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(Detective Jessie Blake #1)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Call it mother’s intuition, but I knew she was dead the moment she was late home. As I listened to her phone ring and ring, that’s when I knew for sure. My little girl was gone.

Twenty years ago, Sophie Nicoll never came home from school. Days later her body was found in a shallow grave on a remote farm a few miles from her hometown. Two boys from her school were found gu
Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published March 21st 2019 by Bookouture
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3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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Louise Wilson
Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Detective Jessie Nicoll never came home from school. Days later her body was found in a shallow grave on a remote farm. Two boys from school were found guilty. Now, schoolgirl Shannon Ross has vanished from a small town in the Scottish Highlands. It's Detective Jessie Blake's first big case since she joined the Perthshire police. She's more used to working in London. Jessie lives in fear about people finding out about her past. But it seems that there is more than Jessie with big secrets that th ...more
Heartlands by Kerry Watts is the first in the Detective Jessie Blake series and I was disappointed. The potential is huge; the reality is, there are way too many characters to keep up with, the dialogue is disjointed, jumping all over the place and the characters are wooden and featureless. The book started with an horrific murder and twenty years later another young woman vanished from Inverlochty in the Scottish Highlands. Detective Jessie Blake, with her own secrets, is tasked with investigat ...more
Mandy White
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
Heartlands by Kerry Watts had a really good story. Unfortunately it was really hard to get into and enjoy for me. I found that there was too much going on at once and too many characters to get my head around. There was also multiple timelines happening and it was hard to keep up. I found it a bit too predictable as well, the ending not a real surprise.

I think that the series has potential, a Detective in Scotland with secrets of her own. A teenage girl goes missing and is found dead. There is a
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartlands is the first book in the DI Jessie Blake series based in Perthshire, and although there was much potential I found it wasn't as enjoyable as I had hoped. My primary issue was that the plot was very convoluted and over-complicated; sometimes less is more. There are two separate storylines that the author hints at being related to one another in some way, but actually, they aren't at all relevant to one another. It's probably a good time to say that I am a huge fan of challenging, compl ...more
Mar 21, 2019 rated it liked it
If I take the book apart then this has a good arc of a lost teen and a murder mystery at its core. A disappearing child similar to what happened 20 years ago calls DI Jessie Blake and Dylan to investigate. Dual timelines give it another intriguing layer.

There were few things that caught my eye in this book. The story was set in Scotland, I liked the new locale. The main character, the lead detective Jesse Blake had been written with an intriguing detail by Author Kerry Watts. Jessie was quite a
Janet Newport
Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for this arc.

I did not find this to be the shocking crime thriller it is publicized as being. I didn't even find it to be halfway compelling. Maybe my mind just isn't nimble enough today to read this. I don't know....

I found the first 60-65% of the book terribly disjointed. Too many characters, too many stories, simple characters acting robotically..... When will this start making any kind of sense? I stopped for lunch. Then I took the dog to the vet's office.
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to say the author made me work hard in the beginning. It means that I needed all my concentration because there were a lot of characters and it took some time to place them in the story. Once I had given them their rightful place in my mind I was really sucked into the book.

The author takes us from the past to the present and back again. To me both storylines were equally fascinating but sometimes I had the feeling there was a little leap and I did not always quite understand how we went
Feb 22, 2019 rated it liked it
3 stars

The reader knows from the outset who killed the teenage girl named Sophie. They then learn what happened to them.

Twenty years later, another young woman named Shannon Ross goes missing. Detective Jessie Blake is assigned to the investigation. She has a secret in her past.

The writing in this book was good, but the plotting left something to be desired. The transitions were poorly done. The way the story skipped around was disorienting. There wasn't a clue that the book skipped ahead twenty
Julie Lacey
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great start to a new series.
Jessie has moved to Inverlochty to forget her past and is soon involved in a case where a teenage girl has gone missing.
There are other chapters set in the nineties which tell the story of the repercussions following the death of another teenage girl.
The story does jump around a bit but it’s pretty easy to follow.
I’d have liked to know about about Jessie’s past but hopefully that will come in the next book.
The story slowly unwinds and when the truth com
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A new detective series from Kerry Watts. I was really looking forward to reading this book and I am really glad to say WOW. I was hooked from the first page and could not put this book down. Tapping my kindle like a demented wood pecker. Reading late into the night. It is a story of a school girl that goes missing and her body is found two days later. DI JESSIE BLAKE is given the lead as she has recently been promoted. Jessie and her team find striking similarities in a case from twenty years ag ...more
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
treating complex issues and problems as if they were much simpler than they really are.

