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All That is Buried

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All the fun of the fair? They are strange throwbacks to an earlier, perhaps more innocent time, these funfairs that travel the country setting up in this or that town for a few days of loud music, strings of multicoloured light bulbs swinging in the wind, the shrieks of excited children and the unique smell of candyfloss and toffee apples. The latest case for Robert Scragg’s coppers Jake Porter and Nick Styles begins with an abduction in one such fair, pitched on a field in a London suburb. We see some of the story through the eyes of the killer. Our man – if he is indeed the culprit -  describes the fair:

“Around him, the ebb and flow of the people is a chaotic palette of colour. Sounds swirl, overlap, conversations impossible to separate from the cloud of white noise as he picks his way between rides. Oversized teacups spin in lazy circles.Squeak of socks on rubber as children launch themselves skywards on a bouncy castle.”

One minute, seven year-old Libby Hallforth is at the fair. Next minute, she is gone, her mum and dad distracted for a few seconds. That’s all it takes for a child to vanish. When Porter visits the parents in their grim tower block flat he finds “lives of quiet desperation”, to be sure, but he is not convinced that Libby’s parents are quite what they seem to be at first glance.

The search for Libby goes round in ever decresing circles until a chance sighting of someone who might be her takes Porter and his team to an East London park. They don’t find Libby, but what they do find turns the case on its head. On an island in a boating lake, they find roses:

“A mixture of blood reds, soft whites, pale peaches and buttery yellows..”

But beneath the roses lies something lacking their fragile beauty, far less fragrant and indescribably more sinister. The search for Libby Hallforth, in the time it takes for a man to turn a sod of earth with a spade, takes on a whole new dimension.

The book is formulaic to a degree. We have all the usual components of a British police procedural: a DI and a Sergeant are the main characters, the DI having the shadow of personal tragedy hanging over him; the DI has a boss who is more of a desk copper than a crime fighter; there are an assortment of nasty gangsters, druggies and petty crooks on the fringes of the story; deep at the heart of the plot, however is a distinctly malevolent individual who takes human lives – many of them.

This said, Robert Scragg brings much more to the party. What impressed me most was the genuine sense of humanity, compassion and mutual respect between Porter and Styles. To call it a symbiosis is perhaps rather too grand, but they fight each other’s corner and make allowances when either of them slips up. There is a feel-good factor about the novel, despite the harrowing nature of the crimes the pair are trying to solve.

It would be giving too much away to divulge the outcome, but the eventual solution caught me unawares and was an imaginative plot twist that worked beautifully without being too extravagant or showy in a “look at me, no hands!” kind of way.

All That Is Buried is published by Allison & Busby and will be out in hardback and Kindle on 23rd January.
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A funfair comes to town and a little girl goes missing
She is Seven year old 
Her name is Libby Halforth
No one has seen her and there is no trace of her
What happened to Libby
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All That is Buried
Porter & Styles 3
by Robert Scragg
352 pages 
Publication date: January 23, 2020
3 ⭐⭐⭐
A parent's worst fear is realised when seven-year-old Libby Hallforth goes missing at a funfair; no witnesses, no leads, and no trace. Months later, human remains are found, but they're too old to be Libby. It's the tip of a gruesome iceberg - bodies, buried in pairs, carefully laid to rest in a ritualistic manner. For D I Jake Porter and D S Nick Styles, the trail for Libby is cold, and everyone is a suspect. Nobody can be trusted, including the Hallforth family. Libby's chances of being found alive are fading fast, along with Porter's chances of stopping a killer before they strikes again.
 While the book started out really good,  parts of it tend to drag way too much . There was plenty of times i had to set it down and read something else . However something kelpt pulling me back to the story.  I love Brittish mystery crime thrillers but this one didn't really live up to my expectations. Even though this is book three in the series it can be read as a stand alone.  The characters are all well developed and believable however I didn't really connect with any of them. For me something was just missing.  The author did a good job of  letting us see inside the head of D I Jake Porter. Maybe if I had read the whole series I would have been more invested in the characters. 
 Each scene was described so well that it was as if I was picked up and transported to right there . I read so many of these type of books that it is rare for me not to guess who done it . This one however has an ending with such an unexpected twist. It will leave you with your mouth hanging open. While the story was some what interesting it is very slow paced and forgettable. The characters didn't really draw me in to the point I would really want to pick up more books in this series and read them. The only reason I finished it was to see what ended up happening to Libby. Don't get me wrong this author has talent this story just fell a little flat for me. Down the road I will pick up another book by this author in hopes that I will click more with it.  
Many thanks to the Publisher , the Author , and NetGalley for a ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. And as with any book you read PLEASE leave the author a REVIEW. Reviews are very important to authors and is what keeps them writing.
#AllThatisBuried #NetGalley
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Thank you to NetGalley and publishers Allison & Busby for the chance to read this book prior to publication date in return for an honest review.

