Cover Image: Silent Footsteps

Silent Footsteps

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Silent Footsteps

by Jo Bannister

Hazel Best, a personable young constable with aspirations to be a detective, finds herself the focus of an admirer turned stalker. The investigation heats up when the stalker enter her home and later her friend Ash is bludgeoned. Saturday, a young man Hazel befriended, suddenly reappears in Norbold, having gotten his life together. There are two murders that are possibly related to Hazel’s stalker, but no one knows how the events could all be tied together. As tension mounts, Hazel’s friends and even a local businessman with a dark background gather around to support and protect her. It is a race against time as Hazel and her friends try to identify the mysterious attacker.

A fun part of this book is Patience, Ash’s very likable lurcher. Ash is gradually overcoming the town view of him as mentally unstable. At one time he earned the nickname “Rambles With Dogs,” but has since tried to rein in his public dialogues with Patience. Ironically, he does, in fact, talk to his dog, and Patience replies but only Ash can hear her.

Silent Footsteps is a police procedural that will keep you turning pages as the police investigate the various threads to try to make sense of them. The characters are interesting and continue to develop in this latest mystery. I figured out the murderer before Hazel, her friends, or the police did, but that is understandable considering the timing of the revelation of various facts. This discovery in no way mitigated my enjoyment as I still had to anticipate a resolution—and it was quite surprising.

I would like to extend my thanks to and to Severn House for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: #6 in the Gabriel Ash and Hazel Best Mystery Series. I have only read one other mystery in this series. This book works quite well as a standalone, although I must admit it makes me want to read the first books in the series to get more understanding of the characters. That does not take away from the mystery at all, however.

Publication:   May 1, 2019—Severn House

Memorable Lines:

“You’re far too honest to be any good at it,” said Ash. “Spies have to be able to lie convincingly. You lie as convincingly as my eight-year-old when the biscuit barrel is empty and there are crumbs on his T-shirt.”

With the best will in the world, Ash in a blonde wig was never going to be mistaken for a twenty-eight-year-old policewoman. There wasn’t enough rope in Norbold to suspend disbelief that far.

“…the sheep people are constantly trying to keep their stock from committing suicide. Dropping dead from no appreciable cause is the average sheep’s highest goal in life.”
Was this review helpful?
"Silent Footsteps" is part of the 'Ash and Best Mystery' series. This is the first book I have read from the series and I found it a really enjoyable read. The plot was creepy and unnerving and although reading the other books in the series might have given some insights into the characters' personalities and the relationship dynamics, this book can also be enjoyed as a standalone.

When Constable Hazel Best's friend Gabriel Ash is attacked she must focus all her ingenuity on finding the man responsible. Her police colleagues would be more helpful if they weren’t already occupied with two murders – but assistance does arrive from an unexpected source. In the end, though, Hazel must deal with the stalker alone. And more than her own life will depend on the outcome …

I loved the author, Jo Bannister's portrayal of Hazel Best, who was caring and took her job seriously. The plot-line was engrossing and this was a great and solid, fast-paced thriller. A highly recommended and very worthwhile read.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel, at my own request, from Severn House via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Silent Footsteps is in the Hazel Best and Gabriel Ash series.  This is the first book I have read from the series and I enjoyed it very much.  I did figure out who the stalker was early on, but that didn't change anything.  The plot is creepy and unnerving.  I do think that reading some of the other books in the series might help shed a little light onto the characters, but other than that, I think this book can also be read as a standalone.

Constable Hazel Best is caring and takes her job seriously.  She begins receiving little gifts on her doorstep.  First, she receives some flowers, then wine, chocolate;  all these things point to a secret admirer. Then more sinister things begin happening.  It starts when a new gift turns up; a photo album.  She soon begins getting photographs of herself and it isn't long before she feels someone in the house with her.  She realizes that this stalker is progressing at an alarming rate. There are also 2 unsolved murders that have happened within this same time frame. She leaves temporarily in hopes the stalker will grow bored, instead, the stalker beats her best friend almost to death.  Are these murders, as well as the beating, connected to her stalker? Hazel must race against the clock to find out who her stalker is before anyone else is hurt, or worse, killed.

