Read Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett Online


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 worstA 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…Scared to Death is a gripping fast paced crime thriller from author Rachel Amphlett, in a new series introducing Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…*** To add to your bookshelf, click on "Read" under the cover image, and select "Want to Read" ***...

Title : Scared to Death
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780994433756
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 410 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Scared to Death Reviews

  • Mary Beth
    2019-02-23 17:32

    Scared to Death is the first book in the Kay Hunter series. It is a crime thriller. I really enjoyed this book. It was very disturbing and had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning to the end. It should satisfy any lover of serial killer fiction. It is so gripping and fast paced. This was dark and gritty with twists I didn't see coming. Lots of surprises in this one.Melanie is missing and her parents are distraught because she is nowhere to be found. When she is found the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong. When a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession Kay Hunter is not sure that this is a kidnapping gone wrong. The killer's game has just begun.He inflicts fear in his victims and they are literally scared to death. The character development is excellent and I really liked Kay Hunter. She is so realistic and is not flawed like most detectives in crime thrillers are. Its good to have a change once in a while. I loved the romance with her and Adam.This is not for the faint of heart. It is dark. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series.I recommend this series to those that like a dark and gritty crime thriller.

  • Chelsea Humphrey
    2019-03-09 18:31

    Find more reviews on my blog: Date Read: 12/09/16Pub Date: 12/06/164 STARSWhen 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… 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.*Many thanks to the author for providing my copy; it was my pleasure to provide an honest review!

  • Veronica ⭐️
    2019-02-24 17:14

    Scared to Death is the first book in the Detective Kay Hunter series. The story pulled me in from the very beginning. The suspense is gripping and each scene is vividly described making the events spine-chillingly real.DS Kay Hunter is dedicated. She doesn’t dwell on the problems in her life and the backstory tells us she has plenty of personal problems she could be dwelling on.It’s a nice change to have a detective that’s not a divorced alcoholic. The reader is not heaped with Hunter’s personal life. We are just given a few snippets here and there to let you know a bit about her, she was bullied at school, gets annoyed by her mother and sister and has a loving supportive partner. The story focuses mainly on the case at hand.The pace is fast. The chapters are short and precise which makes this book an easy, quick read but not easy to read as there are quite a few skin crawling adrenaline pumping moments.The killer has a troubled background but the reader is never urged to feel sorry for him. The victims are kept slightly detached although they are not completely innocent themselves.If you enjoy adrenaline pumping action and suspense I highly recommend “Scared to Death.”I was provided with an ERC from the author to read and review.

  • Jean
    2019-03-17 17:21

    “Scared to death.” Most of us have heard the phrase, haven’t we? Perhaps we’ve even said it. But what if it actually happened? Melanie Richards is not an unusual teenage girl. Her mother is a successful businesswoman; her father is a man who is unable to control his mouth, and it has cost him a job or two. His daughter, unfortunately, has learned by example. When her mom goes away on a business trip and dad tags along on holiday, Melanie stays home alone. This was the opportunity her stalker was waiting for. He kidnaps her; when her parents return three days later, he contacts them with ransom demands. They deliver the money and receive instructions on where to find their daughter – with one big admonition – HURRY. All this occurs in the opening pages of Rachel Amphlett’s Scared to Death.After the parents discover their daughter’s body in an abandoned biosciences site, Detective Kay Hunter’s investigative team finds a camera. Detective Hunter theorizes that the kidnapper enjoyed watching the victim panic as she struggled to escape. Since the young woman’s body had no serious injuries or obvious pathologies inflicted upon her by the perpetrator, she wonders whether the girl’s death had been intentional, as she seemed to have been scared to death.I had not read anything by Ms. Amphlett previously. Kay Hunter reminded me a bit of Robert Bryndza’s Erika Foster in that she has a painful past that she is trying to put behind her, and she doesn’t always seem sure that she can cope. Hunter’s problem stems from a professional situation that resulted in her superior having lost confidence in her. She, therefore, feels under the gun to prove herself competent – and innocent beyond any doubt. Fortunately for her, very few of her colleagues are aware of it; those who know are supportive. Her husband Adam, a veterinarian, is the kind of man who is there for her no matter what. Adding to the challenge of her job is the fact that she recently had a miscarriage, which still weighs heavily on her. I found Kay to be a realistic, likable character.Quite early on in the story, we learn who the killer is. We also learn, over time, what motivates him and how he chooses his victims. This guy carries emotional scars from his past, but that doesn’t excuse the sick pleasure he gets from placing young women in harm’s way and watching their fear turn to frenzy as they realize they are doomed. The story clips along at a steady pace as the case unfolds; then at the end – whoa! A twist I wasn’t expecting! Looking back, I see that it was something I could have picked up on. Okay. I don’t mind the unexpected.There are several characters in this book who are bullies or who have been bullied emotionally or physically. If this is a sensitive subject for you, then this may not be the book for you. I did not feel that it was the major part of the plot, but it was definitely one of the themes in the story.Now, Ms. Amphlett, I know that Adam is a vet who has brought a client’s sick snake named Sid home for several days. I am thankful that Sid was mentioned only a couple of times. However, that last line about made this me keel over, as the title says, “scared to death.”4 stars

