue to be a real plus. Loved the last line of the book.

Speaking of epilogues, I’m going to make a general statement about prologues. I have heard that authors are often told not to use prologues. I have no idea why that recommendation is made as I think prologues are a terrific way to pull a reader hard and fast into the story. Ms. Sherratt reeled me right in using this method in Don’t Look Behind You. So, all you authors out there, keep those prologues coming!

Mel Sherratt remains one of my very favorite go-to authors. I highly recommend her Eden Berrisford series to all readers of crime fiction, especially those who like a lot of characterization and a bit of focus on social issues. Next please, Mel. XO

Thanks to Net Galley, Bookouture, and Ms. Mel Sherratt for an advanced copy of this book. All opinions are mine alone and not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Sue.
2,691 reviews170 followers
August 19, 2017
Mel Sherratt has done it again. She's kept me awake until I saw daylight coming through my window.

I just loved meeting up with Detective Eden again. She's a hard woman, dedicated to her work. Feels for each person and runs a tight ship.

This time we also got to see some of what makes Eden the woman she is.

There are vulnerable women within these pages and you tense up and your tummy knots up with each event that plays out.

Imagine making a new life. But looking over your shoulder constantly.

Three women are attacked randomly and separately but is there a connection to each other?
This needs to be found out.

This is a breathtaking, twisty edge of your seat read that when climaxes really hits you for six.

I love this authors style. It flows so well, like a good movie where you sit, relax, then tuck your feet under yourself, find yourself holding yourself tightly and gnashing your teeth in the parts that are intense.

I throughly enjoyed this read. Looking forward to the next one.

Thank you to Bookoutour and Net Galley for my early copy.
Profile Image for Angela Marsons.
Author 37 books4,072 followers
February 10, 2017
I have been eagerly anticipating the second book in the Eden Berrisford crime series and Don't Look Behind You did not disappoint. I devoured the first in the series - The Girls Next Door - but enjoyed this one even more. There is an early scene where Eden confronts a man abusing his wife which I absolutely loved. Mel Sherratt again uses her expertise in covering difficult subjects, physical abuse and rape, with sensitivity and care. I was particularly drawn to Carla's story throughout the book. Eden, to me, is a real life character out there doing her job. And herein lies one of this author's core strengths in writing about characters so gritty and real that you feel you've either met them or will meet them one day. There is enough detail about Eden's personal life without it encroaching on the storyline but keeping the reader's interest. As ever the storyline weaves its way expertly towards a tense, thrilling and satisfying climax. Don't Look Back is a definite 5* read from me.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,331 reviews5 followers
February 6, 2017
DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU by talented author Mel Sherratt, is the second book in the Eden Berrisford crime series and as I loved the first book in the series, The Girls Next Door, I couldn’t wait to start this one. Don't Look Behind You did not disappoint…and will appeal to all lovers of crime thrillers/police procedurals. I actually enjoyed this one even more. I would recommend reading the books in order to appreciate the growth development of the main characters.

Once again, we touch base with protagonist, Detective Sergeant Eden Berrisford, a gutsy strong female detective, who takes her job seriously, as team leader of “The Community Intelligence Team”, under the direction of Sean Whittaker of The Major Crimes Team. Her team consists of two Detective Constables; Jordan Ashcroft (29), and Amy Nicholls (26), who will be getting married soon. There is a new detective, Phil Sillitoe (49) who is on temporary assignment to the team, but has a chip on his shoulders and doesn’t like working for a younger, Woman boss! Eden is a single mom with daughter, Casey and their two-year old blue Persian cat, after her husband Danny walked out on the family two years ago. Eden now has a new man in her life, Joe, but after one year, she is still is not ready to commit to the relationship, as she still has feelings for her loser husband.

“The small city of Stockleigh is in shock as three women are brutally attacked within days of each other. Are they random acts of violence or is there a link between the victims? For Detective Eden Berrisford, it’s her most chilling case yet.”

At the moment, all they had to go on was that the victims were all young females out alone at night!

“The investigation leads Eden to cross paths with Carla, a woman trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to a cruel and abusive man ended in unimaginable tragedy. Her husband Ryan was imprisoned for his crimes but, now he’s out and coming for her.”

Time is running out and Eden must capture the attacker, before he attacks more women.

I give much credit to the author for tackling not an easy topic…the issue and consequences of rape and domestic abuse. But through Eden, she allows us to observe a compassionate and strong woman trying to help women of domestic abuse.

Many thanks to the author, Bookouture and Net Galley for the ARC.
Profile Image for Emma.
976 reviews976 followers
February 7, 2017
For me, this didn't quite live up to the first in the series. While I still love Eden as a character, the plot in this one was just not gripping enough. It felt really bitty and superficial. I'm even struggling to write a review as I just don't have much to say. It's good enough, took a few hours to read, but nothing more than that.

ARC via Netgalley.
Profile Image for Louise Wilson.
2,751 reviews1,617 followers
February 6, 2017
This is the second book in the Eden Berrisford series.

