Scared to Death

Scared to Death

A serial killer murdering for kicks. A detective seeking revenge.When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong. But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst...

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Title:Scared to Death
Author:Rachel Amphlett
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:ebook
Number of Pages:410 pages

Scared to Death Reviews

  • Brenda
    Nov 11, 2016

    The terror that Yvonne and Tony were feeling as they raced to save their daughter was immense – when Detective Kay Hunter arrived on the scene she was horrified at what the police had found. And so began a case as brutal as any the detectives had encountered in a long time. The kidnapping of seventeen year old Melanie was shocking; the police initially thought the kidnapper had made a mistake. But Kay wasn’t convinced; the anomalies in the case struck her and her team and they were determined to

    The terror that Yvonne and Tony were feeling as they raced to save their daughter was immense – when Detective Kay Hunter arrived on the scene she was horrified at what the police had found. And so began a case as brutal as any the detectives had encountered in a long time. The kidnapping of seventeen year old Melanie was shocking; the police initially thought the kidnapper had made a mistake. But Kay wasn’t convinced; the anomalies in the case struck her and her team and they were determined to find the perpetrator.

    With another death seemingly connected to the kidnapping, the frustration of the team at not being able to find enough evidence was high. And Kay felt like her superior was against her every step of the way. But then a second teenager vanished – was it the work of the same crazy psychotic killer? They had to find the missing girl before she too became a statistic? What would it take? The clock was ticking and they all knew it….

    Wow! Aussie author Rachel Amphlett has done it again!

    is the beginning of a new series for the author and I can’t wait to read more about Detective Kay Hunter. Twists, turns, action – all combined with a fast pace and a gritty plot. I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery/thriller and have no hesitation in recommending it highly.

    With thanks to the author for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

  • Carol -  Reading Writing and Riesling
    Nov 23, 2016

    My View:

    Once you have been introduced to Detective Kay Hunter you will be firm friends. She is conscientious, driven, intelligent and hardworking and the author has generously provided a home life and a relationship that is strong and credible. Kay Hunter may have some personal and work issues that she is dealing with but these add to her credibility and make her a very well developed and realistic character. There is none of the desolate, drug addled or alcoholic traits that are so prevalent in

    My View:

    Once you have been introduced to Detective Kay Hunter you will be firm friends. She is conscientious, driven, intelligent and hardworking and the author has generously provided a home life and a relationship that is strong and credible. Kay Hunter may have some personal and work issues that she is dealing with but these add to her credibility and make her a very well developed and realistic character. There is none of the desolate, drug addled or alcoholic traits that are so prevalent in the protagonists of so many contemporary crime fiction reads – this three dimensional female protagonist is such a pleasant change to read.

    And the realism doesn’t end there! Whilst not writing sensationalist, violent prose, the action and the crimes portrayed here is realistic, disturbing and very imaginable (emphasis on the imaginable). The behaviours and personality types of the victims – also very credible.

    The strength of this novel is in Rachel Amphlett’s ability to succinctly create empathetic realistic characters and situations which allow readers to fully engage with many of the situations/issues presented here. Who hasn’t had some experience of bullying – in the workplace, in the home, at school, of being the target or the bully…of harassment, prejudice, discrimination? Parents will be able to identify with the fears and terrors the missing girls’ families feel. And the young girls? You will recognise teenagers who fit this bill too. And on a personal level – Kay’s “secret” is one that will resonate with many. Dysfunctional families, family violence, divorce, co-parenting…work pressures, the pressures of the everyday…all is covered here and in doing so the author has very subtly and successfully bonded you to the characters and the situations in this book. You will want to follow Kay Hunter on her journey to discover the truth.

    Well done Rachel Amphlett.

  • Dave
    Jan 24, 2017

    SYNOPSIS

    A serial killer murdering for kicks. A detective seeking revenge.

    When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

    But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

    When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

    With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the kille

    SYNOPSIS

    A serial killer murdering for kicks. A detective seeking revenge.

    When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.

    But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession.

    When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised.

    With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.

    For the killer, the game has only just begun...

    MY THOUGHTS

    What an excellent way to be introduced to, Rachel Amphlett. A start of a new series with a new detective, Detective Kay Hunter.

    This book certainly grabs your attention and it's straight into the thick of things after the first chapter. It's a generously paced read from then on, and the frequent short chapters kept me reading and reading, very curious with the excellent plot. I'm sure if I'd had the time, I could of finished this in a sitting.

    Primarily, this book is an excellent police procedural and delivered brilliantly, but there is a serious, twisted and sinister killer at large, which gives this read a bit more edginess, quite thrilling and dark at points.