I have posted a review on good reads link below.

A 7 year old girl, Libby Hallforth, disappears from a fair and Detective Porter is called in to investigate. 
Her broken phone is found with blood on the screen a short way from where she was standing, but after that the trail goes cold.

4 or 5 months later a passer by phones in following a re-enactment to say she spotted Libby in a park.

Upon searching the park a grizzly discovery of children’s bodies is made.
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While visiting an outside funfair, Libby Hallforth goes missing. Just 7 years old, no one remembers seeing her.... no witnesses and no trace of her after her abduction. Both parents had been with her ... but they each stepped away for a moment, they say.

While this is horrendous enough, it's just the beginning. DI Jake Porter and DS Nick Styles are called to investigate the sighting of a young girl thought to be Libby at a park. They were hoping they would find Libby, what they find instead are bodies ... lots of bodies of children...buried in pairs (boy and girl) beneath breathtakingly beautiful roses.

And while Libby's chances of being alive are slim, Porter and Styles must investigate as though she is still alive... and not a victim of a serial killer.

This series just gets better and better. The characters are maturing and the author has done a fine job meshing Porter's professional life with his personal. The secondary characters are also finely drawn and lend a bit of credibility to the story. There is much that happens on these pages .... not only a missing child, but a serial killer (of which the reader gets in on his thoughts), plenty of suspects ... most of whom are harboring secrets, even a drug lord is in the mix. The action never stops and it's a real page-turner.

Many thanks to the author / Allison & Busby Publishers / Netgalley / The Book Club Reviewer Group (FB) for the digital copy of this crime fiction. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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It's the first book I read in this series and won't surely be the last as it's gripping and entertaining.
i loved the fleshed out cast of characters, the well crafted plot and the solid mystery.
The style of writing is excellent and the author is a good storyteller.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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This is my review of All That Is Buried by Robert Scragg. It’s the third book in the DI Jake Porter and DS Nick Styles series which is set in London.

Libby Hallforth goes to the local fair with her parents one afternoon. She is taking some pictures on her phone when a man comes up behind her and surprises her. Later that afternoon she is reported missing to the police by her parents. One of the main questions is why wait two hours to report her missing? They find her smashed phone at the fair with her blood on the screen but other then that, no other trace of her, no leads and one witness who saw her without her parents.

About five months later, they get a report of a sighting of Libby at a park. They pull out all the stops to try and find her in the park. No sign of Libby but what they do find is so unexpected, it’s terrifying. On a small island in the lake, they find a gravesite with multiple human remains buried there in a clearing. Roses have been planted there and it seems like someone has been taking good care of the area regularly. One thing is ruled out and that the remains are too old to be Libby. Unfortunately, sky news have snuck onto the island and broadcast the news before DI Porter can inform the family so they get to hear without being told officially. This causes its own problems.

DI Porter refuses to give up the hunt for Libby, even though the trail has gone cold and now he has a new case on his hands which has to take priority. Who would want to kidnap children to then kill them and bury them in this way? Some of the remains were older than others. It seemed they had all been buried within the last five years. They were waiting on DNA tests to see if there hits to try and identify the remains. They wanted to try and work out what made this killer tick. To try and stop him before he struck again. But they needed something to go on. 

This book grabbed me from the start and I didn’t want to put it down. I truly enjoyed reading it and I want to read the other two in the series as well. The story is descriptive and flows well. This could well be another series I could get into.
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Wow that curveball hit me right between the eyes! 

