Cover Image: A Fatal Secret

A Fatal Secret

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Member Reviews

When a young boy goes missing during an Easter hunt and his body is later found at the bottom of a well, Coroner Clement Ryder and Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday team up once again to try to find the truth. Was it a tragic accident or was it murder?

In this 4th installment in the Ryder & Loveday series we get to know a little bit more about Trudy's private life, her relationship with her parents, what they expect of her, their opinion about her work in the police and her frustation about being "practically nothing more than a glorified clerk". The author does a good job portraying the role of women at the time, what was expected of them at home and at work, and Trudy's rebellion against that.

What I particularly like about this series is the relationship between Ryder and Loveday, because he never treats her as his superior, but as an equal, seeing her, in spite of her youth, as a woman able to do anything she sets her mind on.

As Trudy herself did, I found the ending a little bit unsatisfying as, in her own words, "the answer had just been thrust upon them"
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First book I've read by this author.  A murder mystery at its best.  Trudy is a new police officer in England.  And of course she's a woman and that just makes everything more difficult because she is the only women in their precinct and not really on her bosses good side.  Her parent's never wanted her to become an officer and it hasn't helped her love life either.  But she's friends with the coroner and they are asked to investigate the death of a young boy who fell down an empty well and died.  Its a neat story and I enjoyed the characters and it was in England in the 60's and that gave it another twist.
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A Fatal Secret by Faith Martin is another gripping historical crime novel. It is the fourth book in the Ryder And Loveday Mystery series but can be read as a stand-alone.
I enjoyed returning to Oxford in 1961, being reunited with the crime busting duo of probationer WPC Loveday and aging coroner Dr Ryder. They are an engaging couple with her copper’s nose and his education. A perfect blend of youth and experience. Whenever the police shelve a case, Ryder and Loveday spring into action.
A terrible crime? Or an unfortunate accident? The reader tries, alongside Ryder and Loveday, to piece together the clues, as the locals seem tight lipped. Some seem burdened with a terrible secret. Relationships are strained as lives are exposed and the questions mount up.
I love these Ryder and Loveday mysteries, it is a nostalgic step back in time that is juxtaposed with what seem to us, outdated views on life. Women are seen as weak and inferior to men, good for marriage and childbearing but not for ‘real’ work. Even within the police force, women are good for making tea, filing paperwork and handing out tissues. The young, forward thinking Loveday is a breath of fresh air and perfectly paired with the crusty old coroner who sees her for what she is – a competent young woman. Together they solve the crimes of Oxford.
For me, this series is reminiscent of a blend of the television series Inspector George Gently and Inspector Morse. I think Ryder and Loveday would make a fabulous television series – any producers out there please take note. I would cast Martin Shaw as Ryder and Joanne Frogatt as Loveday. Anyone want to make my dream come true?
These Ryder and Loveday books are crime busting nostalgia at its very best. I love all the books.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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I really enjoyed reading this book.  It has a great plot, excellent main characters and I read it in one sitting!  I would highly recommend this book.
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I have read and enjoyed some of this author’s DI Hillary Green novels. This is the fourth in the Ryder/Loveday series, although it works well as a standalone. I like the books that have been published under the author’s pen name, Faith Martin.  They have solid stories; more substantial than “cosy” mysteries yet still pleasant reads. 

