When I Lost You

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 09 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

Oh wow!! What a book. Not the usual police procedural but something different with an investigator Nell and Crime Analyst Carla. A new concept shown where the analyst digs through mountains of electronic data to assist the field investigators.

A young couple with a dead child suspected of unnatural causes brought pathologist Eve to the picture. 6 threatening letters written by Mary embroiled Eve deeper into another mystery of her past reports. Nell and Carla investigated.

A debut by Merilyn Davies got my interest soaring and my passions fired up. I love the way the story got me thinking about the possibilities and suspects. The chapters written about the past was an added flavor.

The story had two strong women analyzing the crime from different angles. There was a slow building up of trust. The author being an analyst has used her experience in the story, and that showed in the way this story was written. It was leaps different from the rest.

My passions were at its peak when the analyst showed her humane side and hid certain data. I was angry because she was supposed to be a police woman of sorts before other relationships. I kept taping on her name (read tapping the screen of my kindle) hoping to knock some sense into her.

Such were the emotions as I read through this intriguing one of a kind crime drama which was quite a convoluted story. You have to read it to believe it.
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This is a novel that I was so keen to read and I’m really pleased to say that it lived up to my expectations. This is a novel that centres around an infant’s death, and the pathologist who believes the baby was murdered by one of her parents then begins receiving threatening letters. The novel is told in two timelines and looks at two teenagers who are in the care system, and in the present is the case looking at the murdered baby. I found this one of those novels that I just couldn’t put down, it had me hooked all the way through. I had my suspicions at various points in the novel but it was only a little while before the reveal that I finally put everything together. This novel is a mix of police procedural and thriller and it’s such a gripping and engaging read. I’m really happy to see that this is actually going to be the first book in the series as I loved the detectives and I can’t wait to read more!
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A crime fiction novel which tackles hard subjects within the complex investigation spawned by the death of a young child. 

Eve is a pathologist who is sure that a young child has lost her life due to the mother's actions despite the father being less than co-operative. The diagnosis is complicated when a letter is received which has details of the case that no-one should know and accusing Eve of wrongly convicting a mother in the past. If that wasn't enough intrigue we have an older timeline relating to two teenaged girls residing in a care home. Fortunately the author brings the strands together in the end although I admit my credulity was stretched.

This appears to be the first in a series and I do have to applaud the depiction of the police, all the characters are realistically drawn with believable dialogue in evidence throughout so I'm hopeful that the next episode will be a touch less convoluted to allow the great writing its true place in the spotlight.
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I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest, independent review.

"A young couple in Oxford are the lead suspects for the murder of their only child, and it’s up to detective duo DS Nell Jackson and Crime Analyst Carla Brown to unpick the truth. So when the forensic specialist working on the case starts receiving threatening letters containing information only the police would know, the investigation takes on a new level of urgency. Does someone want revenge? How far will they go to expose the truth? As Carla and Nell dig deeper, it soon becomes clear that this case isn’t the first of its kind. And this time the danger lies closer to home."

I was a little confused with the plotline. The story opens with the murder of a child, but the story does not focus on this. However, as the story moved on further, and the main story developed, I got to grips with the story. 

I did find the story confusing at times - there were a lot of characters to keep track of and I found myself getting confused who was who at times. 

However, I must say that the subjects of child loss and child abuse were handled sensitively and with care.

The story came together nicely in the end, but just a little confusing for me unfortunately.
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Everything changes when a child dies. Kelly- Anne lost her child. Forensic pathologist Eve feels Kelly- Anne killed her own child. DCI Bremer along with the crime analyst Carla and DI Nell investigate the case. But things quickly change when Eve receives letters pertaining to the case. As the investigation progress, it brings out dark secrets that are 35 years old.
A debut novel by Merilyn Davies. Being a former crime analyst Merilyn Davies brings depth to the story. It’s an unusual story with a mind-bending twist. 
Police procedurals have a tendency of going flat but this one keeps the pace and the thrill till the last page. I am sure for many people some part suspense will be an easy guess. But there is an attraction that keeps you hooked to the book. The author’s writing is crisp and articulate which contributed to this effect. 
One of the good things about the book is its limited number of characters. That’s why all the characters received a justified amount of space. You can understand the motivation behind each of the characters. 
The main theme of the book is child abuse and branches somewhat to domestic violence. It also gives you a perspective on how child abuse shapes the mind of a child. This can be detrimental to not just relatives but society at large. The author played in the past and present format. The chapters in the past give readers' reflection of the thoughts of an abused child. The past and the present merge seamlessly forming an intriguing climax. 
Overall, it is a compelling mystery with real issues of society which seem minor but how it affects society.
I give this book 4 stars.  