"His skin prickles, goosebumps popping like Braille. His garden. His children. Ruined. Spoilt. Shock turns to anger.anger into resolve. Someone will answer for this."

Every parents worse nightmare. They leave their child alone in a public place for a few minutes and the child goes missing.......or so it appears. 

Everyone is hiding something and it is up to DI Jake Porter and his team to figure out what happened and to try and find Libby. There are many suspects; some close to home.
Then someone calls in a possible sighting of Libby. What they discovered is more then what they bargained for. A burial sight disguised as a rose garden....the bodies of 9 children....buried in pairs. One boy and one girl and all the pairs around the same age. 
What is the meaning of this and what significance does the roses hold. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book with its many facets and storylines that is cleverly crafted. It is very well written and keeps you on the edge of your seat till the end. 

Thank you to netgalley and Allison & Busby for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I had the opportunity to read this book over the course of three evenings. Someone said it’s a good thing to read for half an hour or so before going to sleep. It may be true, but this book kept me awake way, way longer.
I’ve always had difficulty reading “British” books, but this one really hit home. As a mom, it was heartbreakingly real; as someone who respects the law, I found myself wanting to punch more than one person in the throat!
Read the book yourself to figure out who I might be talking about; you won’t be sorry!
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This book was  a quick read, however I didn’t  love it. I found it was too busy and  the two different storylines were confusing to me. That being said, the descriptiveness was impressive. And I loved the way the two detectives interacted.  Thank you to Netgalley for my e copy in exchange for my honest review.
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A young girl goes missing at a fair. Detectives Porter and Styles are on the case. Eventually finding a rose filled graveyard with children’s remains. There are lots of twists and turns in this book and  it held my attention the entire time. Other mysteries intertwined in the plot as well. Enjoyed every single page.
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A big thank you to NetGalley and Allison & Busby for the ARC. I am voluntarily reviewing this book. Guy is is my first time reading this author.  Although this is the third in a series, I found it read well as a stand alone.  I personally did not connect with any of the characters, but it isn't necessary.  The plot had unexpected twists and I found it interesting. I liked that I couldn't guess everything.  3.5 stars
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I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers copy of this book via NetGalley thanks to the publisher Alison & Busby.  This is the third book in the series, first one that I have read, and in my opinion it is able to be read as a standalone.  The two main characters, DI Porter and DS Styles, are written so that they complement each other and work together as well as go off on their own.  The kidnapping plot has a few dimensions to it that are intriguing and have some twists.  I will definitely be looking to read the first two in this series.
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I would like to thank NetGalley, the author Robert Scragg and the publishers Allison & Busby for this free reader's copy in exchange for an honest review of this book.
 It took me a little while to get used to the two main characters in this story as this is the third book in the series and is the first book in the series that I have read.  However, I very quickly learned who was who and their role. 
A young girl, Libby Hallforth, aged seven, goes missing from a funfair and DI Jake Porter and DS Nick Styles find themselves on the case.  The case very quickly goes cold due to very little evidence and lack of witnesses  A re-enactment takes place which leads to a possible sighting which then reveals another unpleasant crime scene.  Childrens bodies buried, but is one that of Libby.  The two detectives are hindered by press intrusion and their boss wanting answers.    I love the interaction between DI Jake Porter and DS Nick Styles. They are like chalk and cheese but have a great working relationship.  The story is fast moving and full of intrigue.  Will definitely be reading more by this author.  I really enjoyed the writing style.
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I’d like to thank Allison & Busby and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read ‘All That Is Buried’, the third in the Porter and Styles series written by Robert Scragg, in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Seven-year-old Libby Hallforth is allowed to go to the funfair with her parents but when she goes missing DI Jake Porter and DS Nick Styles are called in to look for her.  Months later there’s still no sign of Libby, then a woman reports seeing a young girl looking like Libby in Victoria Park but as the search begins they come across human remains buried on a small island with rose bushes planted above.  Could the remains be those of Libby?

