Hold Your Tongue

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 14 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

What a brilliant debut book.  It is the first in a series featuring DI Eve Hunter and opens with a crime that took place twenty years ago.  We learn that Eve has been on an enforced sick leave following a traumatic case where her colleague Sanders was left paralysed from her injuries, and Eve is awaiting confirmation that she can return to work. As the story progresses we learn more about what really happened and why Eve feels so guilty about Sanders injuries.  On her return she realises that her colleagues are blaming her over the injuries to Sanders.  Her first case back involves the discovery of the body of a young woman who has been brutally murdered and has also had her tongue removed.  When more bodies are discovered, all with their tongues removed, Eve and her team realise there is a serial killer on the loose.  They face intense media pressure and Eve also has to contend with the resentment and conflict of certain members of her team,  
This is a very gritty, dark and chilling story, which is mainly told by Eve but chapters about the killer are very disturbing as we learn about his past.  It was a book that I couldn’t put down and was reading at every opportunity.  There are plenty of red herrings, twists and turns and the killer’s identity was a complete surprise.  I can’t wait for book number two in the series.
Thanks to Netgalley and Transworld for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
This was a good well written detective thriller.  I loved the story line . The story packed a lot of punch  that kept me going all the way through and I couldn't guess who the killer was.  I Loved  the characters and the friendship between Eve and Cooper
Was this review helpful?
Ooh.......fabulously dark. A brilliantly written debut thriller set in one of favourite places, Scotland. I've been all over the country in my time and I love it. This book shows the darker underbelly of society in the city of Aberdeen. 
The author gives us a great story, starts slowly, gathers pace and finishes in a glorious crescendo! 
Characters that have been thought about and well portrayed make this book believable and (in a grim way) relatable. 
Tbh, if I hadn't known it was a debut novel, I'd never have guessed. The author has a style that flows well and the whole thing was executed with great aplomb. Really, well done.  I shall definitely be recommending this book and look out for more from this author. 
Thank you to the author, publisher and netgalley for my arc.  All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
HOLD YOUR TONGUE is the dark and gritty debut by Deborah Masson featuring DI Eve Hunter and set in Aberdeen, Scotland. Although slow to start, it soon picks up pace as an addictive and compelling thriller.

The opening Prologue sets the overall scene of what's to come. It is dark, it is disturbing and it is enough to make you balk in its vividity. And it's in this opening preface that we learn the significance of the title, which is more than apt. The identity of those in this prologue are unknown but as the story builds throughout it does become clear.

DI Eve Hunter is returning to work after six months leave following a brutal attack on her and her colleague, DS Nicola Sanders, leaving her with a badly broken femur resulting in a limp and Sanders paralysed from the neck down and in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. Left with unresolved guilt Eve blames herself for the attack, believing she could have prevented it, and as we are drip-fed information throughout details of that night come to light further into the story.

In no condition to return, Eve must now lead a team where not everyone welcomes her or respects her - blaming her for what happened to Sanders. On her first day back, she is introduced to DC Jo Mearns who, although respectful, radiates an obvious air of animosity and contempt towards her. The fact that she came in replacing the very detective who suffered life-changing injuries on Eve's watch only fuels her hostility. It doesn't help that DC Scott Ferguson constantly sneers at Eve and makes snide comments regarding her ability to lead the team. Only DS Cooper remains in her corner as a friend and confidante, and someone she knows she can rely on.

But Eve has no time to dwell on her team's derision as she is thrust head first into the gruesome murder investigation on her first day. Eighteen year old Melanie Ross's body has been discovered in a hotel room tied with Venetian blind cord, her tongue removed and a newspaper headline pinned to her body. Upon informing Melanie's parents' they are quick to offer up a suspect and the case appears to be clear cut...until the following week, another woman is found in similar circumstances in a dance studio. Looking at the two cases, it is apparent that the killer is selecting these women based on the headlines pinned to their bodies where newspaper articles that had been written about them. So what, apart from the articles, links them? And what is the significance of the Venetian blind cord and removal of their tongues?

The following week, the arrival of a tongue sent directly to Eve immediately reveals the identity of a woman known to them and therefore has them questioning the significance of the victims. But it isn't until one of their own is targeted that brings the reality of these murders home to them and will have them stopping at nothing to unravel the mystery and catch this sadistic killer.

I didn't like Eve to begin with and although I warmed to her somewhat, I still found her constant martyrdom of self blame a little tiresome. I am not a lover of strong female leads who prefer their own solitude to wallow in self pity or drown their sorrows in a bottle of prosecco whilst putting up a front of strength and courage in the face of adversity and refusing help from concerned friends. Maybe I find it hard to relate to because that kind of behaviour is so far removed from myself but if someone is offering you a friendly ear or some company, where's the harm in that? Does being independent and self-sufficient make you a better person? Or just more lonely? Despite my niggles about Eve, I did warm to her a little further in and found myself advocating her along the way.