Silent Footsteps is a good, fast paced thriller.  There isn't a unique twist at the end, but it is still a good book. If you're looking for a creepy, stalker-thriller, give this one a read!

Thank you to NetGalley and Severn House Publishers for this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
In Silent Footsteps, Constable Hazel Best is deeply disappointed when her CID interview doesn’t result in her promotion. While working a case, Hazel begins receiving anonymous gifts of flowers, wine and candy on her doorstep. Is it an admirer or a stalker?

Trucker Watts was only out of prison three weeks when he was found bludgeoned to death behind a dumpster. His best friend, Rat, is convinced that a rival gang, the Canal Crew, is responsible. Rat and Trucker’s gang, the Maulers, agree.

Silent Footsteps is a great mix of excellent characterizations and a puzzling but fair mystery. Armchair detectives may be able to determine who the murderer is before Hazel, as I did. However, the characters make reading the rest of the book a pleasant journey. This book is highly recommended for police procedural and mystery fans. 4 stars!

Thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Silent Footsteps is the sixth book in the Best and Ash series by Jo Bannister and it is another entertaining crime novel with an undercurrent of humour that adds to the reader's enjoyment. 

This time Hazel Best has a secret admirer who not only outs her but her friends in danger

The story moves along at a good pace with a number of the regulars making appearances

This is a series that I enjoy and Silent Footsteps is definitely recommended
Was this review helpful?
An enjoyable crime novel with an unusual theme.

When Constable Hazel Best first finds flowers left by an unknown person on her doorstep, she thinks they are nothing more sinister than a kind gift from a secret admirer. But then come the chocolates and the photographs of her. Shortly after, a thug who has a run-in with Hazel is found beaten to death, and Hazel realises that this person has more than a harmless infatuation with her. When her best friend is attacked, Hazel realises that she must find her stalker and put a stop to his obsession, or more than her own life may be at risk.

This was a readable and entertaining detective story, with an interesting and unusual villain. I haven’t read many crime books where the main antagonist is a stalker rather than a murderer (although admittedly, in this case, they turn out to be both) and it made a refreshing change from the norm. I find the idea of a stalker incredibly ominous – the obsessive way they stalk their victims and their total unwavering belief that they and their target are ‘meant to be' is thought-provokingly creepy, and something that isn't uncommon in the real world. This book built up the suspense and threat compellingly felt by Hazel, and although the big reveal at the end wasn’t actually a surprise for me (I found the identity of the stalker quite easy to figure out), it still wrapped up the story nicely.

Silent Footsteps is part of a series, and as I haven't read the previous instalments, some of the characters and their relationships, unfortunately, felt a little bit distant and half-formed to me. While they were likeable and had depth (I particularly enjoyed the interactions between Hazel’s best friend Gabriel and his beloved dog, Patience), I think I'd have empathised with them more if I knew a bit more of their background. As well as this, the novel lacked any fast-paced action or real feeling of immediate danger; it was more of a slow burn of suspense and unease throughout, which isn’t a bad thing in itself, but I felt that the climax could have been a bit more thrilling to really round the book off perfectly.

Overall, this was an enjoyable story but nothing ground-breaking. I would, however, recommend this to fans of crime fiction and wouldn’t be averse to reading more stories about Hazel and her friends or other books by this author.


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of this book to review.
Was this review helpful?
I must preface this by noting that I am a huge Jo Bannister fan.  Don't worry if you haven't read this estimable series before- you'll be fine starting here (and then please do go back and read the others.) Constable Hazel Best is a really good cop.  People both respect and fear her.  She's trying to get into CID but that doesn't appear to be on the horizon.  Now she's working a murder case and then another even while someone is leaving offerings of wine and chocolates on her doorstep.  One of the best things about Bannister's novels are the characters-here it's Hazel and her small family of choice- Gabriel, Patience the dog, and Saturday her lodger.  AND, Peter, and the Rat, and the local villain and his "social secretary."  Veterans know the bad guy is going to do something dreadful to those Hazel loves and that he will get right up in her face.  You might suspect who that person is but even with the clues it didn't hit me til it did Hazel.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  I am eagerly awaiting the next one- terrific!
Was this review helpful?
A Hazel Best and Gabriel Ash Mystery

When Constable Hazel Best stops a confrontation between a local gang member and a harmless looking fellow on the train, a chain of events ends with bodies and everyone she loves in danger.

