When I Lost You

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Member Reviews

I found this book quite gripping and enjoyed the different times in which it was set, taking the story forwards and back wards. It was quite hard to follow at the beginning but as the story unravelled it drew me in more and more.

A good psychological thriller

Thanks for allowing me to review this book
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When I Lost You is a gripping, tense and harrowing read that I found hard to put down.

This book deals with the difficult issues of sexual abuse and grooming which made for difficult reading at times. The author does handle the situations sensitively without ever glorifying it for the story. This also makes the story seem more real and therefore emotional as you feel that this could actually have happened.

I enjoyed learning more about the analyst’s role which I didn’t know much about before starting this book. This also provided the reader with a different view of a police procedural than a normal detective one. The author used to be an analyst which made it more fascinating for me and made me wonder which parts of the book were based on her experiences.

One of the things I most enjoyed were the two strong females, Carla and Nell, in this book. I thought they made a great team and I liked following them as they solved the difficult case. I thought they handled everything they came up against with great skill and I loved that they were able to show everyone how capable they both were.

This is a book that draws you in immediately and I found very hard to put down. I kept promising myself I’d read just one more chapter but then kept having to read one more and then another and another. The ending was very clever and took me completely by surprise which I always love.

This is the author’s debut novel and I can’t wait to read more from her in the future. I hope we see more of Carla and Nell too as I thought they made a great team.

Huge thanks to Rachel Kennedy for my copy of this book and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
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I really enjoyed this book read it in two days as it had me hooked, I needed to know the what, how, when, why, and who. 
The characters were believable...... the author takes you on a journey past and present to create the story though I’d managed to figure out some of what was going on it was interesting and almost plausible as to why!! It shows how delicate our mental health can be and how we can almost be someone we are not!! I’d definitely recommend this book!! 
Hoping this becomes a series from this author!!
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Really enjoyable although sad at times, maybe that.s just me at the thought of a child dying. However a great story and definitely one to keep you in there.
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For DS Nell Jackson the City of Oxford brings the usual problems you’d expect to find in any place largely populated by students, and also more hard hitting crime – and the premise for When I lost you – Murder.

Nell is faced with an infantile death, that finds Eve Graham a pathologist blaming the mother, despite the mother giving details as to what happened. It echos a previous child’s death and subsequent prison term for Joanne, now released due to the the re-examination of her case.

But Eve starts receiving letters, the writer unknown and yet they know details, personal details, who’s sending them? – how do they know these thing about Eves past? A deep and dark past that comes back to haunt her and test her will.

Its up to Nell and her sidekick Carla Brown – crime Analyst – to solve these and find the individuals whove murdered the next victim, Connor O’Brian

Nell and Carla make a great team – and the fact that author Merilyn Davies worked as Crime Analyst herself, shows that the processes Carla goes through and the way Nell uses her police skills from the field are used in real life.

I think this book shows great thought and meticulous planning has gone in it to this strong debut and believe this is only the start for Merilyn Davies. Shes covered some sensitive subjects and handled them sympathetically and I for one will be following Nell & Carla’s progress and believe this is the start of something great for Jackson & Brown.
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This ARC was courtesy of netgalley - the thoughts and opinions are mine and unbiased

I am loving being able to read thrillers through netgalley - it is a genre that I don't usually read and feel so fortunate to have been able to gorge on thrillers through this medium

I haven't read any of Merilyn Davies work before but will certainly be looking out for her in future

I loved this

Emotive and evocative - I became lost in this - no pun intended - well written, with characters I quickly came to care for 

I'm not gonna lie - I cried at the ending - no mean feat 

Can't wait to read more from this author

Beautiful !!!
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This was a solid crime read for me. I really enjoyed the police procedural aspects and the author’s background shines through here. 

I did find the plot a bit overly complicated at times and had to re read several passages to make sure my understanding was correct. Overall the past and present structure did work but at times I felt there were too many characters to keep track of which detracted from my enjoyment of the novel a little bit. 

Some difficult themes are dealt with here such as child deaths and grooming but the author deals with these sensitively and it never feels gratuitous. 

I liked the police staff we meet in the novel, they are well rounded characters and I can see them being featured in further books in the series. 