Women are being brutally attacked within days off each other. Detective Sargent Eden Berrisford has been given the task to arrest the culprit. Eden has to work out if there is a link to these women or if they have been randomly chosen. The only link she has so far is they were attacked at night while they were on their own.

Me Sherratt has another best seller with this storyline. Eden Berrisford is just the right person to solve this case. She is such a strong character. I found myself holding my breath and my stomach churning at times but for this plot, it would not work if the reader did not get pulled into the storyline. I throughy enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Bookouture and the author Mel Sherrayy for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Linda Strong.
3,880 reviews1,635 followers
February 4, 2017
Detective Berrisford is back with a vengeance!

She is dealing with the brutal attacks of several women in her small town. The detective is sickened by what someone is doing to these young women. The are beaten and raped. In some instances, he's interrupted and leaves before he can commit the final act. He is covered from head to toe, comes out of the dark, and never says a word. Although their bruises and abrasions will disappear with time, they will spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulder.

Investigating these crimes will take her to a safe house for abused women. Carla is trying to rebuild her life after living with an abusive, murderous husband. Her husband Ryan has spent 10 years in jail .. now he's out and he's found her again. He's had all those years to think of ways to torment and repay his wife for putting him in prison.

Eden must find the link between all these women before the rapist's brutality escalates and leads to murder. It is imperative that she finds him and finds him soon.

The author has created a great female detective. Eden is no-nonsense, and dedicated to her job. She's a single mom with a husband that disappeared 2 years ago. She has not seen or heard from him in all that time ... until now.

Her team is hard-working and have a great deal of respect for their boss. There is a new detective introduced in this book. He's been on leave and will be working under Berrisford for a few weeks before being assigned to his permanent job. He comes across as a bit lazy and a whole lot resentful of having to work for a younger boss .. and one who is a woman. What he does.. or doesn't do.. will test Eden's patience to the fullest.

Rape is not an easy subject for anyone, but this author has crafted a well written book showing the relationships between the abused and the abuser. Eden is a hard woman, she has to be in her job. But I love how she is with these women who are attacked. It's not an easy book to read, but the author makes it easier.

There are a few twists that lead to a surprising ending. Mostly satisfactory, there are no huge cliffhangers ... just a couple of things that don't get wrapped up ... which I hope to see taken care of with Book 3.

Many thanks to the author / Bookouture / Net Galley for the early digital copy of this novel. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Profile Image for Liz.
2,025 reviews2,532 followers
February 5, 2017

A mystery told from multiple points of view and with multiple storylines. There's a rapist attacking young women walking alone at night. Eden Berrisford is the DS trying to see if the attacks are related and find the attacker. As a community intelligence officer, she also visits at a refuge for abused women. The additional storylines concern those women and the counselor who works with them. We hear from Carla, the counselor, in the first person personal, looking back over her own story of abuse.

The different stories are all engaging. Sherratt does a good job of walking us through the abuser’s tactics and how the women are beaten down both physically and emotionally, until they are ghosts, attempting to blend into the background.

This is a very fast moving mystery. I really enjoyed her writing style. Sherratt calls her style grit-lit and it fits. Very direct, taut.

I didn't realize this is the second in the series until I read up on the author. So, it's not a problem to read this without going back and read the first one first.
My thanks to netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of this book.
Profile Image for Gary.
2,614 reviews369 followers
February 7, 2017
This is the 2nd book in the Detective Sergeant Eden Berrisford series by author Mel Sherratt and can be read as a stand alone but the personal side of it works better if you have read the previous novel.
In this novel women are being attacked and Detective Sargent Eden Berrisford is leading the investigation to try and find a link to the attacks . The story is full of interesting characters who all have their own story to tell and for me the books got better the more I read.
This is the 2nd book I have read by Mel Sherratt and I have enjoyed them both. She has a good writing style and paces the novels very well keeping the reader wanting to know more.

I would like to thank Net Galley and Bookouture for supplying a copy of this Mel Sherratt novel in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for  Li'l Owl.
398 reviews232 followers
August 6, 2019
Buzzing with palpable tenion! 5 Powerful Stars!

Without warning, she was pushed in the back. Landing on all fours, someone from behind grabbed a fistful of her hair, dragging her along the pavement.
‘Hey!’ Ella cried as her knees scraped along the tarmac. In desperation, she tried to hit out at the hand that still had a firm grip on her hair as she scrambled to her feet again.
A few steps into the walkway, she was pushed up against the wall. She turned quickly to see a man. He was slightly taller than her and wore a black woollen scarf covering his mouth and nose, and a black hat. All she could see were his eyes, blue and menacing.
His hand squeezed her breast roughly.
Knowing he could overpower her in seconds, she put up a fight, pushing him in the chest.
‘Get off me!’ she cried.
But he came back at her, and she gasped as his gloved hand found her neck. She slapped at his face, his head, grabbed for his hat. Taking both of her wrists, he tried to force her to the floor.
If he got her to the ground, it would all be over. Her fist caught him on the side of his face, the next one on his cheek. As he tried to grapple to catch her arms, she cried out as loud as she could.
‘Help me!’
He struck her in the face. It felt like minutes passed, like everything was going in slow motion as she began to lose control. But in reality it had only been seconds. Ella groaned as pain engulfed her, her legs giving way.
He pushed her to the ground and straddled her. It was a few moments before she realised what he was doing next, a few more before she knew she was powerless to do anything about it. When one last bout of resistance brought another punch to her face, she went inside herself. The pain in her head intensified, yet she was almost thankful for it. It stopped her from thinking about what else he was doing to her.


