Cover Image: In Safe Hands

In Safe Hands

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Member Reviews

Shocking, high stakes thriller you'll struggle to put down!

It missed out on 5⭐ because of the story being a little predictable, but I still enjoyed the way the pieces fit together.

Overall, a great start to a new series, I'm excited to see what Carter does next.

Thanks to Avon Books UK & Netgalley for sending me this in exchange for an open and honest review.

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So, how far would you go to save the ones you love? In Safe Hands is the first book in a gripping new crime series featuring DCI Anna Tate and it had me hooked from the very first page right through until the very last word!

The story starts with nine children being kidnapped from Peabody nursery school in South London, their distressed parents have no idea if they will ever see them again and nor does Anna. The whole issue is distressing for Anna because she has been in this exact situation with her own daughter, Chloe, who was kidnapped 10 years ago and Anna hasn’t stopped looking and living in hope she can be found.

So, how does someone kidnap nine children from a nursery and leave no trace? No one saw anything, there are seemingly no leads, no evidence left behind and no clue as to who, what or even why. For Anna, she wants the children found and will stop at nothing to find them. The kidnappers get in contact demanding £6m in bitcoins to release the children, any delays and one child a day will die.

One of the children, Liam suffers from cystic fibrosis and the whole affair could be life limiting if he is not given his medication.

For Anna, this is one of the most disturbing cases she has ever worked on - not only because the lives of nine children who are being held hostage are T stake but because she's pretty sure that someone close to them is lying...but who? Why would they do this and what have they got to gain?

I finished the book in less than 48 hours of starting it and the last paragraph left me with shivers!
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This is most definitely a 𝐒𝐮𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐞, 𝐓𝐡𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐫, and it’s the start of a brand new series. 

We get introduced to DCI Anna Tate. Unlike a lot of police procedures I’ve read in the past they come with huge pasts. Drinking problem, hard, rugged, and some unbelievable.

Anna has a past that is current.
Her child was never found now she’s on a case where nine young children have been kidnapped.

I question if she was best placed for this job, but this is fiction and it needs to appeal. It certainly did that.

It’s a time running out “catch and mouse” tale which you fly through quite quickly.

I loved the writing, I loved how it was fast paced. I didn’t much like the ending, it seemed a bit far fetched in my humble opinion.

It’s a subject matter that’s been written about over and over, yet this ones on the whole comes in my recommendation for how well written and fast it was.
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Fast moving thriller which is very well written & hooks you from the start - every parents nightmare.
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What a roller coaster ride!

From the very first word this novel had me captivated until the very end.  I'm not completely sure which aspect of the novel kept me holding my breath the most; the kidnap plot, the parent story or the continuing mystery of Anna's daughter.  When combined together they make one hell of a ride. 

DI Anna Tate is a superb character and I thought she was written with so much depth.  Brilliant at her job and battling her own demons she is exactly who I would want on my side if my child had gone missing.  

The main plot involving nine missing children and malevolent video demands is chilling.  It plays on the reader's mind and makes for fraught reading and there were times my heart literacy stopped.  The insight into the lives of the parents (especially Liam's) raising some interesting and thought provoking questions and does provide an alternative perspective outside the police procedures.   

The sub-plot around the disappearance of Anna's daughter many years ago is intriguing and  devastating and I just cannot believe how the novel ended.

A brilliant and terrifying rime novel and I cannot wait to dive into book 2.
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In Safe Hands deals with every parent's worst nightmare. Nine children are kidnapped from a nursery school in South London and nobody can believe how such a crime has been committed. One child has cystic fibrosis and needs his medication, which the kidnappers didn't take with them. DCI Anna Tate is in charge of the investigation and she has plenty of suspects. What she doesn't have is time as the kidnappers have set a ransom and a tight deadline. As a result, the book is tense and very cleverly plotted. And, even if you do manage to guess who is involved early on, there are plenty of other surprises throughout the book. 

