This is Miranda Dickinson’s first novel writing as M J White and her first crime novel, after many great romcom novels.
Hannah Perry is eight years old and lives in St Just, a village in Suffolk. She shares a house with her mum Ashleigh and her mum’s partner Shaun and a bedroom with her sisters Lily and Ruby.
Cora Lael does research for the University of South Suffolk’s Cognitive Psychology unit. Since she was sixteen, she’s had an ability to hear voices from objects. She’s an ‘emotional synaesthete’ and is currently helping her boyfriend, Professor Daniel Gold, with research into this.
When Hannah goes missing, Cora wants to see if she can use her unusual talent to help find her. She wants to see if she can hear her voice before it’s too late.
The chapters of the book are written from different points of view – Hannah Perry, various police officers (Acting Detective Sergeant Rob Minshull, Detective Inspector Joel Anderson, Detective Constable Kate Bennett, Detective Constable Dave Wheeler) and Cora Lael. This is good, as you see various perspectives on the events. Hannah’s voice is well-written and believable too.
There are a lot of police who feature in the book, but they are distinctive from each other and again very well-written. I especially liked Rob Minshull, who has just been put into a more senior position as Hannah goes missing. This contrasts well with Joel Anderson, who is more experienced, having served twenty years with CID, but he hadn’t saved a missing boy seven years ago and still lives with the guilt.
This book is great, it’s clever, witty, exciting, well-paced and has superb dialogue. The story is easy to get into, with really good characters and you want to read on and find out what happens.
I felt it was very interesting to have Cora with her gift, which made for a different take on a crime/thriller book. Overall, I really enjoyed every aspect of this book and hope there will be more Cora Lael books to come from M J White, as I’ll be first in the queue to get them.
9.5 out of 10
The Secret Voices
They said they’d keep me safe.
They said, ‘It’s okay, Hannah. You know you can trust me.’
When eight-year-old Hannah Perry goes missing in the small Suffolk village of St Just, the community is rocked. Heading up the investigation is Acting DS Rob Minshull, but he’s out of his depth in a case that seems to mirror the disappearance of a young boy, seven years ago. That search ended in unimaginable tragedy…and Minshull is praying that history won’t be repeated.
But with an investigation full of dead ends, and a kidnapper taunting the police with sinister deliveries of Hannah’s belongings and cryptic notes, the young girl’s life hangs perilously in danger.
Until Dr Cora Lael enters the picture. A psychologist with a unique ability, Cora’s rare gift allows her to sense emotions attached to discarded objects. When she is shown the first of Hannah’s belongings, she hears the child’s piercing scream.
With few leads on the case, could Cora prove Hannah’s only hope? And as time runs out, can they find Hannah before history repeats itself…?
A twisty, original and utterly gripping detective thriller that fans of James Oswald and LJ Ross will love. Don’t miss the crime thriller debut from the bestselling women’s fiction author, Miranda Dickinson.
Author Bio – MJ White is the crime pen name of the internationally bestselling author Miranda Dickinson. To date she has sold over one million books worldwide and has been translated into sixteen languages. Miranda has always been a huge fan of crime fiction and The Secret Voices marks the start of a new and exciting departure for her writing.