  • Brenda
    2019-03-13 20:22

    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! Scared to Death 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.

  • Phrynne
    2019-03-18 19:25

    What a great start to a new series. Scared to Death grabbed me from the very first page and I stayed up very late to finish it.I really enjoyed the character of Kay Hunter. She was realistic, intelligent, organised and in a satisfactory and normal relationship. She was not an alcoholic, a mother who was not coping with family/work arrangements or an idiot who keeps putting herself in dangerous positions. In other words in this genre she is a breath of fresh air.The story is dark and quite brutal and frequently very tense. I always get very nervous when the police are working against the clock to find someone before they die. I was not sure why the author introduced an unnecessary father / daughter relationship into the mix at the eleventh hour as I did not feel it really added anything to the suspense at that stage of the book.Anyway I like Kay and I like her husband Adam. He introduces a touch of humour to the story which is nice. The escaped snake rounds the book off beautifully. It was all good and I have another series to read!

  • BookwormDH
    2019-03-22 13:36

    SYNOPSISA 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 THOUGHTSWhat 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

  • Angela Marsons
    2019-03-01 17:15

    I've been dying to read a book by this author for a while now after seeing many positive reviews. I decided to wade in with the first in a new crime series featuring Kay Hunter and I was not disappointed. If I have a checklist of things I enjoy in a book then Rachel Amphlett managed to tap into it. Scared to Death started with a bang and inserted me into the story from the first page. The fast pace of the story kept me glued to the story of Melanie's kidnapping. I am a fan of short chapters and snappy, well-written, realistic dialogue - another tick for Ms Amphlett. And anyone who knows me will know that I am a sucker for a really cool, focussed and interesting main character. Kay Hunter is intelligent and realistic and very easy to get behind. I liked that there are hints of a back story but this does not overshadow the plot which moves along at breakneck speed with twists and turns. The ending left me positively exhausted. I found the Eli chapters actually raised goosebumps from my skin and I am definitely looking forward to the next instalment of Kay Hunter's journey.

  • Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
    2019-03-19 16:31

    There is no messing around with Scared to Death by Rachel Amphlett. Despite being the first in a new series, it immediately kicks off at a frantic pace. This novel is not for the faint hearted, it is a gutsy, fast and dark book that is packed full with unsuspecting twists. Scared to Death is a must read for the crime fiction fan or those who appreciate a solid mystery-thriller.The action begins from the opening page in Scared to Death. The Richards, parents of kidnapped daughter Melanie, are on a desperate journey to get their daughter back. Answering the kidnapper’s call for ransom, the Richards produce the money they require. Sadly, their daughter is found dead, soon after the money has been deposited. Further investigations into the case reveal the poor girl was literally ‘scared to death’ by her attacker. Detective Kay Hunter is on watch at the time of this despicable murder and is put in charge of the case. Kay soon realises this is not a straight forward murder case, as the body count rises and complications come to the surface, relating directly to the case. Things are also about to take a turn for the very personal for Kay and her team, as they race to catch this killing fiend.Scared to Death marks the first book in a new series, featuring the enigmatic female detective Kay Hunter. Amphlett has built a solid foundation in Scared to Death, paving the way to a compelling series, matched with an intriguing main protagonist. I do enjoy a thriller that places a strong female character at the helm and Amphlett succeeds in doing this in her latest novel. Amphlett manages to balance Kay’s personal life and career demands extremely well, all within a consuming plot.Until I read Scared to Death, I had not read anything prior by the author, Rachel Amphlett. Her style of writing is very readable and has a strong sense of fluidity. The book is well structured and the sharp chapter style makes it impossible to put this book down. The plot is tight, producing many unseen twists and turns that compelled me to continue reading. Amphlett knows just how to tease her audience, I was definitely a prisoner of this book from the opening scene, to the final curtain. At the end, I reflected on the disturbing and thrilling chase Amphlett had taken me on. I also have to admit to being greedy, I wanted more from Amphlett! I’m going to be first in line for the next addition to this new series.Scared to Death by Rachael Amphlett is an exciting new novel, as well as a fantastic series opener. Moving at a relentless pace, with an intensely dark plot, featuring a top notch female protagonist. I guarantee it will thrill and chill you to the bone. Scared to Death is a book that is best put in the hands of a seasoned thriller, crime, mystery or serial killer fiction fan.*I voluntarily received an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

  • Li'l Owl
    2019-03-06 14:22

    'The girl had knocked her head on something, and he didn't know what. There was blood on the side of her face, and while she was still unconscious, he checked and found a cut under her hair. Satisfied that it wasn't life threatening, he relaxed. He wanted her on his terms. He reached into the bag and pulled out the contents, lining them up along the plastic covering of a narrow brick shelf that ran along the wall next to him. Lipstick, mobile phone, purse - no notes, just change - a small box of tampons, and - his fingers wrapped around a flimsy article, and as he extracted it, he realized it was a Polaroid photograph, the sort people took in photo booths for passport photos. His thumb rubbed across the face of the man in the photograph, and a smile twitched at the corner of his mouth. Things were going even better than he had imagined'.How are they going to find who's done this? Is the investigation going in the right direction? I thought so but.....They're running out of time!It's a hold your breath till the end of the last chapter kind of book. And I could not put it down until all the questions were answered. But in the end, were they......?I read this book in one day! Aussie Author Rachel Amphlett is one of the very best! I'll be reading the next book in the Detective Kay Hunter series, Will to Live, very, very soon to see what happens next!

  • Jenny
    2019-02-28 16:22

    Scared to Death is book one in the Detective Kay Hunter series by Rachel Amphlett. Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter thought her career in law enforcement was over when Professional Standards investigated her. However, this was not the case her supervisor Detective Inspector Devon assigned her to the murder investigation of a young girl. The readers of Scared to Death will continue to follow the twist and turns in the investigation into the killing of Melanie by Detective Kay Hunter. Scared to Death is the first book I have read of Rachel Amphlett and I enjoy it. I will differently read another book by Rachel Amphlett. I love the way Rachel Amphlett portrays her characters. Also, I like Rachel Amphlett writing style and her way she entwines her characters and plots which, enable me to be hook after the first chapter. Readers of Scared to Death will learn about law enforcement in the United Kingdom. Readers of Scared to Death will enjoy the twist that Rachel Amphlett put into the plot of this book. Also, like me, readers will like the way Rachel Amphlett describes what could happen to pregnant women who are under stress at work and the problems that it can cause.I recommend this book.

  • Amy
    2019-03-17 19:40

    All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.comOohhh what a fantastic beginning to a new series! I love nothing more than getting caught up in a new series and I’m so excited about this one featuring detective Kay Hunter. She’s intelligent, capable and tough, but she has enough skeletons in her closet to keep things interesting. She also has a keen intuition which makes her a sharp and formidable detective.The book starts out with a bang, a couple is racing against the clock to try and save their teenaged daughter. Melanie has been kidnapped and there is a ransom demand. I could feel the terror of her poor parents, I can’t imagine the despair and helplessness they were feeling, so awful. When things end in the worst possible way, Hunter has a huge mess to wade through and clean up. Can Hunter and her team outsmart this ruthless and cunning killer before he strikes again?The killer here is quite frightening, he literally scares his victims to death and there were times that I was pretty scared myself! He’s crafty, cocky and sinister and seems to enjoy toying with the police and his victims. The pace here is snappy with short chapters that urge you to keep reading. This is dark and gritty, with surprises that I didn’t see coming. There is also a good mix of business and pleasure as you get glimpses into Kay’s personal life and relationship with her boyfriend Adam. There were some funny scenes between the two that added some warmth and humanity to an otherwise dark story. I’m really looking forward to the next book in this series and can definitely recommend this to crime fiction fans.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-09 21:36

    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.

