I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for an advance copy of Did You See Melody, a stand-alone novel set in a luxury resort in Arizona.
Cara Burrows takes a solo holiday without telling her family to mull over some problems. Tired and miserable, she discovers her room is already occupied by a man and a teenager. The next day, after overhearing another conversation, she realises the teenager might have been Melody Chapa whose parents are in jail for her murder.
After an initial slow start to the story, it really picked up. I found it compulsive reading until the end, with a couple of really good twists.
Cara arrived in America never having heard of Melody Chappa so when her interest is aroused, she searches the Internet. She comes across the show Justice with Bonnie, where ex prosecutor Bonnie Juno almost singlehandedly got Melody’s parents convicted. Much of this is reprinted verbatim in the novel. As I said it is fascinating how Bonnie twists the facts to suit her agenda and bullies her interviewees into agreeing with her. It is a recognisable technique taken to extremes and is incredibly well done.
I liked the characterisation as well. Cara is authentically written. Her problems might be a bit first world but are real to her and something most of us can identify with. Tarin and Zellie Fry, the American mother and daughter she meets are a hoot. Tarin is an overconfident florist from Kansas with an opinion on everything, often what most of us would like to say but don’t; whereas Zellie is her sarcastic apologist. They steal the show, although Cara has her moments. I didn’t expect the novel to be funny but it is and it’s done naturally and well.
I thoroughly enjoyed Did You See Melody and have no hesitation in recommending it as an excellent read.
This book warrants