Saturday, September 29, 2018

BLOG BLITZ - The Birthday

Today I am more than pleased to share in the Blog Blitz for the book, The Birthday, by Natalie Ward, which I had the pleasure of reading several months ago.


One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home… 

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that still keeps her awake at night…

Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this book will keep you flying through the pages long into the night. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

Title:  The Birthday
Author:  Carol Wyer
Series: Detective Natalie Ward, Book 1
Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Format:  Kindle ARC
Date Published:  September 27, 2018
Publisher:  Bookouture
No. of Pages:  316
My Rating: 5 Stars

In The Birthday, Book One of an exciting new series, Detective Natalie Ward has the unenviable task of trying to solve the murder of 5-year-old Ava Sawyer. Ava went missing at a birthday party two years ago. Her body was just discovered at a building site. Soon after, the body of another little girl is found. Natalie and her dedicated team must act quickly to stop any more of these heinous crimes. It doesn't take Natalie long to discover the links between the two murders, although they are two years apart.

Natalie has a lot on her plate. She is haunted by a previous similar crime which only ratchets her desire to act as quickly as possible in solving these murders. She is truly hoping that her team will catch the killer before any more young lives are lost. While very involved in the job at hand, Natalie is struggling with issues at home and is also facing a moral dilemma. 

Reading how Natalie engages in her excellent crime-solving is exciting and tragic at the same time. Along with excellent character development, this story is full of surprising twists and turns. This was a truly thrilling book, albeit chilling at times. It certainly was no average read for me. I read The Birthday so fast that I was actually surprised. This excellent pacing, along with superb writing, is indicative of Carol Wyer's talent. This promises to be an excellent series and I look forward to reading the books to follow.

Many thanks to Bookuture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Carol Wyer garnered a loyal following as an author of romantic comedies, and won The People’s Book Prize Award for non-fiction (2015). In 2017 she stepped from comedy to the “dark side” and embarked on a series of thrillers, featuring the popular DI Robyn Carter, which earned her recognition as a crime writer.
The Staffordshire-based writer now has more crime novels in the pipeline, although she can still sometimes be found performing her stand-up comedy routine Laugh While You Still Have Teeth.


  1. Wish I had gotten this from NetGalley.

  2. I have even bought the print title! Will arrive tomorrow.

  3. How did it miss this one? Excellent review

  4. oh this sounds so good...I love a good suspense novel

    1. and I just saw it is on Kindle Unlimited....getting it and just need to read it before my subscription runs out!

  5. This looks like a great read. excellent review.

  6. A great review, sounds like a book I would like too x

  7. Thanks so much all! And the series has another coming in December!