Tuesday 23 September 2014

Review ~ Second to Cry by Carys Jones.

Title: Second to Cry (Avalon #2).
Author: Carys Jones.
Publisher: Carina UK.
Publication Date: September 15, 2014.
Source: Netgalley.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK

Sometimes, behind the simplest cases…

Lawyer Aiden Connolly’s new case seems to be a run-of-the-mill paternity dispute. Millionaire Sam Fern suspects that his son is not his own flesh and blood, and he wants a paternity test to prove it. Fern’s wife Deena, a glamorous former model, is desperate to convince Aiden of her innocence…and she will go to any lengths to prove it.

…hide the darkest truths.

Meanwhile, Aiden is haunted by the memory of another beauty – Brandy White, who he worked to free from a murder charge. The woman he unwittingly fell in love with…and the woman who will once again draw him into a tangle of love and lies. With more than his reputation on the line, can Aiden hold his nerve – when nothing else seems certain?

Second to Cry is the second in Carys Jones’ exciting new Avalon series and I’d really been looking forward to reading it after I finished First to Fall recently. First to Fall was gripping and unpredictable and Second to Cry carried on in a similar fashion. Aiden’s case in Second to Cry is very different to the brilliant case in First to Fall yet still really interesting. I like that I never know where Carys is going to take things and what looked like a simple paternity case became so much more than that. It was complex and a lot more personal than it should have been – making it captivating to read.

As Aiden is drawn into his latest case, it starts to take an effect on his marriage and life too and rather than Second to Cry focusing too much on the case or focusing too much on Aiden and Isla, everything links together well and this story is strongly put together. We learn a lot more about Aiden and Isla’s characters here and though their personalities leave a lot to be desired, Isla’s involvement especially was very fascinating. The case itself was absorbing and unexpected for me – I’d originally thought it was going to go one of two ways and yet it went somewhere else altogether. It’s hard to detail any of the case without spoiling the book but I think writing the individual cases is where the author excels.

My only issue with Second to Cry is my feelings on Aiden and Isla. I really hoped after First to Fall I’d be able to connect with Aiden a little more but in Second to Cry, he started to irritate me and I’m really not a fan of his or his wife. Aiden felt judgmental and selfish and though I wasn’t expecting him to be the easiest to like character in the world, most of the time I spend struggling to care about him at all. He’s fascinating and intriguing but if his whole world fell to pieces right in front of him, I don’t really think I’d be too concerned… Which doesn’t help when I don’t particularly like Isla either. What works is that their story is believable and Carys writes this strongly – I find myself shouting at the book (in a good way) at all their unspoken words and it’s easy to relate to because one thing going unsaid can lead to so many other issues and I feel that’s represented in their marriage.

The first thing I did as soon as I finished Second to Cry was tweet the author to see how many Avalon books were lined up because I’m really enjoying and want more from this series. The characters aren’t the most likeable but it’s Carys’ writing of the legal cases which has me hooked and as they build up throughout the book, they keep on getting better. As Second to Cry went on, I found myself less focused on my dislike of Aiden and Isla and more hanging off Carys’ every word – so drawn into the story and in anticipation of more. I loved the ending – it was a great way to keep my attention for the next book in the series and I’ll be impatiently waiting for book three.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK

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