Don't Look Behind You by Mel Sherratt is the second in the Detective Eden Barrisford series. I just finished reading the first book, The Girls Next Door, in one sitting I decided to read this immediately and was not dissapointed as it's another high caliber story from start to finish! Each book was a heartpounding adrenaline rush and I'm adding this series to my favorites shelf!

My only regret it finishing it and being left hanging on the edge of the cliff for the next one in this series!
Profile Image for Monnie.
1,402 reviews762 followers
February 7, 2017
When three women are attacked over a period of three days in the small city of Stockleigh, detective Eden Berrisford and her team on the relatively new Community Intelligence Team get serious about finding who's done them before someone else falls victim. Based on some of the terminology, I assume this is somewhere in the United Kingdom - my London-born-and-bred daughter-in-law provided answers straightaway to my questions about a couple. Who knew, for instance, that "bacon butties" and "chip butties" basically are sandwiches - one filled with a ton of bacon and the other with big fat fries (the skinny ones she's been subjected to now that she's living here in the states would never do, she emphasized).

Meantime, Eden helps her sister at a women's refuge, which provides shelter for those who have suffered from domestic abuse. There, she gets to know several of the here-and-gone-and back-again women such as Carla, whose husband, Ryan, just got out of jail. Carla has been forced to move several times since the death of their young daughter because Ryan has managed to track her down each time, but she's enjoyed a long respite while he was behind bars. Now, she's back to double-checking locks on doors and windows and looking over her shoulder at every step.

This is the second in the Eden Berrisford series, which I requested and received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Apparently, Eden's still-husband Danny unexpectedly walked out a couple of years earlier, leaving her with their daughter Casey (a situation I assume was outlined in greater detail in the first book). Now, Eden has found a significant other of sorts in Joe, although their relationship is a bit rocky - partly because Eden hasn't yet divorced Danny and partly because she throws her heart and soul into her work.

Chapters focus on the investigation into the attacks as well as what's going on (and happened previously) in the lives of the women at the shelter - complete with scenes that are rather graphic, for those bothered by such things. Readers also learn "secrets" in Eden's own life that she'd prefer to keep to herself. There's really nothing pleasant I can say about the story or any of the characters, except that the details of the investigation play out interestingly - with a few surprises tucked here and there - the action is pretty much nonstop (heating up near the end) and the whole thing is very well written. There's even an issue left dangling which, I presume, will be revisited in the next installment. I'm in!
Profile Image for Adrian Dooley.
359 reviews100 followers
February 2, 2017
I really enjoyed the first book of this series - The Girls Next Door(4 star review from me) so I was delighted to find out that Mel Sherratt had a follow up coming out. Having finished this book last night, it certainly didn't disappoint.

Don't Look Behind You sees the return of Eden Berrisford and her team and the small city of Stockleigh. Three women are brutally attacked in a short period of time, with the attacks becoming more violent. Eden is in charge of the cases and convinced there is a connection to the attacks and they are the work of the one perpetrator.

Her investigation leads her to a local women's refuge, where she visits regularly as a sort of community officer. Here she crosses paths with Carla, a counsellor at the refuge but one that we learn has a hidden past, an abuse victim herself, married to a man called Ryan who very violently abused her many years ago, ultimately ending in a family tragedy and on her testimony, the imprisonment of Ryan for 10 years.

But Ryan has recently been released from prison and Carla is convinced that he will come looking for her again. She sees shadows outside her house and is convinced someone is following her. Can these things be connected? Where and when will the attacker strike again?

I really loved this read. If anything it's a stronger book than the already impressive first in the series. Eden continues to develop as a character, with her past explored further, she really is a very strong central character to base this stories around and you are always rooting for her.

The subject matter is pretty heavy material, domestic abuse, and some of the scenes are quite horrific but I think the subject matter is handled really well.
Th book absolutely zips along as you are drawn into the story. The tension throughout is palpable and it doesn't seem to dip at any point.

I'm excited at the prospect of further Eden Berrisford books in the future. A sub plot in this novel has left the door open perfectly to continue in the next instalment, one that I can't wait to be written and released.

An easy five star review for me. I think we may have a very special series of books on our hands with the Eden Berrisford series. I'd highly recommend this to everyone.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Bookouture and Mel Sherratt for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,874 reviews1,879 followers
February 6, 2017
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com


This is the second book in the Eden Berrishford series, I loved the first one, (you can find my review here) so I’ve been impatiently awaiting this book as I knew we would be finding out more about Eden and her past. This book sees Eden and her team looking into the brutal attacks on several local women. Simultaneously, Eden is trying to keep Carla safe, a woman who is always looking over her shoulder especially now as her absuive ex husband has just been released from jail. Lots going on here, this one is the definition of a page turner.