The book deals with the difficult topic of child abduction in a sensitive manner. Tate is a fascinating character because her own daughter was abducted years before so she is also dealing with the memory and trauma of this. But, when she gets a tip about the location of her daughter, she must prioritise which case to focus on. Tate is an incredibly conflicted character yet she is also always professional. As one of the two narrators, Anna provides the investigative perspective. The other narrator is Ruth, the mother of the boy with cystic fibrosis who also questions everyone around her about the case and provides the more human side of the investigation. There are a lot of characters in the book: the parents of each of the nine children, the teachers, and the police officers. While many authors might get bogged down with juggling all of these characters, focusing on Ruth and Anna perfectly balances the narrative between the police investigation and the desperation the parents. The other parents are often present and we do also get a sense of their suffering but the focus is on Ruth as she also tackles her difficult relationship with her husband and her guilt about her son's kidnapping.

The book is very fast paced with an incredible sense of urgency and panic. As the mother of a four-year-old, the book really touched a nerve with me as several video clips are sent to news networks of the kids crying and looking dishevelled, which is something that seems frighteningly real. These clips are used to appeal to the emotions of the parents and the public and the government to get their ransom demand so, as would be expected in such a case, media coverage plays a big role in the case. This culminates in a cliffhanger at the end of the book regarding Anna and her missing daughter ensuring that readers come back for the second book in the series, At Your Door, which was published in August 2019.
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This book was fast paced. Hard to put down. It flowed well and it was very well written. It caught hold of me and had me hooked from the start . I was literally on the edge of my seat reading this book.
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A thrilling read which kept me turning the pages, characters you care for and just brilliantly written.  Great novel!!
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Those who are familiar with my reviews know I’m not keen on ‘series books’ or books that feature individual detectives and/or police as the ‘stars’. This was better than expected but did not really draw me in and I don’t think I’ll be reading anymore DCI Anna Tate stories, not even to find out what happened to her daughter! I know however that there is a massive market for these kind of books so I’m sure it will do really well. My thanks to Avon books and NetGalley for my ARC in return for an honest review.
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Fab read. Could not put down. Highly recommended to all. Believable characters. Great author. Will be watching out for more titles.
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I thought this was a first novel, so it was surprising to discover it's written by an established author.

Nine children are snatched from a nursery and a ransom demanded. That's the plot in a nutshell, so I expected this to be really exciting. Instead, I guessed the mastermind early on, it was so obvious.

There's a lot of unnecessary telling a good editor should have sorted; likewise, the dialogue is stilted and unrealistic at times. The whole book should have been so much better.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC without obligation.
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*thank you to Netgalley, Avon Books UK and the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

4 stars.

Woah. What an amazing story this was! I'm definitely a fan of DCI Anna Tate and can't wait to read more about her. This story was so fast paced and grabbed my attention and ran with it. I was never able to work out who was involved or how I thought this story would pan out. 9 little children are kidnapped one morning from a nursery. There are so many points in the story made and leave you wondering how this is all going to turn out. I was not disappointed in anyway and think the author did a brilliant job. It was so well written that I didn't want it to end. I also can not think of anything that I didn't like about this. Sure there was a character or two I didn't like once I found out more about them but the writing style and actual storyline were great.

There is also a second story underneath the main, which is the fact that 10 years ago, DCI Anna Tate's daughter was kidnapped and never found. So while she's on the team heading up the investigation of trying to find these 9 missing kids, her past gets brought into the light. But that's all I can say.

I'm a big fan of missing/kidnapped children stories and this is one was such a compelling read. Highly recommended.
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This is a brilliant modern thriller. It's the first in a series about DCI  Anna Tate. Fantastic storyline, nine young children are snatched from their nursery school. Fantastic, couldn't put it down.
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I have had this book a while on my kindle and been meaning to get round to reading it. When I realised the next book, AT YOUR DOOR was soon to be released  I decided to get stuck in and make a start of this one.
It was a good, interesting yet easy read. A difficult subject matter with it being about kidnapping. As a parent something like this would be one of your worst nightmares. This books makes you think about how you would cope should it have been you. It's a scary thought. 
DC Anna Tate is investigating a when 9 children have been kidnapped from a nursery. With something like this, everyone becomes a suspect. Parents are on the edge, tempers are flaring. 
This story moves along brilliant and really did grab my attention from the opening pages. 
There was at times some parts that I found myself getting emotional, this story is one that you feel you are involved with. 
I like the character of Anna Tate and I look forward to reading more in this series. 