Eve's team are an interesting bunch and while they don't always agree they do work well together, despite their differences. DS Mark Cooper is reliable, honest and remains a good friend to Eve throughout the past and present. He has a family who welcome all and sundry into the fold....his wife Louise is so warm and welcoming I could feel her arms around me and smell her delicious cooking. DC Scott Ferguson has the makings of a competent detective with good instincts but he is arrogant and hostile, undermining Eve at every opportunity. He holds Eve responsible for the attack that left Sanders paralysed and unable to continue as a detective. DC Jo Mearns hails from Bolton in England and is new to the team, replacing Sanders after her untimely attack. Often paired with Ferguson, his animosity towards their boss rubbed off on her and she finds herself disliking Eve at first sight. But as the story progresses we see a vulnerable side to Mearns which adds to her character and her early behaviour. Then there is DCI Hastings. At the mention of the name Hastings, I found myself constantly picturing Supt Ted Hastings from "Line of Duty"...lol...yet this Hastings (yes, like the battle...lol) was not as hands on in that respect, though he is no-nonsense and respected.

I thoroughly enjoyed HOLD YOUR TONGUE, despite its slow build and my niggles with Eve, as it is not your regular police procedural. It is dark, it is disturbing and at times gruesome. But it also came with a well-written solid plot with twists and reveals to have your swiping pages into the night.

I love the primary setting in Aberdeen, as well as visits to St Andrews and Dundee. While this part of Scotland does have its own indecipherable dialect, I was pleased to NOT encounter it here as I feel the inclusion of language that it is not familiar to anyone unless they are from the area only serves to alienate that author's works to readers far and wide. I do recognise the "granite" and "grey" descriptions of Aberdeen that I was first introduced to with Stuart MacBride, whose works are also fairly dark and gruesome but also filled with dry witty humour.

A dark, compelling, intense crime drama HOLD YOUR TONGUE is told primarily from Eve's third person perspective with the addition of the killer's deranged narrative peppered throughout. The reader is left pondering the identity of the killer as we are lead a merry chase but even I admit to not seeing that one coming.

The first in a new series, I look forward to seeing more of Eve Hunter and her team and will be keeping my eye out for the next installment.

Not for the faint-hearted, if you like Katerina Diamond or Stuart MacBride then I'm sure you will enjoy HOLD YOUR TONGUE.

I would like to thank #DeborahMasson, #NetGalley and #RandomHouseUK #TransworldPublishers for an ARC of #HoldYourTongue in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This was a violent thriller based in Aberdeen. Not for the faint-hearted but non stop action. It was a bit to violent for me but the characters were good.
Was this review helpful?
The opening scene was not encouraging. 'Predictable', I thought, but committed to read further. And it was worthwhile. This is a decent crime yarn with interesting twists and surprises for both reader and characters. 
Masson gives us enough to work with to capture interest and manages to make her characters seem quite real. We are given the backdrop but in pieces rather than descriptive narrative and so the complete picture is not captured until the final pages. Occasional lapses into the killer's mind and story add useful insights and are not intrusive.
Aberdeen is a moody city, well suited to shocking crime such as this and Eve is damaged just enough dor us to feel for her rather than be indifferent.
Even the opening scene takes on a new meaning as the story ends and that was a relief!
Was this review helpful?
I was immediately intrigued by this book as it’s set in Aberdeen. However, this is one of the few things that makes it unique to other police procedurals. 

We learn a lot about DI Eve Hunter’s back story, but it is the standard female detective struggling with personal demons and nothing really stands out about her for me. The other officers are pretty standard characters too.

The actual plot itself was far more interesting, and this book would have improved a lot for me if it had been told mainly from the killer’s pov. The twist at the end was especially well done, the descriptions can be pretty gruesome, but I think this adds to the shock and fear.

This series has potential if the characters are developed more, and made more unique to stand out from the abundance of other police procedural books available.
Was this review helpful?
Sadly I really didnt get into this book the characters weren't grabbing me so sadly after 30% I decided to stop so I wont be leaving a review on Goodreads
Was this review helpful?
Hold Your Tongue, introduces one of my new favourite fictional detectives; DI Eve Hunter. 

Eve has only just returned to her role after a serious injury has prohibited her from working. Her colleague Sanders is now confined to a wheelchair and unable to walk, whilst DI Hunter's leg is still giving her trouble.

Her first case back is a big one, and she has a lot to prove to people who think that she shouldn't be back yet, it's too soon, or that she shouldn't be allowed back at all.

But there is a murderer on the loose, and DI Hunter has the skills and expertise to bring them to justice. It just needs to be quickly, as they appear to be a serial killer with an insatiable appetite.

The first victim, a young woman has had her tongue cut out by the murderer (hence the novel's title) and is one of the most gruesome crime scenes DI Hunter has ever encountered (welcome back!!), she knows that she must act quickly to bring together a resolution as the press are scrutinising her return to the force with every move she makes.