    I found the characters okay, the usual suspects of a police investigation team. I can envisage they will become more developed as the series progresses, but Detective Kay Hunter has all the credentials of an excellent new character.

    This is a great, energised and promising new series. It ticked most boxes for me. Brilliant read and a big recommendation. 4/5 Stars

  • Karen
    Dec 05, 2016

    SCARED TO DEATH is the first in a new series from author Rachel Amphlett. It's a switch from the earlier espionage styled Dan Taylor novels, to a police procedural featuring Detective Kay Hunter.

    From the opening scenes with parents Yvonne and Tony racing to provide the ransom money and recover their daughter Melanie, through to the police investigation that follows, there's plenty of intrigue and pace built into SCARED TO DEATH. It is a novel structured in form of police procedural precisely, b

    SCARED TO DEATH is the first in a new series from author Rachel Amphlett. It's a switch from the earlier espionage styled Dan Taylor novels, to a police procedural featuring Detective Kay Hunter.

    From the opening scenes with parents Yvonne and Tony racing to provide the ransom money and recover their daughter Melanie, through to the police investigation that follows, there's plenty of intrigue and pace built into SCARED TO DEATH. It is a novel structured in form of police procedural precisely, building a great team around a really strong, central character, looking at the pitfalls, slog and highs of crime investigation. This is a crime that seems to be a kidnapping that's gone horribly wrong, but Hunter always feels there was something not right about the whole scenario. A very odd cause of death is one thing, the way that the ransom was collected is another, and then a second strange death, seems to Hunter to be designed to deflect further investigation setting her up on a collison course with her bosses, and a very nasty killer.

    An interesting touch, there's an idea here about the need to keep investigating even if things seem very clear cut. The concept of making darn sure that the seemingly obvious is correct is something that has been reflected in some historical true crime analysis that's been around recently, and it's explored well in this particular novel. Doing it from the point of view of one dedicated, almost obsessive cop has resonance as well - giving readers plenty of ways of connecting with Hunter, especially as she's also got more than a few skeletons in the cupboard.

    Given this is the first in a new series, the balance between character and team setup, and creating a fully fleshed out story as well, is nicely done. The plot is tight and clever, the action fast paced and there are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. The scenario is complicated without being complex, and even allowing for some aspects from the darker side of crime fiction, it's not overly confrontational or uncomfortable reading.

    SCARED TO DEATH is really well written, delivering a plot from the darker side, with a strong female character who is flawed enough to be believable and strong enough to have potential to carry this series forward. There's a good supporting cast of characters and a strong sense of good, old-fashioned, police procedural - investigation, evidence gathering and a touch of intuition.

  • Jen Lucas
    Nov 03, 2016

    Returning home from holiday, Tony and Yvonne Richards receive a terrifying phone call. Their daughter Melanie has been taken, the kidnappers only willing to reveal her whereabouts on the payment of a ransom. Keeping the kidnapping from the police, their only focus is to bring their daughter back safe and sound.

    When their search turns to tragedy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter and Detective Constable Ian Barnes are called to the scene. Fighting back from a difficult turn in her career, Hunter is

    Returning home from holiday, Tony and Yvonne Richards receive a terrifying phone call. Their daughter Melanie has been taken, the kidnappers only willing to reveal her whereabouts on the payment of a ransom. Keeping the kidnapping from the police, their only focus is to bring their daughter back safe and sound.

    When their search turns to tragedy, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter and Detective Constable Ian Barnes are called to the scene. Fighting back from a difficult turn in her career, Hunter is relieved to be appointed Deputy Senior Investigating Officer, at least until she reaches the scene. The facts of the case soon become clear but what initially looks like a kidnapping gone wrong begins to irk Kay. Something about it just doesn’t ring true and the post mortem soon confirms some of her worst fears.

    When their search leads them to a local courier company, and a young man with links to the company is found dead with the ransom money still in his flat, it looks like the case is all wrapped up. But everything still seems just a little too neat for Kay, despite her DCI’s conviction that the case is closed. When a second girl is taken, the killer begins to taunt the police. Kay and the team soon face an uphill battle to piece together all of the evidence and track down the girl before she becomes another victim of a sadistic and unremorseful monster.

    From the very first chapter, this book grabbed my attention and didn’t let it go. With ‘Scared to Death’ Rachel Amphlett has created a high stakes, fast paced thriller in which motives are hidden and the perverse nature of the perpetrator is almost as twisted as the plot lines. The sense of jeopardy, of panic, which hit me in the opening pages, was absolutely brilliant and much like the Dan Taylor series, another fine example of Rachel Amphlett’s skill in creating a tense story line.