All of the different scenarios here revolve around abused women making for a disturbing read, yet one that is relevant and sadly, true to life. Eden is trying to catch the man responsible for physically and sexually assaulting local women, then she works with a shelter called the Willows that provides a safe haven when battered women have no where else to turn. Carla is one of these abused women, but she works there now and does her best to keep everyone safe. Her ex, Ryan will never fully let her go and her story really pulled at my heartstrings. It’s told slowly, in flashbacks starting twenty one years ago and the truth about the events that led to him being locked away were sad and terrifying.

I loved getting to know more about Eden personally as well as professionally. Danny, her estranged husband is back, but in what capacity? She’s still dating Joe but Danny’s reappearance puts a strain both on her relationship with Joe and her daughter Casey. The whole situation is left unfinished, leaving the door wide open for book three and there could be serious implications for Eden in the future.

Sherratt has a knack for creating very relatable characters in a short timeframe, her books are rapidly paced and extremely engaging, yet she still manages to forge a connection between the reader and the characters. Her writing style is also very realistic which is almost creepy as you can easily picture the situations she crafts being ripped from the headlines. I read this book in a single day, it really kept me on the edge of my seat as things heated up and ended in a astonishing conclusion, but one that was wholly justifiable.
Profile Image for Sarah Joint.
445 reviews985 followers
February 7, 2017
This one hit me right in the feels. Prepare for an emotional ride, especially if you yourself or a loved one has been through domestic abuse. It's not often a book makes me cry, but this one got me. It was cathartic, though. The ending tied everything up nicely. It still put me through the wringer. Well written as well.

It's a very quick, emotional, fast paced read with several different storylines. We have Eden, who we met in the first book. She's still dealing with the aftermath of her husband up and leaving her and their daughter one day. She's also a great detective: driven, intelligent, and a bit of a badass while still able to emotionally bond with the victims she speaks to. If I were a victim, I'd want her by my side. If I were a criminal, I'd be afraid of her.

Young women have been attacked at an alarming frequency, and often very close to their own home. Some are raped and some are beaten, they are all brutal and leave them damaged. Eden and her team have to figure out who is responsible, and quickly. As they chase leads, more women are attacked. It's clear that the crimes won't stop or even slow down until the man is behind bars. Another storyline featured is a survivor named Carla. Broken down after an abusive marriage and her daughter's death, she spends her time trying to help women who've been abused while constantly looking over her own shoulder. Ryan has been in jail for a long time, but he's out now... and she fears he will keep his promise to find her and make her pay.

I received an ARC of this book from Net Galley and Bookouture, thank you! My review is honest and unbiased.
Profile Image for Caroline Mitchell.
Author 27 books1,800 followers
February 5, 2017
Dark and delicious, Don't Look Behind You is written in true Mel Sherratt style, and will keep you gripped until the end. It's no secret that I am a huge Mel Sherratt fan. Given her huge success and permanent position in the Amazon top 100, it seems I am not alone. Her writing appeals to me because her characters are so true to life and the situations generated could happen in the street where you live. Don't Look Behind You is a read full of twists and turns that will keep your heart pumping and your mind working overtime as the investigation into a series of sexual assaults and rapes unfold before you. If you haven't read a Mel Sherratt book then this series is a great place to start. I love Eden Berrisford and her team, and I cannot wait to see what Mel produces next.
Profile Image for Lee.
616 reviews98 followers
February 23, 2017
Stockleigh is a small town so when women start being viciously attacked, fear sets in. The attacker never speaks to his victims or shows his face but the brutality of these events are awful. Detective Eden Berrisford is called in to investigate these crimes, a strong woman that is hell bent on catching this loathsome person. There is also a strong theme of domestic abuse with many sub plots and it is quite horrifying to see what some women have been through and what many continue to face. This is a quick read, an emotional police procedural with strong characters and a storyline that will make you want to keep reading until the end to find out what happens.
Profile Image for Jen.
1,258 reviews62 followers
March 5, 2017
When I read the first book in this series, ‘The Girls Next Door’ there were times when I could literally feel my heart thumping in my chest. The opening was so tense, the story so twisting and yet moving that I loved it and when you enjoy a book that much you wonder if the next one can capture that same intense feeling.

The answer in this case is a resounding yes.

From the very beginning, you can sense the threat, the nervousness, that is building in the life of one of the central characters, Carla. Her full story is not clear at this stage but her sadness seeps from the page into your consciousness and after that first short prologue I was invested in her and her life. Who was she? How did she come to lose something so precious and what or who is it that she fears so much? From nothing more menacing than a hello, Mel Sherratt set the clear expectations of what was to come and by god, what a brilliant and thrilling journey she takes us on.