I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Cornerstone for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A great book, I really enjoyed it.
Nell and Paul are called the death of a young baby, they are greeted by pathologist Eve who is convinced the mother is guilty of murdering her child. 
Nell is unconvinced and when Eve receives threatening letters, the plot thickens.
The story is told from two aspects. Mary & Aoife are in a children’s home and become fast friends. They befriend the local cafe owner, but he subjects them to horrific abuse, ending in Aoife’s pregnancy.
The two girls hide their secret until they have to eventually have to tell Alf, the cafe owner. His actions define the rest of Mary’s life.
How do the two stories fit together? 
A well told and intriguing storyline.
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DS Nell Jackson and PC Paul Mackintosh are called to a flat in Oxford with a report of the death of a baby.  Sudden infant deaths are notoriously difficult to deal with, but the appearance of a pathologist makes the situation worse.

They are met at the flat by pathologist Eve Graham who indicates to them that she does not believe it to be a SID case, therefore murder.  Even though it appears the father is aggressive in his demeanor, she indicates that the mother is responsible.  They are not sure what to make of this.

Unbeknownst to the officers working on the case an anonymous letter  to Eve at her place of work.  She hands it over and says it is not the first.  She is accused of lying in previous cases when mothers are imprisoned for murder.  Analyst Carla is asked to look into it.  The fact that she knows Eve socially, does not come to the fore.

In the past 6 years, Eve has given evidence in court and three women have been sent to prison.  One of those was released recently after having her appeal heard and the judgment overturned.  It appears that she is innocent.

Eve has a very good reputation as a brilliant pathologist and commands respect.  Therefore, how did things go so wrong?

To avoid giving the plot away, I urge you to read this yourself.  You won't be bored and it is a very good read.

I chose to read this book and all opinions in this review are all my own and completely unbiased.  My thanks to NetGalley for this opportunity.
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This book is told from 2 viewpoints. The police are trying to solve a murder of the father of a baby who he is thought to have killed. Eve, a pathologist., has investigated several baby deaths but has started getting some disturbing letters, accusing her of hiding a secret from the past.
Meanwhile we flip back to Mary and aoife, two girls placed into care, who become firm friends. However there trusting nature leads to disaster.
These 2 storylines are cleverly interlinked and we see how the relationships are all intertwined. This book kept me guessing to the end....I absolutely loved it and thoroughly recommend.
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There are not many books to prioritise over work but this was one of them. At every opportunity I took snatched minutes and hours to devour When I Lost You. 

Following the sad death of a baby, there are poison pen letters suggesting that the pathologist on the case is compromised. 
The story is told in two timelines. 1) Now – from the view of the police analyst Carla Brown. And 2) Then, many years earlier starting with two girls Mary and Aoife in a care home. It's unclear at the beginning how the two timelines meet, but when they do it is explosive. 

A fantastic debut. 

I really hope to see more of DS Nell Jackson and Crime Analyst Carla Brown.


Thank you so much the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy in return for an honest review.
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This book should come with a warning, graphic crime scene descriptions, some very tough to read. Details of murder, infant death, and abuse.

However, this doesn’t take away just how brilliant this book was. 
A story spanning decades, the devastating death of a child and the horror that follows. 

A strong storyline with great characters.
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It took me a good few chapters to get into this one but by chapter 6 I was hooked because I had a feeling I was in for a shock.

The book starts in the Present day with a baby that is found dead,the police pathologist points her finger at the very young and clearly traumatised mother Kelly-Anne.

We learn that several years ago there was another mother convicted of murder, she had been convicted by the evidence of that same pathologist - Eve.

As the book jumps to the past, to some 35 ago we learn a story of two abused young girls who meet in a care home and form a bond which will connect them for the rest of their lives. Will this be significant to the story?

