Tastes Like Fear
Hardcover: 416 pages
7 April, 2016
With the unprecedented success of her first two Marnie Rome novels – Someone Else’s Skin and No Other Darkness… the former winning the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year in 2015 – it would be fair to say that Sarah Hilary has burst onto the Crime Fiction scene. With her third Rome novel, however, it isn’t so much a burst as an explosion, such is the way that the author has not only gone from strength-to-strength in developing her protagonists, but also managed to imbue even greater dark-riddled depths into her storylines.
The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene. She’s a runaway who doesn’t want to be found. She only wants to go home. To the one man who understands her; gives her shelter. Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house. He’s the head of her new family. He’s Harm.
From the moment the first page is turned, the reader is totally and utterly hooked and the manner in which Hilary manages to not only sustain but further build the tension is something many others can draw lessons from. Never is there a dull moment during Tastes Like Fear and that is largely because Sarah Hilary fills each line with emotion and each scene with intelligently crafted scenarios and counter-scenarios that leave everybody guessing but in a very, very good way.
This is not to say, however, that the novel is any way confusing, far from it. The clarity and feeling that is poured into each character makes them sparkle, whilst even the frontrunners of Rome and her Sergeant, Noah Jake, have enough mystique left in their respective boxes for us to demand to know more and more about how they tick, but also wanting to take the time to discover it by degrees and throughout yet to be written titles.
Sharp, intelligent, engrossing and – above all – highly entertaining, Tastes Like Fear is one hell of a read that is guaranteed to have you gasping for breath by its climax.