    I won’t say too much more about the plot as you really need to read it for yourself. Needless to say, the bad guys are very, very bad, and the heroes, for once, likeable and not overly flawed. Kay Hunter is a cop with a troubled past, as all good crime genre Detectives typically are. But far from being responsible for the current state of her reputation, Hunter is a victim herself, set up for something she didn’t do. The nature of her secret is not revealed until part way through the book, keeping the reader guessing, but it is the source of one of her greatest conflicts, her DCI Angus Larch, who was the person responsible for the internal investigation against her. With DI Devon Sharp on her side, she is not entirely alone, but you know that Larch will never fully trust her, and this alone will force Hunter to stay one step ahead of the game.

    The characters in the book are very well developed which is no less than I would expect from this particular author. Kay is a very likeable character, as is DI Sharp. Kay’s relationship with her husband is also refreshing. Far from the conflict you normally see in fictional police marriages, this one seems extremely strong. This is despite the internal investigate and a rather upsetting personal tragedy which would in other stories have ended the marriage. Kay’s husband Adam provides an almost humorous interlude at times, particularly when considering his animal clientele – including one very slippery customer. I really liked the dynamic between the couple and look forward to seeing more of it in future books. The police team are also well rounded, and I found myself engaged by Devon Sharp and his working relationship with Kay.

    As I said before, the plot line in this book it seriously twisted. The motives of the perpetrator are nothing short of psychotic, and even though we know who was responsible for the kidnapping very early on in the story, you can rest assured that nothing is as straightforward or simple as it may seem. There are hidden sides to all the characters, making me as a reader feel an element of empathy for people I wouldn’t have expected, and pushing me to question the innocence of others who should ordinarily garner sympathy. Ultimately the killer is just that. A killer. But what is it that has driven them to kill, and can it ever be forgiven?

    I absolutely loved this book. Full of nail biting moments, I was fully engaged and invested in the lives of the victims and the heroine from the off. From the action packed opening, the pace steadies as the investigation gets underway. But as the story nears conclusion, it begins to ratchet up again and storms to a dramatic and somewhat unexpected conclusion. I raced through this book so quickly, it was such an enthralling read. With Kay, with Adam’s support, determined to set right the damage which was done to her career, there are plenty of questions still to be answered as the series progresses, and I for one am very hungry to read more.

    A brilliantly twisted, tension filled 5 stars.

  • Sarah
    Nov 07, 2016

    This is the first novel I have read by this author and will certainly be reading more after reading this one!

    Scared To Death is the first book in a brand new crime series introducing us to Detective Kay Hunter.

    I have to say this was without a doubt one of those novels that you could easily devour in one sitting. As soon as I started it I knew I was in for a great reading experience, sadly real life got in the way and I ended up having to reluctantly read it over a few days instead. Believe me wh

    This is the first novel I have read by this author and will certainly be reading more after reading this one!

    Scared To Death is the first book in a brand new crime series introducing us to Detective Kay Hunter.

    I have to say this was without a doubt one of those novels that you could easily devour in one sitting. As soon as I started it I knew I was in for a great reading experience, sadly real life got in the way and I ended up having to reluctantly read it over a few days instead. Believe me when you pick it up you will not want to put it back down and it was pure torture having to go about daily life before I could race back to it.

    The author ensures she has your attention with a truly gripping start to the story. From that point I was just as intrigued as Kay as to why a kidnapper would go about things the way they had done and I was desperate to know more.

    I like Detective Kay Hunter, with so many crime series out there I think it’s getting harder for a new detective to stand out, but I didn’t have to worry here as Kay is a very memorable one and one that I certainly want to read more of.

    Scared To Death is a brilliant start to a new crime thriller series. With such a gripping story line this is one that fans of this genre DO NOT want to miss out on.

  • The Book Review Café
    Nov 22, 2016

    Oh my god I absolutely loved Scared To Death from the first chapter I just knew it was going to be a crime thriller I would devour in a couple of sittings, and I was right. Scared To Death by Rachel Amphlett is the first book in a new series featuring Detective Kay Hunter, and the authors started the series with an humongous bang. A young girl is kidnapped and held hostage, but things take a sinister and deadly turn when the young girl is found dead, this is followed shortly by the disappearance

    Oh my god I absolutely loved Scared To Death from the first chapter I just knew it was going to be a crime thriller I would devour in a couple of sittings, and I was right. Scared To Death by Rachel Amphlett is the first book in a new series featuring Detective Kay Hunter, and the authors started the series with an humongous bang. A young girl is kidnapped and held hostage, but things take a sinister and deadly turn when the young girl is found dead, this is followed shortly by the disappearance of a second girl, throw in a man found dead with the ransom money still in his possession and you know you are in for a hell of a twisted read. Detective Kay Hunter soon finds herself embroiled in the most shocking and disturbing case of her career. The author has written a thriller that will certainly grab the reader from the first page, I certainly found it to be is a fast read due to the writing style and format.