Overall this was a good read and a fairly gripping detective story, I just feel there were a couple of elements that could have been a bit ‘tidier’ for me to have enjoyed it even more. 

Thank you very much to the author and publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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4 Stars from me

A book of two distinct halves which wrap around each other - one following the present day police investigation into the death of a baby - and one following the fate of two young girls who were in care 30 years ago.

I found the storyline featuring the care system, and the two girls trying desperately to find love in all the wrong places, to be by far the more compelling and would happily have read more about their tragic lives. It put me in mind of the recently televised documents regarding the mystery surrounding the disappearance and suspected murder of Charlene Downes.

Concentration is a must with this book and I did find myself muddled a couple of times when reading the present day police investigation side of things. Having said that, the main characters throughout the book are well crafted and highly engaging.

I really enjoyed When I Lost You and look forward to more from this author. 

Synopsis: When a young couple are the lead suspects for the murder of their only child, Crime Analyst Carla Brown and DS Nell Jackson are assigned to investigate.

The evidence seems conclusive, but something just doesn’t feel right.

The case is quickly cast into doubt when the lead forensic pathologist starts receiving threatening letters – containing details only the police should know.

Who’s sending them? What do they want? And how did they get hold of the information?

As Carla and Nell dig deeper, it soon becomes clear that this case isn’t the first of its kind.

They must stop at nothing to find the truth – even if it hits close to home.


'A compelling page-turner - assured, fresh, engrossing. I can’t wait to read more about Nell and Carla.’ - Mel Sherratt
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Aoife and Mary are two young girls living in a care home. They befriend a cafe owner called Alf but after being kind to them he starts grooming them. Aoife becomes pregnant with his child and one night on the beach  their lives are turned upside down.
Many years later Crime Analyst Carla Brown and DS Nell Jackson are investigating the murder of a young child. But is all it seems? and when the lead forensic pathologist starts receiving threatening letters it seems there is more going on but who is behind it and why?
I couldn't put this down!
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I never repeat the blurb. This was an intriguing story, featuring characters who took a little time to warm to, although I certainly hope we meet them again.  Tragic and complex story spanning decades with a heart-breaking conclusion.
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When a novel's prologue ends with the words "I did not kill my baby!" you get an idea in your head about how the story is going to go. On reading the synopsis too, you think that the book is about the couple who have lost their child and in a way it is. It's also so much more! 

When I Lost You starts with DS Jackson and DC Mackintosh called to a flat in Oxford over a reported death of an infant. Nell Jackson is convinced that it's another Sudden Infant Death but on arrival Eve Graham, the pathologist tells them it's murder, and not only that but it was the mother who killed the little girl. Nell Jackson is back at work after being stabbed thanks to a crime analyst missing a vital detail so when she finds out the new DCI wants her to work closely with Crime Analyst Carla Brown, she can't help but be resentful.

Nothing about this case is as straightforward as it seems. There are letters being written to the pathologist, essentially calling her a liar and accusing her of ensuring innocent women have been convicted thanks to her testimony. Nell and Carla aren't entirely sure what to believe as they both know Eve but what if she is getting it wrong?

When I Lost You is part police procedural and part psychological thriller, told in two different timelines simply titled Then and Now. It's quite confusing at first, especially if you don't realize that's the case, but this is what makes the story such compulsive reading. Then is about two girls living in a care home and being groomed by a local cafe owner, Now is about three women who may or may not know more than they're saying. Carla is closely linked to Eve because of Eve's husband Gerry who was her first sergeant and is utterly determined that Eve would not have deliberately allowed innocent women to be sent to prison.

When I Lost You is a wonderfully addictive story, with a unique plotline, and twists and turns that you don't see coming. I will admit to trying to guess who certain people were quite early on in the book but it soon became evident that I was completely wrong. It does become obvious at one point, who the 'guilty party' is, but this doesn't take anything away from the story and it was fascinating seeing the different strands of the story coming together to an explosive ending.

