adult fiction · book blogger · book review · Review · thriller

Did You See Melody? By Sophie Hannah

  • Pushed to breaking point, Cara Burrows abandons her home and family and escapes to a five-star spa resort she can’t afford. Late at night, exhausted and desperate, she lets herself into her hotel room and is shocked to find it already occupied – by a man and a teenage girl.

A simple mistake on the part of the hotel receptionist – but Cara’s fear intensifies when she works out that the girl she saw alive and well in the hotel room is someone she can’t possibly have seen: the most famous murder victim in the country, Melody Chapa, whose parents are serving life sentences for her murder.

Cara doesn’t know what to trust: everything she’s read and heard about the case, or the evidence of her own eyes. Did she really see Melody?

And is she prepared to ask herself that question and answer it honestly if it means risking her own life?39586888-25D5-49C3-8EDF-9F461F99B00E

Did You See Melody? (Keep Her Safe, is the American title I believe) Turned out to be completely different from what I had imagined, I didn’t know very much about the book before I started reading, I thought it was going to be about a teenager, but I turned out that Melody was a child, almost all of my thoughts on this book were wrong! Melody Chappa was thought to be a seven year old murder victim, her parents are in jail for her murder, but a body is ever found! The media were highly involved with the case and it still remains a mystery, until unsuspecting mum Cara Burrows takes herself off to Arizona to escape for a couple of weeks and discovers the truth.

It is when Cara arrives that the story of Melody begins. Cara is given the key to an occupied room by mistake and as a result she finds herself in a room where a man and a teenage girl are staying. She realises this is a mistake and talks to the man, once she sorts it she goes back down to reception. But the situation has left her feeling uneasy and a little shaken up. Cara thinks nothing more about the man and girl that she saw and behind to enjoy her holiday until other events take place in the resort and she overheard an elderly woman tell the staff that she has seen Melody Chapa. Nobody believes her, but Cara has a nagging feeling that the old woman may be telling the truth, as after researching who Melody Chappa is, she too believes that she saw her, this then brings some problems to Cara until finally the truth is revealed.

I did take a while for the story to grip me, I picked it up several times but could only manage a few pages, it wasn’t until I got about a quarter of the way in, probably around the eightieth or one hundredth page that I really started to enjoy it and needed to know what happened next! There were quite a few characters do try to keep up with, a lot was going on. The story jumped between Cara who was the main character and other scenes that were playing out while she wasn’t around, there were also newspaper articles and TV interviews included in the book. It’s sounds like maybe too much going on at once? But actually it is so easy to follow and if you’re like me, hopefully you will love the story and become invested in finding out what has happened! There was no way I could have put the book down once I was hooked in, I read the rest of the story in a matter of hours after my slight reading slump!

The ending really made me think, even now I’m still wondering about it! The last few pages will shock you I’m sure, I kind of would love there to be a sequel or prequel, but then I’m not sure if that would ruin the story, maybe things are just better left how they are, for people to ponder…

The story was very well thought out, let me tell you now that I didn’t once suspect what really happened, I had my own speculations yes but I wasn’t even really close to guessing the real plot! At one point I thought the main character was maybe going through something that was causing her to imagine all of this, the way she is written she does seem a little unhinged, understandably though as she is going through a tough time, I thought Sophie wrote her brilliantly! The writing style was different than in used too, and the characters were different too, but the writing flowed so well, it made the story easy to read (after the first bit, I promise! Or maybe it was just me who couldn’t get into that!)
The plot is so complex, I was very impressed! When you find out what really happened you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t sort of figure it out sooner!

This isn’t the type of book I read often, I have read a few adult thrillers, but I have to say that this has been my favourite, of like me you’re thinking you might not enjoy this book (I didn’t buy it, I won an ARC a good few months ago) and it’s been sitting in your TBR or shelf for a while please pick it up and give it a chance, I don’t think you will regret it!

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