Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license.
At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered.
Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…
Hi and welcome to 6 Ripley Avenue! It may look like any other house in the street, but it’s not. Its official name is Ripley House Approved Premises and its inhabitants are not a lovely family of four with a dog, no siree, behind the red brick exterior of 6 Ripley Avenue you’ll find some of the UK’s most heinous violent offenders released on licence to serve the remainder of their time in the community.
Even on a good day, the neighbourhood is not at all thrilled to have a bunch of criminals living in their midst, even if they are supposedly rehabilitated as well as monitored at all times. And as the story kicks off, it’s not even remotely a good day, it’s in fact a very bad day, as one of the residents of 6 Ripley Avenue has been brutally murdered. One house, eight killers and a team of probation officers, and no one saw anything.
6 Ripley Avenue is told from the perspectives of the senior probation officer Jeanette, investigative reporter Sloane, nosy neighbour Helen and the killer. The short and snappy chapters I’ve come to expect from this author keep the momentum going and once again I was lured into the oh-just-one-more-chapter trap, especially towards the grand finale, with the big reveal just around the corner.
What I most appreciate in Noelle Holten’s DC Maggie Jamieson series is present in this standalone as well: the experience this author has with the probation system in the UK shines through and without it getting overly technical, I always learn something new.
The suspense builds up nicely, even though I felt that the attention shifts perhaps a little too much from the murder to other goings-on, which of course I now realise was done purposefully and in hindsight does make perfect sense. I couldn’t help sleuthing along, and while I had my finger pointed at the right person in the end, I do think it was more like a lucky game of darts than thanks to my clever sleuthing skills. I never really managed to piece it all together before the reveal but I did have fun trying.
I had a good time with 6 Ripley Avenue but I do have to admit that it’s not my favourite of this author’s books, mainly, I think, because I didn’t really like any of the main characters and I failed to relate to them, or feel for them, which unfortunately entailed that I felt less involved in the story than I like to be. That’s obviously all on me, so don’t let that hold you back.
Overall, 6 Ripley Avenue is a solid, thought-provoking thriller that kept my attention throughout and that kept me thinking about the whole probation thing. I mean I do see the point of rehabilitation but that doesn’t mean I’d feel comfortable living next door to a bunch of convicted killers and/or sex offenders. Double standards, I know, very NIMBY, but seriously, the thought of having a probation house in my street is perhaps the scariest bit of this story. For a while at least…
If you’re looking for a thought-provoking thriller with a killer who keeps you on your toes, do check out 6 Ripley Avenue.
6 Ripley Avenue is out in digital formats and audio on 27 September and in paperback on 13 October.
Thanks to One More Chapter (HarperCollins UK) and NetGalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.