The first book in a gripping new crime series, perfect for fans of Angela Marsons’ Detective Kim Stone Series and LJ Ross’ DCI Ryan Mystery series.

I have previously read some of this authors other works and really enjoyed them. when I started this book that I didn't realise this author writes under another name also, I'm glad I hadn't realised as I feel I would have probably been comparing them.
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Well this was a ride! I was totally hooked from the start of it and was rooting for Anna and all the children. The book was told by the detective and one of the kidnapped kids mum and it had me on the edge of my seat.

DC Anna Tate is basically investigating a school bus that’s taken hostage with 9 kids on from a nursery, the parents had their own secrets to hide and I was constantly guessing what was going to happen next and who had organised the kidnapping, and I didn’t figure it out until the author told us 😂 

Fast paced and gripping it was a really good book and one that will have you by the balls tnroughout, can’t wait for the next instalment
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In Safe Hands is a fast moving and emotional crime thriller.  Children from a London nursery are kidnapped and the race is on to rescue them.  This was an interesting read with a compelling protagonist in the lead detective whose daughter also went missing several years before.  I look forward to reading more from this author.
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A parents nightmare is one that involves their child being kidnapped. Made worse again if that child is reliant on medication. When 9 children are taken from a nursery it is a race against time for DCI Anna Tate to find them as a media frenzy is in a full whirlwind of speculation and finger-pointing.

This is such a hard review for me to write because as much as I enjoyed the story I found it hard to connect to. Saying that I also found it had a hold on me that kept me reading to discover the truth.

The premise for the story is one that caught my eye and also that it is the start of a new series. The plot itself was good and so were the characters. Given that there are 9 sets of parents, teachers and police it would have been easy for the author to get bogged down with so many characters. Instead, the author chose to focus on the parents of the child requiring medication. The other parents do get the odd look in, but in keeping them in the background it kept the flow of the story moving t a good pace.

DCI Anna Tate has a backstory that compliments the kidnapped children. Now, this character I really didn't take to, I am really not sure why! Was it her backstory that felt a little too convenient? I am not sure! There was just something I couldn't pinpoint.

I felt that things fell into place a little too quickly and conveniently, for me it gave it a slightly rushed feel. I did get an inkling as to who was behind the kidnapping, although not the reasons behind it. That said I did enjoy the story and would recommend it to other crime readers and I will be keeping my eye out for further books in this series.
3.5 Stars
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This is a chilling, hold-your-breath book and I’m so excited to hear it’s the first in a new series. I must be vigilant and keep a look out for the rest. The cliff-hanging ending has me in tatters already. It’s a multi-layered novel, but the main two themes are the abduction of nine children from a nursery school with a group who play cat and mouse with them and DCI Anna Tate’s background story. The inclusion of Liam and his Cystic Fibrosis was interesting and his parents’ marriage. There are so many warm, compassionate characters and in contrast, lots of low-lives too. The clock is ticking to find the children before the threats of the abductors are carried out. In an incident like this one expects that it will arouse and bond community spirit, but there are underlying seeds of dislike, suspicion and tensions that exacerbate several nasty blame-game episodes. It’s extraordinary how such matters can expose the best and the worst in people and their webs of lies and deceit. Attempting to unravel the relevant information through all the lies and secrets is a tremendous job for the detectives. I did wonder if the detectives did a sluggish job by wasting too much time following up unnecessary leads with losers (our red herrings) when it was clearly a well-thought-out plan by a bigger brain at the source. They seemed to miss a lot of clues. Nice to see Sky News involved. Where was their famous Sky helicopter looking for the minibus? Or police helicopters? Not enough funding? Couldn’t put the book down it was so tense and compelling. Thank you to NetGalley and Avon Books UK.
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Absolutely raced through this book, couldn't put it down! I was gripped from the first page and as the plot moves along at a really good pace, it becomes compulsive. Some really good twists and turns towards the end and the reveal surprised me. Enjoyed DCI Anna Tate's character and am glad to see this will be the start of a series.
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This was a tense, non stop action, police procedural story. It is based around the kidnapping of nine children from their day nursery. Lots of twists and turns and surprise disclosures which keeps the involvement high. A cliff-hanger conclusion
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