    Detective Kay Hunter was an intriguing character she is complex, feisty but she also has a vulnerable side involving her past. The author very cleverly only lets you glimpse snippets about past events in Kay’s life but I’m sure as the series progresses more about her past will be revealed, I find I’m more interested in a protagonist when everything about there character isn’t revealed all in one fell swoop, it gives me time to use my very limited imagination to guess more about the character. As for the serial killer hell they are one very twisted and calculating individual, but again the author has created a character who is complex and very well depicted.

    This is one of those books where the pace is relentless and as the investigation reaches a dramatic conclusion it made for a very tense fuelled read. There are plenty of surprises packed into this crime thriller some of which I guessed, others I really didn’t see coming which for me heightens my enjoyment of a book. Scared To Death is an Intense and thrilling read, I always find there are certain elements that can make or break a book for me personally the novel has to have a well devised plot, complex characters and relentless in pace and I’m thrilled to report this novel includes these all important elements.

    You can check out all my reviews over at

  • Magdalena
    Nov 14, 2016

    Scared to Death is the first in a new series by Rachel Amphlett. I had not read anything by Rachel Amphlett before I read this book, but as a big time crime fan was I intrigued by the premise and the cover of the book. So, what makes this so special that you should pick it over other crime books?

    Personally, I just love when I instantly like the main character and Kay Hunter was just the kind of tough female cop that I like to read about. And, it was quite nice that she seems to be quite stable,

    Scared to Death is the first in a new series by Rachel Amphlett. I had not read anything by Rachel Amphlett before I read this book, but as a big time crime fan was I intrigued by the premise and the cover of the book. So, what makes this so special that you should pick it over other crime books?

    Personally, I just love when I instantly like the main character and Kay Hunter was just the kind of tough female cop that I like to read about. And, it was quite nice that she seems to be quite stable, despite recent problems both at home and at work. Not, that I don't like my heroines flawed, I do. But, having a woman cop, in a stable relationship felt like a nice change. I just loved that she and Adam have a loving and understanding relationship, despite that they have just been through hell together.

    As for the case, it's tragic, the whole case feels like just an awful nightmare. Without giving too much away is this case a typical example of what could happen when someone that has been abused for years suddenly snaps. It's such a chilling story. Also, the story has some brilliant twists. Just the way I like it.

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    Dec 09, 2016

    Date Read: 12/09/16

    Pub Date: 12/06/16

    4 STARS

    Date Read: 12/09/16

    Pub Date: 12/06/16

    4 STARS

    Guys, I have been searching awhile for a book like this one. While I like my leading ladies flawed and imperfect, I needed a slight change from these women who are barely hanging on by a thread and the only place they keep it together is on the clock. Don't get me wrong, I think that storyline works well, but it can't be the only type of character we follow or things get old and we get oh-so-tired of the same old. This book was quite refreshing in the sense that our main character is pretty well polished and put together. Sure she has plenty of issues and struggles, but they seem fairly normal and she is depicted as working through them. Kay Hunter is a strong female, no doubt, yet she isn't just strong around the boys while doing her job. She's got a stable, relatively comfortable life with a romantic relationship and things to do outside of work. This is a whole new side to a female police officer that we rarely see and I like it.

    This book was brutal. That's not meant as a criticism, just a fair warning that it is graphic, intense, and hard to stomach at times. If you are looking for a fluffy murder mystery with coffee and cats, this ain't it. If you, like me, enjoy gritty, suspenseful and disturbing stories, jump on board; this one's for you. Without giving away too much regarding the plot, it felt like the book fell into sections for me as I went back in my mind to gloss over what I'd read. There was the part regarding the first abduction/murder, then there was the next part regarding the murdered man, and then there was the second girl abduction part, and so on... I really liked the distinct feeling of separation between sections as it gave a more realistic, organized view of many different working parts that come together in an investigation. The format and writing quality are fantastic and I didn't feel lost at any given point.

    If you have triggers regarding abuse, this might be a tough read for you. There is quite a bit of graphic descriptions, but nothing a typical murder/thriller reader can't stomach. The violence and gore isn't just for shock value and is vital to the story, so just know that going in. The author did a great job of writing about some really tough subjects in a tasteful and respectful way. I thought the cover art was brilliant in capturing the feel of the book. If you are a fan of the more graphic, intense, gritty thriller, I'd highly recommend giving this one a try. I'm truly looking forward to where the author takes us next in Detective Kay Hunter's adventures.

  • ireadnovels.wordpress.com
    Jan 05, 2017

    I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy.