Cover Image: The Cuckoo Wood

The Cuckoo Wood

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This was a weirdly entertaining book.  It starts as a mystery, but with a little secret religious undertone.  This made for a very thrilling, entertaining book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Recommended.
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was a gripping thriller that took you to every aspect of trying to figure out what was really going on  and what was going to happen next! This was such an amazing book and I can’t wait to see what else is released from this author!
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This book was another great atmospheric thriller - filled with the perfect elements to make your spine tingle and keep you begging for more. This is the first in a new series, featuring Alex Ripley and I can’t wait for the next installment.

Ripley is the so-called “Miracle Detective,” who specializes in debunking faith healings and other religious-based phenomenon (think crying statues and healing water wells). She’s called in to the northern Lake District by a good friend to investigate the suicides of local teenage girls - both of whom drowned and had talked of seeing an angel before their deaths. But the investigation is not only complicated by the normal highs and lows of investigations, but by the highly insular community of Kirkland, which is incredibly religious and has shunned the dead girls’ families in the wake of their “sins.” As Ripley makes progress, she finds that the key to discovering what’s happening in the present may be in the community’s past.

The village of Kirkland is really the star of this book, with the small town really being a mystery of its own. I really enjoyed the intensity that the townspeople brought to the story - it was like in horror movies where you know something is drastically wrong, but people keep acting like everything’s just fine.

The ending was pretty good, with most of the major questions being answered - I had some hints as to the ending, but it’s certainly not spoiled or obvious. However, there were a couple things that weren’t very clear; they were heavily implied, but not clearly resolved, and that kind of bothered me. But other than that, I was satisfied.

And there’s a good little twist at the end that made me smile.

This series has the makings to be really intense and I am excited to see where it goes from here. I will definitely be looking out for more from this author.
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A chilling tale of angels, faith, tradgedy, secrets and a spate of young girls committing suicide but why? The Cuckoo Wood introduces a new series and character of Dr. Alex Ripley, also known as the Miracle Detective. In her bid to uncover the truth, everyone is made to question what is real and what isn’t...

I really enjoyed the book, a slight step away from something I’d normally read and I was dubious about the title of Miracle Detective for the character of Alex Ripley initially, but as the book went on, I became more intrigued by her and would read more in the series. 
It wasn’t a brain stretching plot, nor did it keep me perched on the edge of my seat but overall I did enjoy it and I’d like to thank Netgalley for giving me the opportunity to review it.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Cuckoo Wood.  The story of a small town in modern day England with a history of young girls committing suicide in scenes which according to witnesses, involve an angel.  The main character,  Dr. Alex Ripley, is known for her skepticism in situations involving the supernatural and is an unwelcome visitor in the town when another girl commits suicide.  But she has been invited to assist in the investigation by her friend the medical examiner and she does her best to figure out what is actually taking place.   This is the first in a series starring Dr. Ripley and I am really looking forward to reading the next installment.  Heartily recommend.
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Doctor Alex Ripley aka The Miracle Detective is a renowned skeptic specializing in the investigation of purported miracles or divine interventions from the logical perspective of science and reason. After a series of teenage suicides in a small religious community, police call her in to assist. She finds a village full of superstitions and most of the residents bewitched by religious zealousness.
Visions of angels will be caught up in past sins, revenge and tragedy. Alex is determined to uncover the truth and it may not be what everyone believes.
I really liked the strange atmosphere in Cuckoo Wood with the inhabitants old time beliefs pitted against modern thinking. I just couldn’t be sure which way the story was going to go ie split between divine or human intervention. Great handling of the storyline!
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free digital copy of the first book in the Alex Ripley Series. I was happy to provide an honest review.
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Dr. Alex Ripley doesn’t mind that she’s been dubbed “The Miracle Detective.” She has, after all, dedicated her career to debunking alleged miracles or divine interventions with the logical perspective of science and reason. It’s no wonder then that, during a particularly disturbing and bizarre case in a small, isolated, and overly religious community, an old friend calls to ask for Alex’s help. There’s talk of angels and she’s hoping that Alex can get to the bottom of it.

