And So It Begins by Rachel Abbott | Book Review | (@RachelAbbott @Wildfirebks) #AndSoItBegins

Published by Wildfire

Available in ebook | Hardback (15 November 2018) | Paperback (8 August 2019)

416 pages

Source: Review copy from publisher


|   About the Book  |


Cleo knows she should be happy for her brother Mark. He’s managed to find someone new after the sudden death of his first wife – but something about Evie just doesn’t feel right…

When Evie starts having accidents at home, her friends grow concerned. Could Mark be causing her injuries? Called out to their cliff-top house one night, Sergeant Stephanie King finds two bodies entangled on blood-drenched sheets.

Where does murder begin? When the knife is raised to strike, or before, at the first thought of violence? As the accused stands trial, the jury is forced to consider – is there ever a proper defence for murder?


|   My Thoughts   |


I’ve been a fan of Rachel Abbott’s books for some time – a few are reviewed here on the blog however she has now made the step from a very successful self publishing career having sold over 3 million copies of her six self-published thrillers to her first novel being traditionally published.

And So It Begins is published by Wildfire and is a standalone psychological thriller. I am sure that there will be many readers missing Tom Douglas (I was – initially!) but this is a fabulously twisted read featuring a new detective, Sergeant Stephanie King who along with DI Angus Brodie could be a favourite pairing – if there were to be another outing for them.

Following the dramatic prologue – the first part of the story goes back and sets the scene with Evie Clarke and Mark North – how they met, and especially how Mark’s sister Cleo fitted into the story. Cleo was very close to Mark – to say she was overprotective is an understatement.  In fact she didn’t seem to have much of a life of her own at all and she secretly resented any woman who came into Mark’s life, never thinking they were good enough for him. There were times when I felt really sorry for Evie, having to put up with Cleo’s interference and trying to assert her influence over Mark.

Evie was a complex character and her relationship with Mark seemed even more complicated and, at times, toxic. Mark, a photographer, was a reclusive character. The suspicion of domestic abuse made for an even darker story. It was easy to feel sympathy for the wronged party but as the story proceeds, lines become blurred and the reader has to decide for themselves who they believe.

And So It Begins is a mixture of genres – it’s predominantly a thriller but also encompasses police investigation and courtroom drama. I was hooked from the very first page and couldn’t read it fast enough. It had everything I loved in a thriller – an intricate plot, unlikeable and unreliable characters, well paced suspense and the anticipation in wondering what will happen next. Because of the prologue and the first chapter, you know that something bad has happened but what you don’t yet know is why.

All the way through I was trying to work out what had really happened and exactly who was involved. There are unexplained discrepancies concerning the death of Mark’s first wife which adds another strand. I had various theories about who what and why but nothing could prepare me for the finale! Rachel Abbott had me well and truly beaten this time.

A fabulous book. I loved it!


My thanks to Becky of Wildfire for the review copy and to Anne Cater for the blog tour invitation.



|   About the Author   |

Rachel Abbott began her career as an independent author in 2011, with Only the Innocent, which became a No.1 bestseller on Kindle, topping the chart for four weeks. Since then, she has published five further psychological thrillers, plus a novella, and sold over 2.75 million copies. She is one of the top-selling authors of all time in the UK Kindle store (published and self-published), and her novels have been translated into 21 languages. This is her first traditional publishing deal, though she’s been approached many times.  Rachel splits her time between Alderney – a beautiful island off the coast of France – and the Le Marche region of Italy, where she is able to devote all her time to writing fiction.



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