This one takes place in 1960, back to a time before cell phones and internet; it seems an appropriate setting for an English country mystery and a young woman trying to be accepted as a serious police officer.
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A Fatal Secret is a gripping suspense that will have you on the edge of your seat.  I was hooked from page one.  Very well written.  I will be reading more of this author’s books for sure.  Suspense fans will not be disappointed. Thanks to the publisher for my advance ebook.  This is my unbiased review.
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I love it when I find a new to me author, I can’t wait to read more by Faith Martin. This book is the third in the series but can be read as a standalone, I will be reading the first two very soon. I found this book well written,  an easy to follow story with well developed characters.. I truly enjoyed this one!
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Fourth book in the series 
The unravelling of the story is well done and kept my attention. 
The characters are likeable 
A good read
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Thank you Net Galley.  I enjoyed this book. The series has grown on me.. I did not enjoy the first book very much and was disappointed in the new series. I wanted more of DI Hillary Greene!  However, I am now quite fond of the series. I find it to be a good read. This latest installment does not disappoint.
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What a brilliant book! This is Faith Martin at her scintillating best! I've enjoyed all the books in this lovely series and its wonderful to see the friendship and respect deepening between the innocent young probationary w.p.c Loveday and the "old vulture" , her mentor and fellow sleuth, the coroner. Together they make an indomitable pair and this time they encounter their most puzzling case yet. I still hadn't guessed the murderer before it was finally revealed. This is a really well crafted , well written book , evoking the innocence of the early 60's when a young lady in police uniform was still a novelty and regarded with annoyance and incomprehension by her superiors and with worry by her parents who want her to marry their neighbour's son as expected and settle down to domesticity and motherhood. This feisty young woman has other ideas and her confidence and skills grow with each outing as does her knowledge of the wicked ways of the world , gently explained (to her red cheecked embarrassment) by her avuncular made me smile as he tried to explain what wrestling was a euphemism for in a time where homosexuality was still a crime. These books are a social history as well as being a cracking good read. Faith' s love of nature also shines through this book . She has an artist's observant eye and lovingly depicts the beauties of our countryside. Highly recommend this book and I give it a delighted 5 stars !
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The more I read of the Ryder and Loveday series the more I enjoy it.  The relationship between the two is one of friends and respected co-worker, each learns from the other.  They are intrepid in their search for the truth and persistent and secretive about their personal problems. The search for the murderer of young Eddie Proctor leads them to a family full of secrets and international espionage but remains essentially a story about the fragility of human nature.  The class system and sexism are challenging aspects of their investigation but are simply an accepted part of life that Ryder and Loveday have learned to navigate and sometimes play to their advantage.  The unraveling of the story is skillfully done and kept my interest but it is the characters of Ryder and Loveday that keep me wanting to read more.

Thank you HQ Digital and Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book.
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Set in Oxford in 1961 this book is the fourth in the series featuring Coroner Clement Ryder and probationary police constable Trudy Loveday. It is an unlikely pairing but the elderly coroner and the WPC instantly hit it off and get on like a house on fire. I love the era that the book is set in and the banter between the two main characters. It is a very enjoyable read.
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This is the fourth book in the Ryder and Loveday series. I didn't think that Faith Martin could introduce new stories and characters that would help me get over her ending the DI Hillary Greene series, but Loveday is starting to grow on me. Dr. Clement Ryder is a coroner dealing with some potentially severe health issues. Trudy Loveday is a probationary WPC and the only female officer in the police department.
The bond between Trudy and Clement is particularly strong and noteworthy; he doesn't treat her like a woman who should be pursuing a husband, not a career, and he respects her opinions. Trudy gets very little support or credit from her coworkers and superiors, so the fact that he is mentoring her is a welcome change. It is the growing relationship between these two that appeals to me the most in this series.
In A Fatal Secret, a young boy, Eddie, is found at the bottom of a well, and what initially appears to be a tragic accident, may well be murder. Once again, I found myself following the clues as I tried to stay one step ahead of Loveday and Ryder and beat the author reveal of whodunnit and why. It wasn't a furious page flipper for me, but I did enjoy the story and it was a pleasant read at the beach. ( I didn't figure it out BTW!)
I received a DRC from HQ Digital through NetGalley.
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An Easter egg hunt ends with the discovery of the body of an 11 year old in a disused well at Briar's Hall. It looks like an accident - but isn't
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A FATAL SECRET by Faith Martin is the fourth in the Ryan and Loveday police procedural. This series features an unlikely pairing between women’s probationary constable Trudy Loveday, a young 19 year old from a working class family and Dr. Clement Ryder, a retired surgeon who now works as a coroner for the Oxford police. The series is set in the ‘60’s, and gives a fascinating look into the place of women in the police force at that time as well as a social system that still put more emphasis on a young woman marrying rather than having a career.

As a woman in the police service, Trudy encounters a great deal of resistance from her superior officer who questions the place of women in the police force. Since he can’t refuse to have her in the precinct his solution is to assign Trudy to more menial tasks such as filing and logging personal items for people being booked into jail. Dr. Ryder, on the other hand, sees Trudy as an asset and someone with a sharp mind to be nurtured and grown. 