Kirkdale is a rural community in England’s Lake District. It’s picturesque and one of those small towns where everyone knows everyone, so when a teenage girl commits suicide, it raises concerns; not only because it’s a tragedy, but also because the community seems to want the news to just fade away. Their odd reaction is undoubtedly due to the fact that, decades before, the town had suffered a tragic loss when six young girls had made a suicide pact and then committed their atrocious act at a local lake, forever cursing the town with the stain of their sins. Has the past come back to haunt them? Or has one girl just committed an isolated, selfish act? Many of the townsfolk hope that’s the case, but when a second girl takes her life, their fears are reignited and the news garners the attention of the local authorities.

When Alex arrives in town, she immediately senses that she isn’t welcomed there and that her friend was definitely onto something. Kirkdale is ripe with secrets and there’s talk of “The Kirkdale Angel,” but it seems as if no one wants to discuss it or the town’s sinister past, including the victims’ families, who are seemingly just as detached and resolute in keeping their sins under wraps. Alex, undeterred by the residents’ steadfast denials and superstitions, is determined to uncover the truth with or without their help.

It’s a journey that, I assure you, is well worth the read! From the moment I picked up the book, I was captivated by its intriguing plot twists and turns and by how beautifully written it is. I could not put it down! The Cuckoo Wood offers a fascinating view into the world of a humble, pious town trying to come to grips with the tragic losses that continue to befall it. It is a riveting story about how grief, regret, and misbegotten dogma can not only oppress a town, but perpetuate its downfall.
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The Cuckoo Wood is the first in the series of Dr Ripley and was a good start to it. We may not get a clearer picture of the person that Dr Ripley is, but we are given an idea of her methods of investigation and a very basic background of her. I figure the next few books in the series will throw light onto the person and what drives Dr Ripley, the inspirations and the motivations. As for The Cuckoo Wood, it was a good beginning. The difficult circumstances of an investigation in a tight-lipped community, the recurring patterns, the eccentricities of beliefs made a perfect backdrop. It was a fairly good start to a great series. If you are looking for a crime thriller without gore and gruesomeness The Cuckoo Wood is the book for you. Perhaps that’s what makes this book a good read, the lack of guts that got spilt and the manner in which it slowly creeps up on you without getting your heart racing.
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This  new series introduces Dr. Alex Ripley, also known as the Miracle Detective. It's Ripley's job to help police when it comes to heavenly phenomenon or other angel sightings.

Alex gets a call from a friend, the  medical examiner in a small England village.  Two teenage girls have killed themselves by drowning, only a month apart. In the days before their deaths, they had each talked about having seen an angel.

As Alex investigates, she finds an old village, full of superstitions, fears, and age old secrets.  She also finds a link to a group suicide of teenage girls some 30 years in the past.   This mass suicide has attributed to the angel legend which has lasted through the present.

Is this truly a paranormal event?  A connection to what happened many years ago?  And who do you trust?  The Chief of Police who seems to stop all investigations into these current deaths?  Does it matter that he was there the night of the group suicide?  The preacher of the Church Youth Group, of which all those who attend are teenage girls?  Do the parents know that the 'preacher' is also listed on the sexual predator list?  

The village is full of quirky, secretive residents who all seem to be hiding something.  This is not a fast paced thriller ... the suspense increases with each new finding.. especially when 2 more girls go missing.  Will they be found lifeless in the lake?

Is there truly an angel behind the killings?  Is he there to kill them or save them? Or is there something a lot more sinister going on?

I enjoyed the character if Dr. Ripley ... she debunks most of the cases she has been asked to investigate, but she also knows there are things that go beyond the scope of normal scientific understanding.   I look forward to following the next adventure of the Miracle Detective.

