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Saturday, 16 January 2016

'Scared to Tell' by Barbara Fagan Speake

Published by Country Books,
19 November 2015.  
ISBN 978-1-910489-0

This is the fifth adventure for Annie Macpherson as she returns from Scotland to Connecticut for a longer assignment with the Westport police.  The previous books documented her experiences on an exchange from Stockport, U.K. to Westport, Connecticut through various cases.  She is quickly absorbed back into the life of the unit after her visit back to her family but is, equally quickly, asked to undertake an undercover assignment.  She is sent to work in a care respite home after one of the residents there has accidentally locked herself out of her room and died of Hypothermia.  With personal experience of dealing with a family member with an intellectual disability Annie is the ideal candidate to look into the treatment of individuals having respite care in that home.

At the same time a journalism student, Ellie Harrington , starts to volunteer in another care home as she pursues a degree assignment which will look at the work such homes do.  Both women become concerned about the treatment of some of the young female inhabitants and attempt to investigate this. 

This is a slow boiling situation and making connections proves difficult.   The stories of both protagonists eventually cross as the seriousness of the plight of many women from the homes becomes obvious. 

Barbara Speake provides authenticity on many levels as an American who has lived in England for many years and as a woman with a career in clinical psychology.  The characters in her books ring true as we are privy to their thoughts and actions. This tale reaches an exciting conclusion as Annie and Ellie follow threads to the ultimate conspiracy.
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
Barbara has written 4 police procedurals about Annie and a debut novel, Secrets Only Sleep, with some overlapping characters.

Barbara Fagan Speake was born and brought up in Connecticut. She has written 3 crime novels so far.  The first, Secrets Only Sleep, is a standalone mystery.  The second is this book and the third, Programmed to Kill, develops Annie’s adventures in the USA further

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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