  • Carol -Reading Writing and Riesling
    2019-03-14 19:13

    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.

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    2019-03-13 20:11

    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.I want to thank the author for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

  • Jen
    2019-03-04 14:13

    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.

  • The Book Review Café
    2019-03-12 16:32

    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

  • I read novels
    2019-03-15 19:29

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

  • Mary
    2019-03-08 21:12

    Detective Kay Hunter is horrified when she is called to a murder scene and realises that a kidnapped teenager has actually been found by her parents. Then the father collapses with a heart attack and Kay attempts to resuscitate him. And as if that isn't enough, police realise that the girl, Melanie, has been set up so that she will eventually slip and fall and then strangle to death - with the criminal watching by remote camera. Kay and the team are working hard to find the killer - or is it killers? But Kay has only recently been cleared of suspicion in an internal investigation and DCI Larch not only doesn't trust her, he's actually undermining her. Kay isn't at all sure that she can trust her own judgement anyway and this isn't helping. And there is another girl out there who needs Kay to get it right. And time is running out.This is an excellent book; the first of a new series. It is gripping and suspenseful. The plot is excellent and while the character development is primarily of Kay, the other characters worked well too. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it.

  • Karen
    2019-03-08 19:18

    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.

  • Ann Girdharry
    2019-03-03 18:24

    This book gets off to a fantastic start. It delivers a double whammy to the reader, leaving you reeling from the shock and feeling terrible about what has just happened to the characters. Great stuff. Probably I was expecting too much after this, because I found myself turning the pages very quickly but the tension gradually leaked out of the story. In the end, I was reading just to find out what happened (though the plot became clear halfway through). If only that same punch from the beginning had kept going. Unfortunately, it didn't. Good points - the female detective who had to fight for herself against a nasty boss, a sadistic killer who must be brought down at all costs. Not so good - characters a little shallow and the tension dying out as the story progressed.

  • Noelle
    2019-02-24 18:38

    My thanks to the author– Rachel Amphlett, for an ARC of this book which I have chosen to read/review and give honest feedback on.Set in Kent, the reader is taken on a whirlwind of a journey involving kidnap, the past, bullying, power & control, various levels of abuse and misplaced loyalties. What a ride!OMFG, #bookjunkies! To say I consumed this book like a chocolate-starved little girl who stumbles across a big bar of cadbury’s would be an understatement! This book sparked all my synapses and excited me beyond belief! Starting with a #KillerHook, the plot was cleverly written to build the suspense and sustain it throughout.I loved that even the characters gave me a buzz from the get go. I WANTED to see how they developed and I was thrilled at how easily I became attached to them. DS Kay Hunter is strong-willed and determined, but has a bit of a chip on her shoulder – always trying to live up to her mother’s expectations but always falling short. She has had a life shaping event recently but luckily has her boyfriend, Adam to share the pain and support her. Love this couple! I definitely think they have more to offer and hope to find out more in a future series.I was intrigued by Ian Barnes and kinda wish we learned a little more about him….though, the author may be saving this, teasing us so that we are at her mercy!! I felt the same way about DI Sharp. I want to know more, more, more!The antagonist is brilliant! I did guess some of the twists, but you know what…it didn’t matter! The evil that oozes from the baddie is just superb. Skin-crawling, goosebumps and a little bit of sick in my mouth evil! Love it! If the baddie in a series piques my interest, I know I am in for a fabulous read….and I was!If real life did not constantly interrupt me, I would have read this book in hours! I seriously did not want to put it down. It drew me in and the twists really had me on the edge of my seat! So would I recommend this book? OMFG, that is a seriously massive HELL YEAH! And to think I nearly turned this review request down because I was so busy! If you are looking for a crime thriller with twists, a kick ass baddie and some fantastic characters, then get over to amazon…you won’t be disappointed!

  • Liz Barnsley
    2019-02-21 13:10

    Scared to Death is a fast paced intriguing crime thriller that I read in one huge gulp of a sitting, addictive and occasionally quite hard hitting this is the start of a new series from Rachel Amphlett and one that I will be following along with.Things I really liked: Or main protagonist Kay Hunter. A genuinely strong female character with, yes, some flaws and a semi mysterious backstory, but realistically so which made her highly believable and sucked you into the ongoing story. The opening foray is classically involving, setting the reader up for a fascinating read, it is hold your breath and wonder where its going time, something that always keeps me reading..Rachel Amphlett writes with a gritty, unrelenting style and touches on some really difficult subjects here. At the same time she has created a divisive villain who is honestly scary and unpredictable, the plotting is clever and cohesive with a dash of twisty turny goodness and the story fairly rocks along to a hugely satisfying conclusion that gels well with what has come before.Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It emcompasses a lot of what I read crime fiction for and has some very good writing, great characters and as the start to a series works on all levels.Recommended.

  • Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
    2019-03-04 13:14

    Full review to come next week along with the blog tour!

  • Kerry
    2019-02-28 20:15

    Well, I recently joined in with Rachel Amphlett's blog tour for Book 3 in this series, so I thought it was about time I bumped Book 1 to the top of my list and I am so glad I did! Why have I never read a book by Rachel Amphlett before now??Scared to Death is a brilliant start to a new series. I warmed to Detective Kay Hunter immediately. There's a back story there that hasn't been fully explained as yet, which I find very intriguing. She seems to be up against her fair share of negativity at work, via certain colleagues, although others very much seem to have her back. We also get an insight in to her personal life and her relationship with her partner, which I like as it shows a softer side to an otherwise professional character.Kay and her team are faced with the difficult task of investigating the death of a local 17 year old girl who had been kidnapped whilst her parents were on a business trip. A ransom had been demanded, her parents had paid and not reported the kidnapping as requested, as they believed their daughter would be spared if they cooperated. When they arrive at her location, however, their worst fears are realised. Every parents worst nightmare. The way this poor girl met her end is nothing short of horrific and these parts of the story are very upsetting. Her killer is a very disturbed character. When a second girl is kidnapped, Kay and her colleagues race against time to figure out where she is being kept before it's too late and this time it's personal. There is a very sick game being played which makes this a very dark crime thriller. Just brilliant!Scared To Death is a very cleverly written police procedural with a tense and fast-paced storyline. There are many plot twists and shocks along the way. I was totally gripped and I'm very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series. If you haven't already, I highly recommend you add this to your reading list. It's definitely one I would happily buy as a gift for family and friends.Many thanks to Rachel Amphlett for my review copy. It's very much appreciated, as always.

  • Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
    2019-03-08 21:12

    Discovering new talented authors is always very exciting, especially when their book's blurb promises a nail-biting, thrilling ride. I have to say that I'd never heard of author Rachel Amphlett before and it's only now that I realise how much I was missing out! 'Scared to Death' is the first book in her new DS Kay Hunter series."I have your daughter. If you want to see her alive again, follow these instructions."The author literally grabs the reader by the throat from the word go. The book kicks off with a heart-pounding, terrifying chapter. Having paid ransom, a desperate couple rushes through town at breakneck speed, their destination - a derelict lab in an abandoned industrial estate - the place where their daughter's kidnappers have promised they will find Melanie safe and sound. However once there, their worst fears come true. Yes, they find their daughter Melanie... but dead. My heart went out to the poor parents and I could feel their pain and heartbreak.Was this a case of kidnapping gone wrong? Or was Melanie deliberately murdered? Who are these kidnappers? And why did they target Melanie and her family?From then on the story takes a bizarre turn when a man possessing the ransom money is found dead. Was he the kidnapper? Did he kill Melanie? And who killed him? What's happening here? DS Kay Hunter of Kent police, her boss DI Sharp and the rest of the team begin their investigation. We are told who the perpetrator is early on in the book - a seriously twisted and shrewd psychopath who loves nothing more than to scare his victims to death - but this makes the whole plot even more interesting. With no motive, no trace evidence and no suspect, how will Kay and the others solve this unusual case?Reading crime novels, I always wonder how authors come around with such creative, ingenious, elaborate new ways of 'murdering' their poor victims. How do they come up with such ideas? Do they google these things?? Do they dream about them? This is certainly the case with Ms Amphlett. You'll know what I mean when you read the book.All characters in this book are well portrayed and realistic. Kay Hunter is a very likeable character and I definitely want to meet her again in other books. She's an able, tough and well-respected police officer, married to a vet. She forms part of a great team. I liked the way the author depicts the strong camaraderie that exists between the team members. We know that Kay has gone through a very traumatic episode some time before the story in this book starts but we are not given any concrete details. Just a few hints as to what has happened, enough to spike the reader's curiosity, but the indications given are that the author intends to expand on this in future books.Well I enjoyed every second I spent reading this book and I feel really excited with this new series. 'Scared to Death' includes all the ingredients a crime fiction lover like me looks out for in a book. The writing is excellent and the tense twisted plot keeps the reader engrossed throughout. Short chapters make the experience even more delightful so I could always squeeze in that additional chapter here and there when I had a spare moment. With a clever, fast-paced, well-thought out plot, many great characters, several suspenseful, terrifying scenes and twists and turns galore, this book is just fabulous and I highly recommend it.With many thanks to the author for an Advanced Reader Copy of this book which I received voluntarily.