When I Lost You is a gripping tale of loss, wrongful conviction, and abuse, which if not handled in the right way, could be distressing but Merilyn Davies has created a page-turner of a first novel in a wonderful location. Having gone to Oxford it was nice to see someone write about things other than the gleaming spires and students! I very much enjoyed the developing relationship between Nell and Carla and sincerely hope we get to see more of them in the future!
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Read and reviewed in exchange for a free copy from NetGalley. This book was gripping and I was very invested in the storyline, but I found it hard to follow the plot. I felt like threads were established but not followed through on, and it lacked clarity. That said, I did really enjoy it and was keen to see how it progressed. I'd like to see more books about this policing team, in particular the Carla/Nell duo.
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Whew !!!!!! What a brilliant read this was. The prologue gets its claws into you right from the first sentence and you are held captive to the very last word. Taunt, tightly written, endless tension, with a  race along pace this book has all the elements  that will make it not only a bestseller but the start of a great fictional  partnership. With a mix of past and present the author gives you two perspectives on a crime that happened years ago. The fallout from that crime has laid dormant within the lives of the those involved. Unfortunately the past has a way of reaching out and bleeding its poison into the present. Once the door to the past cracks open its not long before its flung wide open. Its up to the partnership of Carla and Nell to peel away the layers of the case to get to the core and discover who is behind the crimes. A partnership of ups and downs its the need for the truth that ultimately unites them into a the working partnership that helps to solve what has been such a puzzle of a case. The authors past gives the book a realistic feel, her time with the Met  and  the details she uses helps the book come to life in your hands and imagination. Sometimes you read a book whose ingenuity of plot leaves you stunned and this is such a book. I highly recommend you go out and buy it.
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I must admit, I personally found the plot threads a little too heavy, which disjointed the clarity of the main narrative for me. There are lots of positives though. Maybe it would be a clearer read with a hard copy, rather than a digital version. So, I'll hold my full review until perhaps I read the published book.
There's good writing here and some great moments of suspense. The plot of a child murder is always a difficult read, the parents are looking like strong suspects and then various other strands come into play, like threatening letters to the pathologist; flashbacks to other young girls as an additional thread; developing relationships with the pathologist and the crime analyst and an overall theme arc of grooming, abuse and murder. Despite the heavy theme, the writer does handle it with great sensitivity and control. You need to read this is one or two sittings to really get to grips with the threads and story lines from the present and other past events. It was an okay read for me.
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Two girls meet in a care home and bond together. Their lives will never be the same again. Unlov d they love each other but evil has them in its sights. 
Many years later a pathologist receives threatening her and this links to her current work and her past. A gripping novel that has well written characters and plot line. I don't want to give things away so I will just say Read It and enjoy. You will not be disappointed .
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A new series, a new dynamic, a new mix!

What appealed me first when I received an email about When I Lost You was the author. Merilyn Davies was a former Crime Analyst with the MET. Not a police officer per say. I was spared the DC / DS / DI / DSI and all those abbreviations I have become accustomed to. What a change! I immediately wondered what this particular angle would add to a novel. Well, Merilyn Davies answered my question with a superb blend of police procedural and psychological thriller! We often put them together under the crime fiction banner and, even though elements of both genres are needed to create a good crime novel, plots usually lean towards one side or another. Not here. The balance of justice is holding two sides in perfect sync!

A baby died. I hear you! ‘It’s the parents’! We see it all the time. Statistics prove it. So, I wasn’t surprised when pathologist Eve Graham stated within the first pages that the death is not natural, and all eyes turn towards the parents. Who claim they have nothing to do with it. Don’t they all say this? Yet, something was off. My sleuth brain caught the vibe as quickly as my body can get a cold in the middle of summer. The contrast between DS Nell Jackson and pathologist Eve Graham was evident, but both felt trustworthy, and their arguments convincing. I remember thinking at this very moment ‘This is going to be tricky!!!’ I couldn’t wait to get tangled up in a battle of evidence against testimonies, instinct versus facts. Yummy!!! (I really sound mad, but I blame good crime fiction for this)

But before we get a chance to form our own opinion on the possible suspects, the author makes sure her protagonists leave their trace on the reader. I was pleasantly surprised by the gentleness showed by the officers on scene, the cold facts fought by details, like the victim’s name. Details, yes, but they make all the difference between human beings and robots. You don’t want to be only a number on a file. The realism of the first chapter caught me by surprise. The pages screaming authenticity made me shiver. This feeling stayed with me throughout the novel. I pictured every scene as if I were watching a TV show. Without all the weird inconsistencies we get on the screen!!! My appreciation for DS Nell Jackson was instantaneous. Some characters just click with you on the spot!