This was uninspired storytelling. Not worthy of a clever, witty, humorous review.
Skip it.

Thanks to NetGalley for the free download in exchange for an unbiased review.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for allowing me to read this arc.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I was absolutely hooked from page one. I had to really focus in the beginning to grasp who was who. But I rushed back to it every time I had to put it down.
An ending you won't see coming. I definitely recommend it.
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have just this second finished this book and I had to come straight on here and try to formulate some sort of coherent review….erm that is not happening! I went into this book with an open mind, not re-reading the blurb or any reviews and MY GOD it paid off!!

Now there are a LOT of characters thrown at you in the beginning and it will take a chapter to get used to everyone and how they are all linked. But I loved it! It meant I had a huge pool of suspects and intrigue to go with it and I loved
Mar 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
When Shannon Ross, a teenage girl, disappears out of thin air, it is up to Detective Jessie Blake and her partner, Dylan to find out what has become of the missing girl. Is she alive? Did someone kill her? What does Shannon’s disappearance have to do with another case almost two decades ago? Are both cases related somehow?

These are just some of the questions that are left unanswered at the start of this new series by Kerry Watts. The mystery surrounding Shannon’s disappearance is really held str
Elaine Tomasso
I would like to thank Netgalley and Bookouture for an advance copy of Heartlands, the first novel to feature DI Jessie Blake of Perthshire Police.

When teenager Shannon Ross goes missing from the Perthshire village of Inverlochty DI Jessie Blake is called in to investigate. It is her first major case as an inspector.

Heartlands is a bit of a mixed bag. There is a good plot in there somewhere but it gets lost in the execution. The story of Shannon’s disappearance is intercut with the progress of Da
Between The Pages Book Club (Gemma M)
Heartlands is book one in a brand new series following detective Jessie Blake and her work partner Dylan. They work together well and have a great relationship in their first case of this series.
At first I was a little bit overwhelmed with the amount of characters in this story but I soon got to know each and every character. The story is looking into the disappearance of a teenage girl named Shannon. The story flicks back to a previous, similar case throughout which could link to this present c
Margaret Duke-Wyer
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I struggled with this book. I started to read it and got a little way through it and abandoned it. Perhaps I was not concentrating enough. A week later I revisited the book and this time I persevered. Within the first few chapters I was confused again – far too many characters to keep track of and then to add to the confusion we have a twenty year gap in two separate story lines. In the historic timeline we learn that two schoolboys raped and murdered a beautiful little girl, they were tried and ...more
Donna Hines
Mar 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, netgalley
Guilt before innocence in the death of Sophie has rocked a small community and upended the lives of two young boys.
It's been twenty years and still the answers are not uncovered nor unearthed and now another young lady Shannon has gone missing.
What on Earth is happening in the Scottish Highlands area?
As Jessie is placed on the case she learns that she's not the only one with something to hide and certainly not after locating Shannon's dead body.
Big Secrets in a Small Town will blow you away!
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a difficult book for me to review as I didn’t really enjoy so much, if felt very over complicated and I did find my attention wandering at times. The writing wasn’t bad but it seemed that there was far too many characters making it times a bit hard to follow and although I like my thrillers to keep me guessing this was a bit too much. Overall perhaps this just wasn’t a book for me but others may enjoy it more. A quick read and worthy of 3 stars.
My thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for
Jenn Brouwer
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book had a decent storyline and was reasonably suspenseful but that is about all i can say on the good side of things. There were WAY to many players in this game, names mentioned as a side note, an entirely strange side about what one can guess was an abusive or stalker ex of the main detective that had no relevance and went no where, side phone calls that the main character was nervous or afraid of for some reason that also went no where. It was complicated to follow with all the names an ...more
This one was just ok for me. I found that it was a little slow and had to may characters and seem to drag to the end
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 rounded up for good potential new series

This one is really hard to rate. I believe this series will get good as it hits its stride. The main problem was trying to lay too much of a foundation in the opening book. Too many characters, storylines and timeframes left me confused here and there. Some loose threads were left unexplained and have me thinking that they will be revisited in the next story. Too much, too soon, and that’s a shame and may scare some off...