Now this is not an easy book to read by any stretch and it almost feels wrong to say that I loved it given the subject matter, but I absolutely did. Although the book features a theme of serious sexual and physical assault, and of domestic abuse, there was never a sense of any of the violence being gratuitous or of a scene being thrown together for the shock factor. Yes, there was violence and rage. It’s hard to depict a seriously abusive relationship where the aggressor administers a minor slap after all. But there wasn’t a blow by blow account of the violence and the story was driven more by the thought of what was about to occur and the aftermath for the victims rather than being present during the attacks. This makes the subject much easier to read. As it was, the victims are random, the violence escalating with each attack and the sense of jeopardy slowly builds with each missed opportunity to recover vital evidence.

I really like the character of Eden. She is not overly complicated, more down to earth and authentic if anything, even though she has an incredibly complicated personal life which is set to become even more so throughout this book and beyond. She is scared to commit romantically following the betrayal by her husband, something which puts a strain on her current relationship. She loves her daughter and she loves the community she lives and works in. She is dogged and determined and completely dedicated to her job. And this is where her greatest conflict lies. I said in my last review that it felt as though the ghost of her relationship with her husband Danny was going to haunt her over time and I wasn’t wrong. It only just rears its head in this book but you know that this is one problem which isn’t going to go away in a hurry. Danny, (what a berk by the way and this is the PG rated version of what I really think), has messed up his own life and through his actions has jeopardised Eden’s as well, and yet she clearly still has conflicted feelings for him. How his revelation impacts upon her longer term remains to be seen. Personally, I can’t wait to find out.

The supporting characters in this book are brilliantly developed too. While we don’t spend a great deal of time with Eden’s direct team this time around, I still love the banter and good humour between them and you get a good sense of their strength as a team. We do however spend a bit of time with Phil, an old-timer just back off sick leave who is assigned to the team as part of his phased return to work. He is the exact opposite of the rest of them and ultimately resentful of his placement in the ‘sticking plaster team’. He makes some serious errors of judgement which could have dire consequences, but is he completely beyond redemption? Well, you’ll have to read and find out.

As for the women at The Willows, particularly Tanya and Carla, they all hide their own layers of complexity and back story which is essential to the plot. Tanya and Carla are two very different women who should be able to bond after suffering a similar experience, but Tanya is oblivious to Carla’s story and unlike Carla, she isn’t truly willing to walk away from her husband, no matter what he does to her. Both women are written very sympathetically but their characters are very reflective of the differing kinds of women you would find in this awful position. Neither are weak and yet, no matter how far they run, how well they hide, they are ultimately still victims. They haven’t simply overcome their past, walked away to a future of sunshine and roses, and this gives the book a real sense of honesty.

The structure works brilliantly, flowing back and forth between the attacks and the points of view of Eden, Carla and Tanya. The pacing is measured and yet pitched perfectly to the action. There are heart-stopping moments when we follow the women who you know will be the next potential victims of Stockleigh’s vicious predator, the times when you want to shout at your book, to tell the women they are crazy to think it’s safe to walk home alone. There are the more evenly paced family moments between Eden, her daughter and her partner, even to some extent, her tense meeting with Danny, where you get a look at a woman who is much more than just her job. The part of the story which humanises Eden. Then we have the carefully orchestrated plan of revenge exercised against Carla, so simple in structure and yet so brutal in execution that it has you on the edge of your seat. Carla’s harrowing story is drip fed to the reader through a series of flashbacks going back to the moment she met Ryan, taking us from a fairy tale beginning to the reality of a marriage based on fear, violence and control. The story flows naturally, pulling you unsuspectingly onward towards a tense, nail-biting, high-stakes conclusion where no-one is guaranteed to walk away.

And speaking of the conclusion. Wow. As the police close in on the suspected rapist you can really feel your senses move to high alert. And over on the other side of town, Carla faces her own battle when her husband returns for what could well be a final, deadly showdown. There is a perhaps less surprising revelation which precedes it, something which is clearly hinted at throughout, but then big reveals are not what this book is about. You always know who the bad guys are in this sordid tale of cowardice and abuse. And yet the ending still comes as a surprise, still manages to turn things on its head, leaving an ultimate sense of satisfaction for me as the reader.

And oh. Poor Eden. The troubles she has a brewing now…

As I said before, a difficult subject but so skilfully written. I loved it.
Profile Image for The Book Review Café.
680 reviews186 followers
February 7, 2017
All my reviews can be found at http://thebookreviewcafe.com

I have eagerly been waiting for Don’t Look Behind You, the second in the Detective Eden Berrisford crime series since reading The Girls Next Door, and OMG it was certainly worth the wait. I’m actually going to say this is definitely the authors best book to date. Don’t Look Behind You is dark and very disturbing and at times I found it damn right harrowing which I have to say I wasn’t expecting. What I love about this authors books is her ability to take very credible plots and give them a gritty realism that make her books impossible to put down. At times I became so involved in the plot my heart was racing, I felt anxious and I’m sure at times I was having palpitations as the author expertly weaved her gripping tale.