  • Sharon
    2019-03-01 20:21

    The first chapter in the book certainly sets the pace for this novel - a young girl's parents are frantically driving around an industrial estate looking for their missing daughter and their terror is palpable in this opening gambit. This was a fast paced heart pounding read; a young girl is kidnapped for a measly ransom and when her body is found everyone thinks it is a kidnapping gone wrong but there is more to this than meets the eye. The story continues to pick up pace and keeps on running right up to the end. The reader is introduced to the killer early on so it isn't a whodunnit as such but more of a whydunnit and just what are they going to find during their investigations. However despite the identity of the killer being known there are still lots of plot twists to keep you on edge!Scared to Death gives us bullying, dysfunctional families and trust as its main themes; we are aware that there has been a previous issue with Kay Hunter in her professional life and hints are dropped throughout about a previous Professional Standards Investigation which her superior DCI Larch will just not let go and Kay doesn't know who on her team that she can really trust; bullying is addressed through the actions of both the victims and of the perpetrator's past - these all tie up nicely into the plot.The perpetrator is a nasty character indeed but there is a certain empathy there as the past is uncovered and just how that past keeps on creeping up! The victims and their parents actually irritated me - I just didn't feel a sense of pity for them when reading the book just a frustration at their lack of insight into their daughters' lives. This isn't a criticism though as I love a character or two that I don't bond with in a book and it's a clever thing to do as a writer - to create a character that you dislike but yet care enough about to want to read the book.Scared to Death had my heart racing, I felt the fear of the victims, I was claustrophobic when reading about their ordeals; it moved along at a pace fast enough for me to revel and gave me the plot twists I crave in a book. Kay Hunter is a complex character and this book only scrapes the surface of who she is and what really is going on in her life. I haven't read any of Rachel's books before and this was an excellent start to a new series and I look forward to reading more!

  • Mairead Hearne (
    2019-03-09 19:22

    From the get-go I knew I was going to like Scared to Death.At the moment I think we are all, both bloggers and readers alike, very aware of the surge in Psychological Thrillers on the book shelves. Now this is not a bad thing in its own right, but sometimes it’s great to read a novel that falls into the genre of Crime Fiction with no psychological angle in the description.Scared to Death is just that.Kay Hunter is a detective who is trying to regain the trust of some of her colleagues. After appearing in front of a disciplinary court for an incident she has always denied involvement with, Kay is eager to prove she can still do her job.The body of a young schoolgirl is found in the most horrendous circumstances, following what is thought to have been a botched kidnapping. Kay Hunter is soon on the case.There is a sharpness to Rachel Amphlett’s writing that appeals to me. It’s fast-paced and to the point. Kay Hunter is a very astute detective. Her team work very solidly alongside her, as she directs them over the course of the investigation.Kay, never comfortable with the kidnapping angle, goes on the hunt for more information.A dead man, a suicide note and the ransom money are enough for her to follow her gut and root out the sick individual who is behind these dreadful deeds.Meanwhile, Kay and her husband have their own personal issues that they are hiding from the world. He is a very busy vet and with Kay involved in the murder case, their time together is limited. I don’t doubt that this will be dealt with further in the next book in the series.I like Detective Kay Hunter. To be honest I found her approach to her job and her life to be very realistic and very pragmatic. Scared to Death is quite a traditional novel which I love. Every so often I come across a book/series that would make perfect TV material and this is one.All the ingredients are here ~ a dead body, a psychotic killer and an honest dependable detective.If you like your crime fiction uncomplicated, fast-paced and real Scared to Death is the perfect read for you…Do please let me know your thoughts…