Many thanks to the author / be-eBooks / Netgalley for the digital copy of The Cuckoo Wood.  Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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From the amazing book cover to the intriguing description, The Cuckoo Wood: An Alex Ripley Mystery by M. Sean Coleman, drew me in. I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy from the publishers on NetGalley, and couldn’t wait to start.

The book centres around Kirkdale, a rural community in England’s Lake District and begins with the suicide of two teenage girls. The mention of an angel really stirs things up. We are introduced to Dr. Alex Ripley who is dubbed the Miracle Detective. She likes to pull apart religious sightings and when we meet her she is taking part in a TV show about faith healing. She is asked by her friend to take a look at what is happening in Kirkdale and this is the start of something that will keep you turning the pages well into the early hours of the morning.

From the very start of this book, you are pulled into the action and we follow Rosie, one of the teenage girls, as she is lured into the lake by The Angel, believing that he will save her soul. She drowns and is the second suicide for this rural community. Police officer, Cotter, is a friend of Rosie’s brother and he isn’t convinced she killed herself. 

The village of Kirkdale is a strange one, ruled by religion and they believe the girls have committed the ultimate sin and turned their back on God. They don’t welcome Ripley at all, and there are parts in the book that will have the hair standing on the back of your arms as Ripley tries to uncover what is really going on in this place. 

Ripley’s character is excellent and so well written. She’s not an atheist but she enjoys playing the sceptic and getting to the bottom of things. She also has a knack of putting herself in danger.

There are so many twists in this story and I didn’t guess the ending or who the culprit was until right at the end. The story evolved and the timeline grew to encompass a suicide pact from 1977. There are some really creepy characters in the story and at times, I found myself wondering if The Angel was in fact real. I was absorbed in the story, in the characters’ lives, and would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good mystery that will send shivers down your spine.

I am looking forward to the second Dr. Alex Ripley book and can’t wait to see how her character evolves. This was a five star read for me.
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What a great story. 
This book had me intrigued before I read it as I’m interested in the supernatural and I love crime thrillers. 
Dr Ripley is asked to go to Kirkdale to try and get to the bottom of the sightings of an angel which seems to be causing teenage girls to commit suicide. Ripley is a skeptic and  is very interested to find out what’s behind these deaths as she doesn’t believe in anything supernatural. 
This is a really interesting book as it made me think there were supernatural links to the deaths but deep down I was questioning it, like Ripley. 
I really liked Ripley and can’t wait for more books in this series. 
The interaction between Ripley and the other characters was really well written and I could just imagine the reception she got arriving in a small village where they don’t like outsiders. 
Five huge stars from me. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Bastei Entertainment/e-books for the opportunity to read this book.
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The Cuckoo Wood is the first book in the Alex Ripley Mystery Series. Set in a small fictional and religious community in the Lake District which has seen a number of deaths of young girls having supposedly seen an Angel. Dr Alex Ripley is called upon as a specialist in the field of phenomenons and is assisting the Police in their investigation. It's Ripley's job to explain the angel sightings and what links them to the girls deaths.

This was an interesting and puzzling Mystery Thriller from a relatively new author. I thoroughly enjoyed this book with it's intrigue and a subject matter which was obviously highly researched, fresh and multi dimensional. This is certainly one of the slower paced novels I have read for a while but don't let this put out you off. The suspenseful descriptive nature of this book will definitely keep you page turning and it does build nicely to the last third with its thrilling climax. I am looking forward to the rest of this series and hopefully this opens up and we'll get to know more about Protagonist Dr Ripley. Overall a enjoyable read. Thank you to Netgalley and be_ebooks for an ARC.
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I received an ARC copy from netgalley for my honest review,  so thank you netgalley and publishers for offering me this book! ♡
The cover and title is what originally drew me to this book. I really wanted to like it, but I couldn’t get into it. It was so slow and I just couldn't do it. 
This was my first book by this author, It was okay. It was slow paced but it was alltogether an easy read. ♡ I give this book a 
2.5 star rating!
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I was drawn instantly to this book by the description of it. What's not to love?! Loved the cover as well. I couldn't wait to start reading it. I did find it quite hard to get into...I didn't devour it instantly like I tend to do with a new book. I'm glad that I stuck with it though, even if it did take a few tries to get properly going with it. Fantastic story and characters and I was satisfied with the ending. I'd recommend this book.
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If you go down to the woods today…