As she begins finding things on her doorstep, she at first believes she may have a secret admirer. Her full attention isn't on the flowers and chocolates, as Trucker, the local gang member is found dead. As Hazel tries to find a link between the dead boy and then a dead journalist, it's beginning to look like the secret admirer may have taken that next leap to stalker. And when Ash is brutally beaten and warned to stay away from Hazel while at the same time Saturday shows up again, Hazel is determined to find the culprit. But it may cost her life.

I love the characters in this book. They aren't perfect. Bad things have happened to them And one is a talking dog. But they are a family in the truest definition of the word.

Very Well Done

NetGalley/ May 1st 2019 by Severn House Publishers
Was this review helpful?
This is the second book in this series I have been lucky to read, although it is the sixth book in the Hazel Best and the Gabriel Ash series. I like it so much the earlier books are high in my TBR list pile. In the book, Hazel ha acquired a secret admirer. It starts with flowers and candy, it escalated night processes and beatings of friends. The body of punk that she knew is found beaten to death with the blunt object. Hazel is looking for answers before additional friends are hurt. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK AND SERIES.

Disclosure: Thanks to Severn House for a copy through NetGalley. The opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is the latest in the Constable Hazel Best series of police procedurals.  In ‘Silent Footsteps’ we catch up with her as she intervenes in an altercation on a train.  We soon learn that she is recovering from injuries in a previous incident from which one of her colleagues died.  Her team is now faced with his replacement bringing their number to four, plus of course, the might of forensics, crime scene analysis etc.

In this book Hazel is called upon to investigate when her friend Gabriel Ash is badly beaten and her team is investigating two other murders and a missing girl.  Along with this it would appear that Hazel has an admirer.  If you mix all these together and the chef (author) is Jo Bannister, you end up with a great book with excellent ingredients, the star product being Hazel.

Cannot recommend it enough.

Thank you to the author, publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Stalker v Admirer -- Now that's the question that must be answered. Only one can finish what's been started!
Hazel is admired for more than just her looks but could this attraction be deadly?
Constable Hazel Best knows all too well how things can quickly take a turn for the worst but is that's what's at play here or is it simply someone in need of attention?
Should she be worried with the powerful advances towards her....
After all gifts are nice to receive but what if more is wanted and what if more is taken away?
Ahhh this is a wild one so hang tough...
Thank you to Jo, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Constable Hazel Best has a stalker. Whoever he is, he leaves flowers and candies at her front door. The stalker has accelerated his 'interest' in Hazel. A thug Hazel had a run in with is found dead with his head beaten to a pulp. And he's not the only body to fall. Seemingly, their only connection is they both knew Hazel.

But then he escalates again. Her good friend, Gabriel Ash, is grabbed one night and beaten up. He's lucky he survived. The attacker spoke to him while pounding on him .... you are too old for her. Leave her alone. ....... meaning Hazel.

Hazel will have to deal with the stalker / murderer before anyone else she knows is endangered.

This is well-written, suspenseful, with well defined characters. Because I have not read any of the first books in this series, I felt a little lost with the relationships between Hazel and her friends, between Hazel and her supervisor, between Ash and his dog. However, this one has peaked my curiosity to start at the beginning.

Many thanks to the author / Severn House / Netgalley for the advanced digital copy of this crime fiction. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Joffe Books for the eARC.
I do like the Constable Hazel Best series a lot.  The characters are so likeable (I especially like Patience, the talking dog) and the stories are always well constructed mysteries that are not overly gruesome or graphic.  I highly recommend the whole series.
In Silent Footsteps, Hazel is receiving anonymous presents: chocolates, wine and flowers.  This becomes creepy as the stalker leaves photos of Hazel and attacks Ash, her best friend.  Hazel is horrified when a photo of the severely wounded Ash is left with her mail. Two prior murders may or may not be linked and Hazel instinctively feels they are.  
A year after Saturday, her previous teen tenant, left, he suddenly turns up again much to the delight of both Hazel, Ash and Patience.  He will stay until he's sure Hazel is safe and the stalker found.
This was a really good read, like all the others.  This is a superior British mystery series, definitely recommended.
Was this review helpful?