It’s a good premise and the wr
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 rounded up to 5

Overall: Totally captivating and addictive read. I loved this book! There are two storylines. One routed in the past about a brutally raped and murdered school girl and her young killers as they face trial and juvenile detention. One in the present, a missing school girl, Shannon, baring all the similarities of the case from the past - or so it seems. Di Jessie Blake leads the investigation, along with DC Dylan Logan. What a great team they make! Jessie is clever and driven (
Susan Hunter
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A gripping read from start to finish. A shocking rape and murder of a young girl, Sophie, 20 years previously committed by two young boys certainly grabbed my attention. Set in Scotland, fast forward to present day and a young girl has gone missing. . DI Jessie Blake is in charge of the investigation, a great character, who I can't wait to read more about.. Several characters were weaved into this intriguing plot which provided a whole host of suspects. A great read with lies, secrets, deceit be ...more
Kelly-Jo Sweeney
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I thought that I wasn't going to get on well with this book. To begin with, I found the huge amount of characters that were introduced in such a short space of time quite confusing and with quite a few of them, there wasn't anything obvious to make them stand out. I found myself flicking back and forth trying to decide who was who. It's a bit unfortunate really, as I suspect that this might put some people off, which would be a real shame as once you get past that initial ph ...more
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
My thanks to Bookouture for an eARC via NetGalley of ‘Heartlands’, the first in Kerry Watts’ DI Jessie Blake series.

When 15-year old Shannon goes missing on her way home from school in Inverlochty in the Scottish Highlands, DI Jessie Blake is part of the investigating team. She has only recently relocated from London and clearly has a troubled past that is teased and presumably will be developed in later books.

In a series of flashbacks we learn of the case of teenager Sophie Nicoll, who in 1996
Andrea Pole
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Heartlands by Kerry Watts is the first book of a series centred on DI Jessie Blake. This is a fast paced whodunit that will keep you guessing until the very end, as the suspects are not only numerous, but shrouded in secrecy. This is a novel that will pull you in and will not let go.

Teenager Shannon Ross has gone missing from her small town in the Scottish Highlands. The case exhibits some eerie parallels to the disappearance, rape and murder of Sophie Nicoll over twenty years before, and both i
Shelleen Toland
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-read
20 years ago Sophie did not come home from school. a few days later her body shows up and 2 boys from her school are found guilty of her murder.
Present day Shannon goes missing. Detective Jessica Blake is on the case. Jessica has a past that she has kept secret.Also the reason she has moved and joined this police force.
Shannon's body is found in the water and as the investigation is ongoing more secrets are unraveled in the town. Affairs, a secret identity are 1 of the few things going on. You m
Tracy Wood
Mar 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
This is a very easy book to read, it flows and takes you along with it. I did find it a little over populated at the beginning when all the different parts of the story were put in place but it soon sorted itself out. The storyline focused on the disappearance of a fifteen-year-old schoolgirl and had the potential to be intriguing but as her fate was disclosed in the precis it took away any suspense which was a great shame.

The two detectives were likeable and with no superior officers to distrac
Abbey Brown
Mar 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heartlands by Kerry Watts, is the first book of the new DI Jesse Blake series. A definite must read thriller for 2019!

The story starts with a glimpse of a crime that occurred 20 years prior. Two boys were convicted of the rape and murder of Sophie Nicoll. Jumping then, to the current disappearance of Shannon Ross, taking place in a small town in the Scotish Highlands. Leading the case is a young new detective, DI Jessie Blake. Right away there are simialrities between these two different cases.
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.Kerry Watts was born and grew up in a small town in the East of Scotland where she still lives today. She is always writing and carries a little notebook and pen with her wherever she goes because at her age ideas need to be captured before they disappear.
Kerry specialises in crime fiction because she enjoys pushing the boundaries of what it is to be human. The nature versus nurture debate fasci