Three woman are attacked in the most brutal way, as each act becomes more violent it’s up to our protagonist Detective Eden Berrisford to find the perpetrator before he strikes again. Eden is your typical fiction Detective, feisty, passionate about her job and the victims, she’s also very determined, but what makes her standout from other fictional detectives is her back story, a single mother with a husband gone AWOL you learn more about her in this book and you can’t help wondering as more details emerge when is her past is going to come back and bite her on the backside. Eden and her team make a credible one and I hope as this series progresses we will learn more about her team. What I love about this authors writing is her ability to create characters that are very true to life. I became emotionally involved with Carla a woman who suffers terrible abuse and unbelievable heartbreak, her character unfortunately was very credible, as were the rest of the woman in the refuge.

This book has a hidden depth which really makes it such a compelling read as it’s a disturbing study of domestic abuse which as you can imagine at times makes for a very difficult and uncomfortable read. Mel Sherratt expertly adds snippets of past events in Carla’s life and it paints an ugly picture of domestic abuse, not just physical side but the emotional abuse that starts off subtly, beating them down until they are a shadow of their former selfs. It doesn’t make for a pretty read but it most definitely makes for a believable one as the author doesn’t shy away from describing domestic abuse, in fact she paints a very credible and disturbing picture although it never felt superfluous.

Gripping from the first page, Don’t Look Behind You will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way to its heart stopping conclusion. Mel Sharrett has written a roller coaster of a thriller for sure, but this novel is also a rich and harrowing story of domestic abuse. As far as I’m concerned this authors writing goes from strength to strength and I would read her next book without hesitation, Mel Sharrett has the unique ability to write about difficult subject with empathy and sensitivity and adds her own unique style which make her books a very worthwhile read.

Would I recommend Don’t Look Behind You? hell yes I certainly would especially if you are a fan of crime fiction that’s gritty but authentic, in fact I would go as far to say this is one book you don’t want to miss.
Profile Image for Sarah.
2,608 reviews170 followers
February 5, 2017
Eden is back in what makes for a dark and disturbing read.

The author tackles two horrific crimes, rape and domestic abuse. Due to the nature of the story line it really does make for some uncomfortable reading, but as ever the author handles it wonderfully by letting us feel the full horror of what is happening to the victims without going into to much detail, especially the rape scenes.

Not only does Eden have her work cut out in her working life, she also has some worries of her own in her personal life due to Danny rearing his head up again. I think due to the story line with Danny, it would be better to have read the first in the series to get more of his background so you can get full enjoyment from the second in the series.

Carla’s story is one that really had me on the edge of my seat. Ryan her husband is such an evil monster and the reader’s heart really goes out to her in the story and you are every bit as scared for her life as she is.

Don’t Look Behind you is a dark and gripping story that is without a doubt going to be a huge hit with fans of the author. I love how the author doesn’t sugar coat the horrendous crimes that are found within these pages. You very much get to feel the emotions of the characters as well as the pure determination of Eden and her team in catching these monsters.

Another highly enjoyable read.

My thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Profile Image for Namita.
514 reviews34 followers
February 13, 2017
DON’T LOOK BEHIND YOU by author Mel Sherratt, is the second book in the Eden Berrisford series. It is a fast paced quick read and the author did not disappoint tackling rape and domestic abuse .

Three women are brutally attacked within days of each other . The serial rapist is escalating and getting bolder with each crime he commits. In comes Eden Berrisford with her team trying to catch the perpetrator before any more women are hurt . Meanwhile Eden also helps women at The Willow which is a refuge shelter helping battered women . Carla is a counsellor at the shelter and is in hiding from her own abusive husband Ryan who was just released from prison. Will Carla ever be able to escape her past and live her life without looking over her shoulder and will Eden be able to catch the serial rapist in time before somebody ends up dead?

The book was written beautifully with very well developed characters and the end left me wanting more. I would specially recommend this book to people who enjoy s a fast-paced police procedural story .

Many thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for this advance reader copy in exchange for my honest and fair review.

This and more reviews at https://chloesbooksblog.wordpress.com/
Profile Image for Debbie Allan.
76 reviews
February 16, 2017
I received a copy of Don't Look Behind You through NetGalley for an honest review. Thank you to Bookouture and Mel Sherratt for the opportunity.

Despite being Book #2 in a series this book can be read as a stand alone too. The fast paced text left me racing through with bated breath and on several occasions I caught myself peering out of the window before heading to bed to check no one was peering through the window at me!!!

The characters are so well developed, especially Detective Eden Berrisford. I was left wanting more. Cannot wait to read the next in the series.
Profile Image for Pat.
2,310 reviews404 followers
November 16, 2017
This was an excellent second instalment in the Eden Berrisford series. This book focuses very much on violence against women, both domestic abuse and random attacks and rapes. It was not a 'pleasant' book to read, some of the domestic abuse scenes were very disturbing. The book did, however, provide a vivid lens onto the subject and how hidden yet widespread it is.