Not having read any of Robert Scragg’s previous novels in this series I had no prior knowledge of any of the characters, and while it may have helped to know what happened previously ‘All That Is Buried’ could still be read as a stand-alone novel.  I thought it interesting with a well-thought-out plot but I found the story unnecessarily slow and drawn-out at times and it didn’t have that exciting buzz I’ve got when reading other novels.  Also, Styles’ wife Emma annoyed me by calling him away from the investigation so that he could accompany her to maternity appointments or hold her hand as was getting twinges – not necessary in my opinion.  Nevertheless, it was enjoyable, easy to read with twists and turns, an engaging plot and an exciting conclusion.  I’ve given it 3 stars although I would’ve liked to have given more.
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A trip to the fair should be a happy occasion, something to look forward to and enjoy when it happens; for Libby Hallforth, however, it's anything but. The seven year old disappears without trace and no amount of appeals or police investigation can discover what happened to her. 

Detective Inspector Jake Porter and partner Detective Sergeant Nick Styles don't want to let the case fade from the public eye but when a call from a member of the public directs them to a local park they have no idea how a devastating discovery will change everything. 

This is the third book in this series but the first I have read. It is written in a way that involves the reader immediately, allowing them to live every ingenious twist and turn, with the main protagonists. I loved the banter between the main characters; the gallows humour and general dialogue seemed spot on as a difficult case was shown to be treated in a respectful manner by all involved. The story was told from various viewpoints which enabled the level of tension to rise exponentially as the reader learned things before Porter or Styles, and this worked brilliantly throughout. 

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for an unbiased review and would recommend it to anyone following this series or who doesn't mind the odd spoiler thrown in when they join a journey part way through. I hope there is more to come for Jake Porter as I am now definitely a fan.
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A great police procedural with a twist. Detective Jake Porter is on a date with Evie Simmons. Evie is also a detective on the police force,

Jake gets a call from his partner, DS Nick Styles, that a 7 year old girl (Libby) is missing. After Jake arrives at Libby's parents' house ( Ally and Simon Hallforth ) he becomes somewhat suspicious of both parents - for different reasons. Jake needs to know why it was 2 hours before either parent called the  police to report their daughter missing...

We find that there is a man in the background who had followed Libby, thinking that she was his daughter. The reader sporadically continues to hear from this man as the story continues...

Full of intrigue and suspense, This book is an excellent read. Also, a FAST read. My only problem is that I haven't read the first two books in the series. However, this book is a fine as a standalone.


Many Thanks to Allison & Busby and NetGalley for a truly great read !
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This a story about the disappearance of a young girl. Libby, but the investigations throw up a lot more than was expected.
I didn't realise this was part of a series, and although I'm guessing the previous books give more background on the detectives, it didn't ruin this book for me. However, I did struggle with who was who for most part, but if i had read the series from the beginning I might not have this view.
All in all, a good fast paced read, and will be buying the previous and forthcoming books.

Thank you to Netgalley, Robert Scragg and Allison & Busby for this ARC in exchange for an honest review
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An enthralling police procedural, All That Is Buried is, for my money, Porter and Styles' finest outing to date. Tragic, sensitive, well-researched, nuanced in its handling of social issues and beautifully composed, with excellent character development against a serpentine narrative - which I guarantee will have you urgently flipping pages, grasping for answers. Excellent and hugely recommended.
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DI Jake Porter and DS Nick Styles are back in this third book in the series.  When Libby Hallforth disappears from the fair, the 2 detectives investigate.  Even when the trail ends, Porter refuses to give up hope of finding young Libby.  Months later, after a suspected sighting of Libby, DI Porter and the team find numerous bodies of children buried but none are Libby.  Can DI Porter and the team find out who has killed all these children & find out what has happened to Libby.  
Can Porter and Evie Simmons keep their relationship under wraps at the station?   Will  Styles be able to keep his mind on the job when his wife could go into labour at any time?  
This is a great series and I always look forward to hearing when the latest is being released.  The characters all have their flaws but are the kind of detectives you would want on your side.  I enjoy seeing the relationship between Porter and Styles, they have great camaraderie.  An excellent plot although a bit harder to read due to the nature of the storyline.  
My thanks to NetGalley and HQ Digital for giving me the opportunity to read this book.
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