…you're in for a big surprise. What a delightful book, full of mystery and intrigue, small-town secrecy and a strangely backward community trapped by fear of the past and the overbearing control of religion.  The residents of Kirkdale are uncomfortably intriguing as a group. They're ostensibly Christian, but they cling on to such old-fashioned views about the 'sins of their fathers' that continue to haunt them. Their attitudes are so compellingly described that one can quite imagine how these souls have become trapped in their collective past and so insular in their current outlook. That sense of 'stranger danger' that the delightful Dr Alex Ripley feels is tangible and more than a little unnerving. 

As for Alex Ripley herself, I would love to know more about her, but it didn't feel that there was too much time for it in this fast-paced story. She is rounded and interesting, but I feel there is more to discover in her. Hopefully, we will be drip fed more as the series continues. As it is, I already think Alex Ripley would be the perfect guest at a fantasy dinner table – intelligent, inquisitive, irreverent, and she isn't afraid of questioning people's beliefs or charging headlong into danger. I'm looking forward to spending more time with her in the next book.

Finally, the author's evocative, highly visual style gives a real sense of place, guiding us through the mysterious Cuckoo Wood, never sure what we will find down at the lake. I enjoyed the way I was led along the line between reality, madness and illusion in this story, forcing me constantly to question what the characters are really seeing and hearing. I love the place. I now feel compelled to revisit the Lake District to try and find The Cuckoo Wood for myself. 

I loved the world that this book took me into, and my only regret was that I finished it so quickly. I was completely transported. I recommend it highly to anyone who loves their thriller with a mysterious and otherworldly twist. Totally gripping from start to finish. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book with thanks to the publisher.
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I really loved this book!  Excellent story with brilliant main characters.  I would recommend this book.
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The cover drew me to this book. It’s an intriguing cover. The book, not so much. I really wanted to like it, but I couldn’t get into it. It was just too slow for me

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own
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I would like to thank Netgalley and Bastei Entertainment for an advance copy of The Cuckoo Wood, the first novel in a projected series to feature Dr Alex Ripley, miracle detective.

Two schoolgirls have drowned months apart in the small Cumbrian village of Kirkdale. Suicide, murder or accident? The villagers, a small, close knit, extremely religious group are sure that it's suicide and close ranks against the girls' families and outsiders. Crime Scene Investigator Emma Drysdale isn't so sure and asks Ripley to investigate. What she uncovers has its roots deep in the past and the Angel of Kirkdale legend. 

I thoroughly enjoyed The Cuckoo Wood which has a good mystery at its heart and a very readable style. There is something strange going on in Kirkdale but no one wants to talk about it so it takes all Alex's skill to piece together what makes it such a closed, fervently religious and suspicious community. This mystery adds to the puzzle of what happened to the girls. The slow unraveling of these is fascinating and held me gripped. I was less convinced by the supernatural element in the novel which seems rather unnecessary and superfluous.

Alex Ripley is called a miracle detective, not for her superior investigative skills as I had imagined but because she investigates alleged miracles from a scientific point of view. I like the distinction she makes between the genuinely fraudulent and the believers whose faith leads them down the wrong path and the fact that although she hasn't yet found a miracle she isn't prepared to discount the possibility that she might yet find one. It is very pleasant to see such a divisive topic handled in such an even handed and open manner. It also makes her a hopeful character which makes a change from the usual hard bitten detective.

The Cuckoo Wood is a good read which I have no hesitation in recommending.
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I struggled a bit with this book! For me, it seemed a bit rushed at times and I could not fully get into it the way I like to do.
I will probably read it again in the future to see if my opinion changes
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