Tastes Like Fear – Sarah Hilary

Published by Headline

Ebook and Hardback – 7 April 2016
Paperback – 28 July 2016

You’ll never be out of Harm’s way


The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.


A runaway who doesn’t want to be found, she only wants to go home.


To the one man who understands her.


Gives her shelter.


Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.


He’s the head of her new family.


He’s Harm.


D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl’s disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she’s about to face.


Because when Harm’s family is threatened, everything tastes like fear…




Tastes Like Fear is number three in the DI Marnie Rome series.  The previous two, Someone Else’s Skin and No Other Darkness have both been reviewed here on the blog. This is a series that I very much look forward to and I was delighted to receive an advance copy. 

This is a series that just gets better.  Sarah Hilary doesn’t shy away from the darker side of life and this story will keep you completely engrossed.  The scene is set from the start with a young girl walking into the road and causing a fatal car crash.  She then disappears.

Marnie and Noah are searching for a missing teen.  When a body is found, their investigations lead them to the world of the homeless and dispossessed.  Vulnerable young homeless girls are being lured off the streets into what they think is a place of safety. However the truth is far more sinister and dangerous than they could imagine.   

The run down council estates, where residents are terrorised by gangs of children, the backdrop of Battersea Power Station, the tunnels where homeless young people spend their days – all these locations add to the chilling atmosphere and frighteningly realistic story. 

Marnie Rome is of my favourite female detectives.  She has an insight and empathy with the youngsters that she encounters and can recognise something of her younger self in them. Her life took a different path but it could so easily have mirrored theirs.  Her working relationship with Noah Jake is noticeably different and develops with each book.  She may be his superior officer, but she trusts his judgement and relies on his insight a great deal. There is definitely something even more sinister to come with the story between Marnie and her foster brother, Stephen Keele, and I can’t wait to see which way this story will go. Noah’s private life also plays a more prominent part – although his relationship with his partner Dan is strong, his younger brother Sol has always been a problem and Noah is concerned that Sol is getting himself into some deep trouble.  

Tastes Like Fear is a frightening and realistic commentary on modern society and how easy it is for people to fall into the clutches of those who wish them harm.  The writing is descriptive but not so much that it pulls you out of the story; the tension and pace never let up and the clever twists and gradual reveals of information will keep you turning the pages.  

This could be read as a standalone but the characters of Marnie and Noah are developing with each book and I strongly advise you to read the previous two books in the series to get the best out of the series.  

Sarah Hilary is a top quality crime author.  Her debut, Someone Else’s Skin, won the 2015 Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year and was also a Richard and Judy selection.  Tastes Like Fear, I think, is her best yet and I am sure will gain her a following of new fans. 

I can hardly wait for next year for number 4 in the series and I’m eagerly awaiting my Marnie fix!

My thanks to the author and publisher, Headline, for the paperback copy for review. 






About the author:


Sarah Hilary has worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. Her debut novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S SKIN, won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. It was the Observer’s Book of the Month (“superbly disturbing”), a Richard & Judy Book Club bestseller, and has been published worldwide. NO OTHER DARKNESS, the second in the series was published in 2015. The Marnie Rome series is being developed for television. 

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2 Comments

  1. 7th April 2016 / 5:16 pm

    I'm eagerly awaiting my next Marnie fix too, Karen!

    • 10th April 2016 / 5:25 pm

      I guess we'll have to be patient Treez! 🙂

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