In A Thoughtful Woman by K. T. Findlay, Sally Mellors is out for justice…
Thank you to Rachel of Rachel’s Random Resources for asking me to take part in this book tour and giving me a free digital copy in return for an honest review.
The justice system is an intriguing beast. We expect it to be fair, which is why we allow it resolve our disputes instead of simply taking revenge ourselves, but watch an individual case play out in court and it can seem more like a high stakes game between lawyers than the pursuit of absolute truth. And if you think it’s a game, do you still accept the result if you lose? Is that still justice? At what point will a perfectly normal, perfectly decent person snap, and what happens when they do? Is it possible to plunge into the darkness of revenge and remain the normal, decent, happy person you were before you started? Sally Mellors is about to find out.
– a note from K T Findlay on the inspiration behind A Thoughtful Woman
A Thoughtful Woman follows Sally Mellors and Emma Nixon, who become friends when Emma’s husband is killed by a drunk driver. Sally’s husband was killed three years previously by the same man’s father. Both cases involved the same lawyer and the same policeman, who ‘lost’ vital evidence that let both men go free. Sally decides to take revenge and hunt down these men, and asks Emma to help. Meanwhile, unknown to her, Sally and Emma are being watched by two agents, hunting down a missing man and his diary.
Wow! What a read! This is a rollercoaster of a ride, with a gripping final chase scene between Sally and the police. There are lots of characters to keep track of, and I was very glad for the maps at the start to help me visualise Throcking and the surrounding area. This story is set in the 1980s, and starts with a reminder that mobile phones didn’t exist and forensic science isn’t the same as it is now.
I really liked Sally Mellors. She is a free spirit, and Emma is helped greatly by her impulsive nature. With Sally’s influence, Emma becomes much more relaxed and takes up cycling, goes to the theatre and tries new things. She seemed like a really fun person to spend time with! I also really sympathised with her and Emma’s plight and their need to see justice done. I very much admired Sally’s determination to see things through (even becoming an assistant to Miss Helen, who “offers specialised services to gentlemen who like strong women”).
There is also an intriguing side plot as we follow the story from two agents, Freddy and James, who are watching Emma and Sally with interest. They seem to be the only ones who know what’s actually going on (apart from Sally herself) and I loved reading their banter and in-jokes. The scene with the member of the Greater Throcking Birdwatching Club (“twitcher or bird watcher?”) made me laugh out loud — and you can read an extract of this chapter over on Tessa Talks Books!
This was a fantastic read and I stayed up late reading to find out what happens! I spent the whole book willing for Sally to ‘win’, and the chase at the end was thrilling and very well-written. While you have to suspend belief in places (and remind yourself that it’s set in the 1980s), I can’t wait to read the next book in the Sally Mellors series, An Implacable Woman, out later this year.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but where’s the fun in that?
Artist Sally Mellors has planned the perfect revenge, but with two secret agents on her tail, and her best friends running the police investigation, getting away with murder is going to be tricky…
Everybody loves Sally. She’s a funny, generous, warm hearted friend, without a nasty bone in her body.
Unknown to her friends, Sally’s discovered another side to herself, cool headed and relentless, as she hunts down the three men who killed her husband.
But Sally’s not the only one with an interest in the trio. Unknown to her, two agents have arrived in town, urgently hunting a missing man and his diary, which could blow their organisation apart. Their best leads are the very men that Sally’s hunting, and she’s getting in the way…
About the author, K. T. Findlay
I’m the author of the Sally Mellors adventures and the Prince Wulfstan books.
Ever since I first saw James Burke’s wonderful Connections series, I’ve been fascinated by the way a single new idea can change the course of history. The more I learned, the more intrigued I became about how some ideas stuck while others initially sank without trace, only to resurface perhaps hundreds of years later to change everything. The first Prince Wulfstan book, In Two Minds, explores this idea not just by introducing new ideas into a medieval society, but by showing just how difficult it would be to pull that off in practice.
I’m equally fascinated by the justice system. People expect it to be fair, which is why we allow it to resolve our disputes instead of simply taking revenge ourselves. But watch an individual case play out in court and it can seem more like a high stakes game between lawyers than the pursuit of absolute truth. And if you think it’s a game, do you still accept the result if you lose? Is that still justice? At what point will a perfectly normal, perfectly decent person snap, and what happens when they do? Is it possible to plunge into the darkness of revenge and remain the normal, decent, happy person you were before you started? Enter Sally Mellors, who’s going to give it a damned good try in A Thoughtful Woman.
I live on a small farm where I fit in my writing alongside fighting the blackberry, and trying to convince the quadbike that killing its rider isn’t a core part of its job description.