Once a victim, she's now a vigilante
Imprint: HQ Fiction
Publication date: 1st December 2021
Genre: Crime Fiction
Format read: Uncorrected advance copy
Source: Courtesy of the publisher
About the book
Lexi Winter is tough,
street-smart and has stood on her own two feet since childhood, when she
was a victim of notorious paedophile the Spider. All she cares about
now is a roof over her head and her long-term relationship with Johnny
Walker. She isn't particular about who she sleeps with ... as long as
they pay before leaving.
Lexi is also an ace hacker, tracking and
entrapping local paedophiles and reporting them to the cops. When she
finds a particularly dangerous paedophile who the police can't touch,
she decides to gather enough evidence to put him away. Instead, she's a
witness to his death ...
Detective Inspector Rachael Langley is
the cop who cracked the Spider case, 18 years earlier - but failed to
protect Lexi. Now a man claiming to be the real Spider is emulating his
murderous acts, and Rachael is under pressure from government, media and
her police colleagues. Did she get it wrong all those years ago, or is
this killer a copycat?
Lexi and Rachael cross paths at last, the Spider in their sights ... but they may be too late ...
Unforgiven takes place over a three week period but the action is so full on it feels much longer.
Told through first person narration by Lexi, former victim now vigilante paedophile hunter. I feel this type of narrative gives the reader a more personal look at Lexi, how she feels and why she acts the way she does. An alternating third person narrative is also given for DI Rachael Langley. The alternating narratives keep the story moving at a fast pace.
I did find the content of child abuse, paedophilia and child murder deeply disturbing and very hard to read at times.
Barrie highlights the complexity of the dark web with its numerous hidden portals and the difficulty police have with breaking into these sites and making arrests before they close down.
As Rachael and her team try to catch a deadly paedophile calling himself The Spider they are hampered by the stretched resources of police and community services and the limited power they have to act on information received.
Barrie does add a little humour into what is otherwise a dark read with Lexi's neighbour Dawny who has a few tricks up her sleeve when Lexi is in need of help. Dawny was a fun character and a warning to us all to never underestimate the old lady who lives across the road.
Unforgiven is a gripping, tension filled read that exposes the fragility of children and the extraordinary work of the people trying to protect them.
My rating 4.5 / 5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐½
About the author
Sarah Barrie is the author of eight novels, including her bestselling
print debut Secrets of Whitewater Creek, the Hunters Ridge trilogy and
the Calico Mountain trilogy. In a past life, while gaining degrees in
arts, science and education, Sarah worked as a teacher, a vet nurse, a
horse trainer and a magazine editor, before deciding she wanted to write
novels. About the only thing that has remained constant is her love of
all things crime.Her favourite place in the world is the family
property, where she writes her stories overlooking mountains
crisscrossed with farmland, bordered by the beauty of the Australian
bush, and where, at the end of the day, she can spend time with family,
friends, a good Irish whiskey and a copy of her next favourite book.
Thanks to Harper Collins I have two additional copies of Unforgiven to giveaway. One here on my blog and one on Instagram @theburgeoningbookshelf You can enter both. Australian addresses only. Giveaway closes at midnight EDST on 20th January 2022.
This giveaway is now closed and the winners were announced HERE