Eden is on the trail of a serial attacker of women. He ambushes them and beats them and, if they can't fight him off, he rapes them. Meanwhile Carla is terrified. Her husband (or ex) has been recently released from prison and has vowed to come after her and make her pay.

Eden has also heard from her husband, Danny, who disappeared two years ago without explanation. It seems he owes money to a loan shark who is determined to get it - if not from Danny, then from his family. This situation is not resolved so it should feature in another episode. Eden is growing on me as an empathetic but strong and determined person and policewoman. Just for a change she is neither superwoman nor does she have a bunch of skeletons or hang-ups in her closet. She doesn't even have 'secrets', well not that we know of yet. So she comes across as pretty real which is a pleasant change. I'll certainly be looking out for the next book.
Profile Image for Sue Wallace .
5,898 reviews62 followers
February 3, 2017
Don't look behind you by mel Sherratt is a mystery and thriller and general fiction (adult) read.
She got into bed but sleep didn’t come easily. Every creak in the house made her alert. She was waiting for him to come and get her.
The small city of Stockleigh is in shock as three women are brutally attacked within days of each other. Are they random acts of violence or is there a link between the victims? For Detective Eden Berrisford, it’s her most chilling case yet.
The investigation leads Eden to cross paths with Carla, a woman trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to a cruel and abusive man ended in unimaginable tragedy. Her husband Ryan was imprisoned for his crimes but, now he’s out and coming for her.
An absolutely fantastic read with brilliant characters. I loved the story. Full of twists and plots. Highly recommended. 5*. I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book from netgalley
Profile Image for Noelle.
Author 6 books262 followers
February 7, 2017
My thanks to Bookouture & Netgalley for this ARC which I have chosen to read and review.

Eeeeeek! I have been desperately waiting for #TheReturnOfEden and I am over the friggin moon to say that it was well worth the wait!

Set in the fictional town of Stockleigh, the reader comes face to face with domesic violence, power, control, relationships – both positive and negative, intimidation, violation, fear, survival and retribution.

The grit is back in this fast paced, twisted read and you are immediately sucked in from the start! The story is mainly told from the third person POV, although you do get Carla speaking in first person as she reflects back on certain periods in her life. The storyline is dark, emotive, hard-hitting, explosive and gripping! Two threads are seamlessly woven leaving no doubt about the outcome. The reader gets drawn into the pages with no mercy being dished out – a lot of the story really touched a nerve and the realism left me feeling exposed and raw — how the hell does Mel Sherratt do that!!

This book was full of well developed characters that sat perfectly within the storyline. DS Eden Berrisford really comes into her own in this book and we see that behind her fiery passion, there is a vulnerable woman looking for answers in her own life. I love the dynamics of Eden, Jordan, Amy & Sean in the Community Intelligence Team but also enjoyed how Phil was thrown in to contrast the differences in policing – Phil being very much an old school neanderthal! Love a bit of conflict! Carla was a wonderful portrayal of a woman in fear of her life and what she endured really exposes the reader to just a few of the things a survivor of domestic violence goes through – and these women are survivors…not victims. I could go on and on about the characters but just want to say that the baddies….well they made my skin crawl! I was angry, repulsed and very protective of the women in this book….this is the sort of read you find yourself shouting out about!

What I also love, is that you can easily read this as a stand-alone, but The Girl’s Next Door was also a great read, so you may as well treat yourself to both! A whopping Hell Yeah recommendation from me and I seriously hope I don’t have to wait too long for the next book in this series!

Profile Image for Steph Lawrence.
393 reviews
February 7, 2017
It was a pleasure to be reacquainted with DS Eden Berrisford and her team.
I enjoyed this even more than the first one in the series, The Girls Next Door.

For me, one of the bonuses of this author’s writing is the way she makes me feel like I know everyone already. Like I’ve known them all my life. There’s no confusion about who’s who, no looking back and wondering where I’d seen the name before. The characters are deep and rounded, and some are very unsavoury.

Three women are attacked in the space of a few days, one more brutal than others. Are they connected cases? Eden and her team start looking into the details and following up the few leads they have.
And then there’s Carla. She’s trying to forget a past of domestic violence and family tragedy. Ryan, her ex, has recently been released from jail and Carla has started to feel like he will come looking for her. She is understandingly a bit paranoid when it comes to home security. Carla has been giving advice at a women’s refuge nearby, and she definitely knows what they go through on a daily basis.
Book one gave us an insight into Eden’s family. Her husband Danny had done a runner without any hint of a relationship problem. She’d tried to contact him back then without success. Now, two years later, she’s in a new relationship with Joe. Out of the blue she gets a text from Danny. We find out why Danny went away, and the consequences that may occur.

Some of the topics covered are difficult, and the author writes about them with much care and understanding.

It got quite nail-biting in the end and I had to make myself breathe.
I recommend this book 100%.
Mel Sherratt is one of my favourite authors.
I’ve enjoyed everything she has written and thoroughly recommend her books. There’s no denying that I’m a big fan of her and her alter-ego Marcie Steele
I think I may need to get some Dockers
Thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for my review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Sharon.
1,564 reviews
March 7, 2017
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for this review copy.