I was barely recovering from a strong beginning and my meeting a new team when a shadow got thrown at Eve in the form of a letter alluding to her past and hinting that her conclusions may not mirror the truth… But who had sent it? Why? An investigation on a child’s death is not a high-profile case, so targeting the police is useless. Unless…

This is where the plot gets cut in half. On one side, Nell and her team need to discover whether or not the baby’s parents are truly to blame, while on the other side, the seed of doubt creates turmoil in the lives of all sides involved. Allegations against a professional are serious, especially when this person can send someone in jail for a very long time!

When the dead baby's father is found murdered, things get more complicated and questions arise. Where does the innocence lie?

Remember I talked about the blending of psychological thriller and police procedural? Merilyn Davies wrapped an apparent open and shut case into a giant bubble of lies and secrets, sending the reader back in time, forcing them to look for clues in every word, bringing them back to the present where a toxic smoke threatens to disrupt the course of justice.

Plot-wise, I was really impressed! Intertwined timelines and voices seemingly unconnected coming together one chapter after, like mosquitoes attracted to the fire, to deliver a splendid, horrendous, and exploding finale that left me blind. I had linked all the dots on the map, jumping from one difficult subject to the other, but I couldn’t decipher the image it created. I had a hard time processing the truth, and it took long minutes for the tension that had crept under my skin to release my body. From child abuse to murders, you get your fair share of what lurks in the dark.

But something else makes this book different, and oh-so-good!!!

Crime Analyst Carla Brown! Oh, I loved her ways, her tenacity and I need to thank the author for creating such a fascinating character. Carla is not just good at analyzing records and assisting those risking their lives on the field. Carla is a woman who cares, a perceptive colleague, and someone who won’t hesitate to go the extra mile to find the tiniest key which unlocks the door to reveal the truth. When the new boss asks her to tag along and interview people, pushing her to leave her office to be a full part of the team, she follows with trepidation, and I enjoyed this refreshing take on positions within the force. Police officers often get a magic call with traced numbers etc, but here, we get to see the actual work, the mind racing, the hours stretching to catch THE element which will make the difference.

What happens when work turns into something more personal?

If Nell and Carla begin as two clear atoms absolutely not ready to connect, the unraveling of events brings them together, creating a strong duo I would love to read more about!
When I Lost You brings a new voice, or should I say two new voices, to the genre, with a gritty and compelling plot which will satisfy the pickiest readers! It is a fantastic addictive debut!
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This was gripping and fast paced, with good characters. I enjoyed the first 2/3rds of the novel a lot, but found the ending to be a bit disappointing.. The flashbacks were well written and believable.
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Aw, what a great book! Full if suspense, drama, twists and turns! At some point at the end I already knew who had done it and I kind of guessed the consequences but still, it was a really gripping story!
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When I began this book I found it a little confusing. The standard is one central detective, usually with a sidekick. This novel opens with four or five police officers, plus connected agencies, and I wasn't really sure who the central focus was.

The crime itself was quite intriguing from the outset although I did piece together what had happened earlier than I usually would and that made it harder to stay motivated to the end.

I could definitely see this book as a television crime drama more than as a novel.
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When a baby is found dead in her cot Carla Brown, a crime analyst, and DS Nell Jackson investigate. Although Eve, the pathologist is quite certain of events Carla is not convinced. Her analyst nerves are twitching & on further investigation reveals that she is right to be suspicious. However Eve is married to her oldest friend & mentor which makes things difficult.

The story switches frequently to thirty five years ago when two teenage girls are thrown together due to arriving at a care home at the same time. Having been let down by the people who should have protected them they form a bond that ties them more tightly than family.

Although I guessed what was going on it didn't stop this from being one of the  most enjoyable books I have read for ages. It really grabbed the attention. It was great to see a police procedural seen through the eves of a civilian analyst. I do hope we'll get to read more about Carla Brown! The rest of the team were also worth getting to know. Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this great book.
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