Hold Your Tongue is a fast paced debut, and I look forward to reading the author's next.
Was this review helpful?
A great start to the DI Eve Hunter series. Loved Eve's character & how the author dropped in bits about Eve's backstory. At times quite dark & I definitely didn't see who the killer was coming.
Was this review helpful?
DI Eve Hunter is returning to work after a brutal accident where she and her colleague were attacked and her colleague permanently paralysed. Set in Aberdeen (loved the setting and attention to detail of a city I love), however, there could have been more nods to Scottish culture. Overall, the ending wasn't one I guessed but I also wasn't amazed but this crime read. 2.5 stars.
Was this review helpful?
An exciting introduction to DI Eve Hunter (got a love a criminal chaser called hunter) dark and claustrophobic at times it had me very much on the edge of my seat at times! Gruesome stuff and a great start to a new series!
Was this review helpful?
Unfortunately I was hoping to read this book before publication date, but life got in the way I have read the NetGalley reviews which make this book sound like a must read, so I’m hoping to get to it in The not to distant future, when I will update my review.
Was this review helpful?
Another crime that will be up there with the good ones, I love the way she has been off work but still comes back with a limp, very down to earth. The pace is kept up in this story plus it keeps you reading and changing your mind. Will definitely be looking for more of Sam’s books as if they are all as good as this one then she will go far.
Was this review helpful?
I love the fact that I can chose book via NetGalley and this certainly was a good one.  As a first novel I thought it was written well and being a holiday read I could get on with it rather than piecemeal in the evenings.  I liked the way the people were described even if a little “over the top” but it means that you have a better understanding of the characters which I like. There was a lot of treading on toes and getting nowhere but that added to the tension because it made you wonder who would have the breakthrough.  Obviously when reading a book you like to guess “who did it” – no not right as I thought the spider’s web tattoo was going to be more significant – wrong.   I enjoyed the setting of the book having been to Aberdeen several times and although did not know the places, one or two I could remember.  I felt the story was very good and would like to think there will be a great series.  The main character (D I Hunter) not been at work for a period of time due to something that happened whilst on duty and the dynamics when she returns in well written and interesting.  It is interesting to read about her colleagues and how they react to her return especially as she is in charge of the team.  Without giving anything away the women murdered are left with terrible injuries and a clue on their bodies and she manages to set them straight after a struggle along the way.  Great book and I look forward to more of the same
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK, Transworld Publishers, Corgi, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

There seems to be no end of brilliant, yet gory serial-killer novels set in Scotland and now Deborah Masson's DI Hunter novels have joined pack. Claustrophobic, dark and gruesome, this is certainly one for the purists of this genre. I was hooked from the first page. In DI Eve Hunter Masson has written a compelling main protagonist full of vim and vigour, yet equally fallible and human. The mystery is an immensely satisfying one, too. Packed full of the classic tropes of crime fiction, this is a punchy story that really delivers. With the twists and turns of a slalom, Masson guides us through the labyrinth plot like a seasoned pro. It is astonishing to think that Hold Your Tongue is her debut novel, such was proficiency with which this story was executed. For the final 50 pages of this book I was on the edge-of-my-seat, breathless in anticipation for the final denouement. I was not disappointed. Compelling, violent and gloriously written in taut prose, Hold Your Tongue is perfect for fans of Val McDermid and Chris Carter.
Was this review helpful?
It took me a while to get into the story, I found it started a bit slow, but once in I was hooked. 

Eve Hunter returns to he job after a 6month absence due to a previous case that made changes to her life. First day back and she is thrown into a new case.

There is a serial killer on the loose in Aberdeen and he is brutal. Newspaper clippings, missing tong ours and injuries that you couldn’t even imagine! But it’s keeps you on the edge of your seat and it is gripping, well worth a read.
Was this review helpful?
I would firstly like to thank Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really hope that this book is the first of a really great series! A fantastic debut start to Detective Eve Hunter and her team. Fantastic characters that really add to the compellingly written plotline. The story itself gripped me right from the very beginning, pulling me in to it's dark, gruesome fast-paced page-turner! 
Can't wait for the next!
Was this review helpful?
A dark read of brutal murders set in Aberdeen and DI Eve Hunter at the helm of the investigation.

My first book by author Deborah Masson, I absolutely was taken in by the claustrophobic atmosphere of this book. I had the shivers in some parts. The murders were violent and graphic, the tongue of the victim was excised. A part of me cringed, other wanted the killer to be killed by the cops.

I loved the slow build up of crimes and the investigation. Eve Hunter had just come back from leave after personal injury. Guilt and determination were the twin emotions shadowing her. The story moved slowly, the shadows deepened further.

This was a slow read of a killer with mental issues and a cop with her own demons bringing about justice. Wow… Read it at your risk. It was quite dark.
Was this review helpful?
What a stunning debut novel, the character of lead detective Eve was a great one and I really liked her a lot. I thought it was pretty gory and disturbing but I like that in a book! Plot was a good one with plenty of action and twists to keep you guessing, I’m looking forward to the next instalment.
Was this review helpful?