Dr. Ryder is called in to investigate when a member of the local landed gentry is unsatisfied with the conclusion brought by an inquest in the death of a child on his estate. Because there is still significant political weight afforded the gentry, his request is given the green light and Dr. Ryder is assigned the investigative duties. Because of his high regard for Trudy, he immediately requests her assistance and because he also has considerable weight within the police service, his request is granted.

As WPC Loveday and Dr. Ryder begin to explore the child’s death, they become convinced he was murdered and it was made to look like an accident. There are numerous twists and turns as they question people attached to the estate, many of whom have secrets they wish to keep. Not all of these secrets refer to the child’s death and it becomes Ryder and Loveday’s job to separate out what’s relevant.

In addition, there is an ongoing storyline of Dr. Ryder’s self diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease. He has noticed signs such as tremors and unsteady gait and is trying to hide this information for fear it will mean he is judged medically unfit for his position as coroner which requires he be able to pass a police physical. Trudy has noticed some of his problems and has her suspicions, but is reluctant to ask for fear of the answer.

As expected, Ryder and Loveday solve the murder and identify the murderer but not before experiencing some trauma themselves. Trudy is in a quandary because she is nearing the end of her probationary period, her parents are pressing her to leave the dangerous field of police work, and the solution of this murder pressed her into actions she had never fully considered when joining the force. Her choices, as well as Dr. Ryder’s fate, are left for future books.

Because the relationship between Dr. Ryder and WPC Loveday is central to this series and develops with each book, the series is probably best enjoyed being read in order. The mysteries themselves are stand alone, so that is not necessary for the enjoyment of solving the puzzle of “who done it”. My thanks to HQ Digital Publishing and NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. I highly recommend the entire series.
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The story is set in the 60's, and Trudy is paving the way as the only female police officer.  She is not usually taken very seriously and is working hard to prove herself.  
Dr. Clement is her ally.  He is the county coroner, and generally likes to do some investigating when possible.  
The two join forces to find out what happened to Eddie, a 10 year old boy found dead at the bottom of a well on Easter Day.  The initial findings are that he fell and broke his neck, but the pieces do not all add up.  As Trudy and Clements delve deeper into the case, lies are uncovered, true characters are revealed, and they end up in a dangerous situation neither could have predicted.  
I did enjoy the story, but felt the middle dragged on a bit.  Felt almost repetitive, and then the mystery was solved and the story suddenly ended,  Good book if want a light, easy mystery.
I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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England, murder-investigation, law-enforcement 

I'm sure that my lukewarm response to this book is mostly due to my aversion to first degree murder of a child disguised as an accident. I just couldn't seem to get as interested in either the plot or the characters this time. I haven't read the earlier books in the series, but that wasn't the problem as there was good referencing so that the reader is not left adrift. 
I requested and received a free ebook copy from HQ Digital via NetGalley.
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When the body of a young boy is found after going missing on a family day out to Briars Hall it appears to be a clear case of an unfortunate accident. Wpc Trudy Loveday feels there is more to this due to the lack of cuts and dirt on the boy...was it an accident or something more sinister
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Any new book by Faith Martin is always welcomed. I love WPC Loveday and her crisis at the end of the book shows how much she is growing. Great characters, great plot and a totally dazzling finish. I never once suspected the perpetrator. I can picture Ryder too, he is also a fab character. Also enjoyed the (slight) change of heart in DI Jennings. The period setting is perfect too, nostalgic but also a stark reminder that the ‘good old days’ had a very dark side. Wonderful.
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Trudy and Clement are back with another mystery. I really enjoy the dynamics of the duo however it is getting frustrating now that Trudy hasn't just asked Clement what is wrong and that this hasn't been disclosed. I appreciate the author wants to keep suspense and also doesn't want to have to write Clement out but I became increasingly frustrated as passages are repeated about how Trudy wants to know but can't ask.

It's so fascinating about the period of time where female police officers were rare and I really like this aspects of the book.

This wasn't my favourite in the series but I did enjoy it.

Thank you to netgalley for providing me with an ARC.
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