There has been a flurry recently of great books with great female Detective leads:- Angela Marson’s Kim Stone, Robert Bryndza’s Erica Foster; MJ Arlidge’s Helen Grace and now Mel Sherratt’s Eden Berrisford. This is the second book in the series, and whilst obviously it should be read in order, it could be read on its own.

Eden is caught up in a case of a sex attacker who is targeting women. He attacks them when they are on their own and sexually assaults them. He doesn’t speak and keeps his face covered and there are virtually no leads. Eden is also involved in a women’s refuge. Carla, the counsellor there, has her own problems when her abusive ex-husband is released from prisoner and is out to find her. Eden and her team are working tirelessly on the sex attacks case and finally get a breakthrough, but not before several women have been severely beaten.

We also again get to see Eden’s personal life and the fact that she also has her own problems to work through. Her husband, who left her two years ago without any explanation or contact since, suddenly reappears. What has he come back for?

This is a fantastic fast action book. It gets you at page one and doesn’t let up to the end. I love the character of Eden, and the relationship she has with her team (including Phil!!). I love the fact that she is a strong female character, and this shows early on in the book when she lets a husband who is beating his wife know in no uncertain terms what she would do to him if he did it again! The two main stories both keep pace with each other, and kept me going to get to the end, even though I didn’t want it to end!!

Great series, great writing, great book. Can’t wait for the next one! Five Stars!
Profile Image for Trevor.
38 reviews3 followers
February 5, 2017
I think this is Mel's tenth book and having read them all I can only say that they get better all the time.

Don't Look Behind You I think is Mel's best book to date. This is the second book featuring Detective Eden Berrisford and follows on seamlessly from the first one The Girls Next Door.

Although this book can be read as a stand alone book I would suggest that The Girls Next Door be read first as it carries on with Eden Berrisford's private life.

I don't want to give anything away regarding the story line but can thoroughly recommend it. It kept me gripped from the very beginning.
Profile Image for Susan Hampson.
1,522 reviews58 followers
February 6, 2017
I feel like I have had every bit of stuffing thoroughly kicked out of me, what an emotional and heart rendering read this is. We as woman may be equal to a lot in society these days but there are not many woman that match up to the brutal strength of a man if they are attacked. And where this ‘man’ that doesn’t deserve this title, has the advantage is in the planning before hand. His sheer presence is terrifying and it made my blood temperature sink. I felt as helpless as the victims as nothing was going to stop him. For his three victims, so far, they were just notches  he could look back on but for his victims this would be character changing that remoulded who they were. Terrifyingly, with each attack his brutality grew, so were the police going to be able to stop him before someone dies and were these women somehow connected?
This was certainly a case for The Major Crimes Team, D.S. Eden Berrisford and her D.C.’s Jordan Ashcroft, Amy Nicholls and new comer Phil Sillitoe, who was not happy to be on board. It isn’t long before the story turns to domestic abuse and a local refuge where fear seems to cling to the walls and rightly so. How can you escape a creature that is more ferial than a man? Especially when he is let out of his cage.
I love Mel Sherratt’s books as she doesn’t hold back, she tackles the taboo subjects that are normally swept under the carpet and tells it all in such a way that it feels more like an account of real events rather than a story. This isn’t an over long novel but every word seems like it has been selected to give the biggest impact and well I am only just getting back up from being bowled over. This is the second book in this series and I simply don’t know how she is going to improve on this. Far the best in all her books so far. A superb read!
Profile Image for Elvan.
644 reviews2 followers
February 15, 2017

Carla Gregory is a domestic violence survivor and now counsellor at a women's shelter for other victims of domestic abuse. Her husband Ryan has just been released from prison after many years and she can't shake the feeling she is being watched.

Tanya is routinely beaten by her husband Vic yet she refuses to move into a local women's shelter. Carla has tried to counsel Tanya about the risk she is taking returning to a man with a history of violence yet she is drawn back to her life with Vic.

DI Eden Berrisford and her team of detectives have their hands full trying to catch a rapist who is assaulting women in the Stockleigh area. The police have few clues to work with and worry that the level of violence is escalating with each attack.

I like how the author followed these three women as events unfold in this action filled novel. The story's focus on domestic violence and random acts of violence towards women walking alone at night is handled with chilling effectiveness. Berrisford and her team are up to the challenge but the DI's efforts are hampered by an assailant skilled in hiding his identity and home life challenges of her own.

This is an addictive read. As each woman finds herself with only a few blocks to walk or a quick shortcut to take to get home the tension builds because the reader knows someone is lurking in the shadows. There was a point in the novel when I thought the violence of multiple attacks felt gratuitous but it did make for a compelling read when you compared these assaults with the stories of domestic violence, many equally as random and violent.

A page turner to be sure and a series I look forward to following.

eARC received with thanks from Bookouture via NetGalley for review.
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