Tastes Like Fear – Sarah Hilary

tastes like fear

Published on 7 April 2016 by Headline

Sarah Hilary won the 2015 Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year with her debut, the 2014 Richard and Judy pick. She followed up with NO OTHER DARKNESS, proclaimed as ‘riveting’ by Lisa Gardner, ‘utterly gripping’ by Eva Dolan and ‘truly mesmerising’ by David Mark. Now D.I. Marnie Rome returns in her third novel.

You’ll never be out of Harm’s way

The young girl who causes the fatal car crash disappears from the scene.

A runaway who doesn’t want to be found, she only wants to go home.

To the one man who understands her.

Gives her shelter.

Just as he gives shelter to the other lost girls who live in his house.

He’s the head of her new family.

He’s Harm.

D.I. Marnie Rome has faced many dangerous criminals but she has never come up against a man like Harm. She thinks that she knows families, their secrets and their fault lines. But as she begins investigating the girl’s disappearance nothing can prepare her for what she’s about to face.

Because when Harm’s family is threatened, everything tastes like fear…

My reviews of No Other Darkness and Someone Else’s Skin

My thoughts

Tastes Like Fear is the third in the highly acclaimed and much loved Marnie Rome series. Sarah Hilary shows once again she is top of her game, giving us a dark tale of dysfunctional families and a searing social commentary on homeless teens and teenage gangs. This is a book that I deliberately read slowly, savouring every single moment.

We get a story of vulnerable teenage runaways, which turn into a complex murder case for Marnie Rome. We know from the start, a version of what is going on. The homeless youths have been provided with care and protection by someone calling themselves ‘Harm’. Who on earth is this ‘Harm’? And will Marnie Rome and Noah Jake get to the truth in time to prevent more young people being lured from the streets?

It is wonderful to have Marnie Rome back, with a brand new case. Although Hilary gives us some wonderfully deep and well rounded new characters, it is Marnie Rome who I truly love. We catch a glimpse of the outspoken brave child Marnie might have been, in one of the young people. You can literally feel how each case takes its toll, as she gets personally involved. I particularly enjoy her relationship with her disturbing foster brother. I can see dark things on the horizon, for Marnie and Stephen. Stephen cannot stop trying to manipulate Marnie. With his history, anything is possible.

Tastes Like Fear is quality intelligent crime, with enough twists to keep you glued to the page and a massive dose of terrifying anticipation. We see what life is like for some of the young people growing up in the UK. Teenage gangs on housing estates, with not much to occupy them. Plus the tragedy of vulnerable teens living on the streets, in cold fear. A sad state of affairs for 2016.

My advice is read Tastes Like Fear and get to know Marnie Rome. You will then love her, as much as I do. I am itching to see where Sarah Hilary takes us next, especially in the personal lives of Marnie and Noah. Totally and utterly recommended.


Thanks to Sarah Hilary and Headline for my lovely review copy.

Tastes Like Fear can be found on Amazon here from 7 April 2016





About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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2 Responses to Tastes Like Fear – Sarah Hilary

  1. crimeworm says:

    I will also read this one slowly, to savour it – I know exactly what you mean by that, and it’s something I do with particularly good books. You’re right about the sad state of affairs in our country – and this is where everyone seems to want to come to. I’m so thankful that my two are employed and housed and happy young people – not working is a very difficult pattern to break, especially if it’s established when you’re young. And this Tory government doesn’t give a f*** – they can’t relate to people like us, or young people who are falling away from society, and what’s worse is they really don’t care. Political rant over! I’m not going to read your review of In Her Wake yet as I’m still reading it and have to review it. By page 23 I was thinking, this is brilliant. Another to be savoured. But I shall return to it!

    • Christine says:

      Definitely read my review of In Her Wake after you have read it. I think its best to go in fresh. And Sarah Hilary’s book is as great as you would expect.. And its my new approach to my faves. I’m slow reading them, to truly appreciate them. I totally agree with your politics.

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