When DS Nell Jackson and her colleague Paul attend an unexpected death scene of baby Georgie, they like many of us expect it to be a tragic case of sudden infant death, only for the pathologist (Eve) to quickly determine that it's a murder case. Nell is dealing with a new DI, a hotshot catapulted into Thames Valley from the Met, and PTSD from an attack she is desperate to put behind her. Meanwhile we meet Crime Analyst, Carla and she is finding herself challenged, by both her DI's expansion of her role and Nell's hostility, while at home her boyfriend is desperate for her to settle down and become a mother. 

Coming together we have a team work together while they investigate just why pathologist Eve has accused more mothers of murder than statistically likely and what, if anything, this case has to do with a tragic case of child grooming several decades ago. Is it anything to do with the letters from M which begin to appear? Who is M? 

The book takes on the themes of motherhood, abandonment, child abuse, child death, PTSD and in doing so creates an unputdownable book that is worthy of giving your times up to read!
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This was a good read even though I had to read some bits again. Twists that you do not expect from the past and then the present day. Keeps you turning the pages to find out more.
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My thanks to Random House U.K. Cornerstone /Arrow for an eARC via NetGalley of Merilyn Davies’ ‘When I Lost You’ in exchange for an honest review. As the price was appealing, I elected to purchase its ebook/e-audiobook combination for an immersive experience.

This is a police procedural set in Oxford. When a couple are accused of murdering their baby, Crime Analyst Carla Brown and D.S. Nell Jackson are assigned to the investigation.  However, what appears to be a straightforward case is thrown into doubt when the lead forensic pathologist receives a letter accusing her of misleading the police. It transpires that she has received a number of similar letters.

Aside from the investigation, we get tantalising glimpses into the mind of the letter writer. Also, there are flashbacks to Portsmouth in the early 1980s and events concerning two teenage girls, who were residents of a care home and groomed and abused by an older local cafe owner.

The novel deals with difficult subjects: infant death, child abuse, and murder. It is a complex plot though it comes together beautifully building to a shattering climax.

Merilyn Davies has worked as a Crime Analyst for the Met so has firsthand knowledge of this particular role. I found this a very accomplished debut and am hoping that this will be the first of many from her pen. 

Its cover art is very striking and atmospheric with the rocking horse toy and shadowy figure glimpsed through rain-splattered window.
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I so very nearly gave up early n with this complicated and multi layered story but stuck with it to the end. I’m not a whole lot clearer now and right through it I had to think who was who so many times it got annoying. 
Difficult subject matter which was sensitivity handled but on the whole not one of my favourites.
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Although this book is essentially about infant death, child abuse and murder it isn’t as dark as that seems, possibly due to the good writing and tight plotting.  Even though I worked out pretty early how the story would unfold, this didn’t diminish my enjoyment.  I particularly liked the two police women and hope to see more of them in future books.
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This is or has the potential to be a great storyline however I literally was so confused! Told from different points of view I spent the majority of the time wondering who was doing or thinking what!
It really prevented me from connecting with the book at all!
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DS Nell Jackson arrives at a house to  investigate the death of a child, Pathologist Eve Graham insists that it wasn’t a natural death but Nell is unsure. When Eve accuses the mother, a teenager, rather than the forty year old bullying boyfriend, her doubts increase even more. On looking into Eve’s recent cases, she realises that the mother has always been to blame. What she discovers on further investigation is truly terrifying.

Interspersed with the current investigation is a separate tale, of ‘then’, involving two young girls from a children’s home, one of whom is pregnant. As the story progresses, it becomes clear that the fate of this baby is linked to all the cases brought to court by Eve.

A psychological thriller of the highest order with a conclusion that kept me on the edge of my seat! Very enjoyable.
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I have read a story very similar to this one before, unfortunately I can't remember the title. I enjoyed the story the first time and this one was interesting but a bit of an anti-climax,
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An enjoyable book and interesting to include a forensic analyst more centre stage than usual. However I did find it confusing at times particularly with the shifting timelines
Thank you to netgalley and Random house for an advance copy of this book
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I found this one quite difficult to get along with. The plot was quite confusing and there were times when I think a bit more of an edit might have been useful, as there were a few scenes where the characters’ actions didn’t always make sense. The police characters are well rounded and feel quite three-dimensional, which was a real positive as that is not always the case in crime thrillers, and I do feel that the overall themes of the novel were dealt with well. I think more could have been done to explain the quite complicated ending, which required the reader to accept some quite out there ideas that weren’t explained in much detail.
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