  • Janel
    2019-02-26 13:22

    4.5 stars - If I was giving out book awards today, this book would receive two – firstly for ‘best opening chapter’ and secondly for ‘best last line.’ I can’t share the last line with you, you’ll have to read the book to see why that one made me laugh. But I can talk about the opening paragraph, it’s so thrilling, you can really feel the character’s urgency and you can do nothing but read on, so make sure you’ve got a clear schedule when you start this one!This is the first book in a new crime series feature ultra likeable DS Kay Hunter, her and the team are after a killer, who at first appears to be kidnapping for ransom but the team soon discover, it’s more than that, this killer is murdering for pleasure. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘scared to death’, how do you catch a killer who is using fear as a weapon and literally scaring his victims to death?This is a fast, thrilling and thoroughly enjoyable read. The plot well-thought out and gripping, you don’t realise how quickly you’re flying through the pages of this one!Now, for Kay’s backstory, after previously being brought before the Professional Standards Committee, Kay’s boss, DCI Larch is putting immense pressure on her to solve this case; while Kay is still on the job, the Committee ruling in her favour, she has to deal with the additional pressure of an unsupportive boss, who makes it extremely clear he doesn’t approve of Kay still holding her badge. We also get an insight into Kay’s personal life – her husband Adam is a vet, between her unsociable working hours and him being called away to animal emergencies, they don’t get to spend as much time as they would like together but I really enjoyed their interactions, at times it added lovely elements of humour.What I particularly liked during this read was the hints Amphlett gave us about what’s to come in book two, and let me tell you, I’m excited for it – the continuing backstory and what I hope will be another chilling and thrilling case.I highly recommend this book for fans of both crime thrillers and police procedurals.*I voluntarily received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book*

  • Emma
    2019-02-20 16:33

    I featured on the Scared to Death blog tour towards the end of 2016. At the time I felt I was really missing out as the reviews from fellow bloggers were fantastic. And in all honesty, I was. This is a fantastic start to what promises to be an outstanding series. The book starts with a bang and I was immediately drawn into the story. Seventeen year old Melanie is missing and her frantic parents, Tony and Yvonne are racing to find her after having dropped the £20k ransom off elsewhere. They find her…but it’s too late. What no one realises is what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, is a whole lot darker. And so the hunt for a psychopath begins….DS Kay Hunter is an appealing character. She’s not the usual fusty, grumpy, addiction riddled detective I tend to like in my crime novels but that didn’t matter on this occasion. There is mention of an incident in the past which was thoroughly investigated, and feelings are still running high amongst Kay’s senior management. You’re given the impression that Kay is totally innocent of any wrongdoing and I hope this will be covered in more detail in future books. I’m curious about her. As I said, she isn’t my usual type of detective but I really liked her!You find out who the killer is quite early on in the story but you’re left wondering who their accomplice is; who is the guy/gal at the top of the tree pulling the strings? I was drawn in from that fantastic opening until the very end. A wonderfully intriguing story which is skillfully told.However, there was one point which caused an issue for me. One of the investigating team has a strong link to one of the kidnap victims but it is not mentioned until much later in the story. I found this, for me, upset the flow of the plot somewhat. Just as the adrenaline is starting to pump, just as the action is picking up, this ‘connection’ is thrown into the mix and it just felt wrong. I’ve pondered on this since finishing the book but I’m afraid I still can’t fathom the reason for this. This is a small moan though in what is a fabulous book written by a talented author.Would I recommend this book? Oh yes, I would. I can’t wait to make a start on the next book in the series, Will to Live. Rachel Amphlett has created a gutsy female detective who I really like and I can’t wait to read more!Four out of five stars.I chose to read and review an eARC of Scared to Death. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.