5 Star Reviews

Book Review (5 Stars) – The Damselfly, by S.J.I Holliday


Katie Taylor is the perfect student. She’s bright and funny, she has a boyfriend who adores her and there are only a few months left of school before she can swap Banktoun for the bright lights of London. Life gets even better when she has an unexpected win on a scratch card. But then Katie’s luck runs out.

Her tragic death instead becomes the latest in a series of dark mysteries blighting the small town. The new school counsellor Polly McAllister, who has recently returned to Banktoun to make amends in her own personal life, is thrown in at the deep end as the pupils and staff come to terms with Katie’s death. And it’s not long before she uncovers a multitude of murky secrets. Did Katie have enemies? Is her boyfriend really so squeaky clean? And who is her brother’s mysterious friend?

With Banktoun’s insular community inflamed by gossip and a baying mob stirring itself into a frenzy on social media, DS Davie Gray and DC Louise Jennings must work out who really murdered Katie before someone takes matters into their own hands . . .


My Review:

The Damselfly is a fabulous murder mystery that had me guessing until the end.

I’m sure I keep saying this, but this author is great at creating well-developed and believable characters that are easy to connect with. I love the close-knit community feel of her books, as it never fails to draw me in.

Not only do I absolutely adore this front cover, but the first line of the prologue is “Friday, 13 January”, which is my birthday. Not just my birthday, but my actual birth day, as I was born on a Friday too. There was even the brief appearance of a character called Julie/Jules. Not a name that has appeared in many books I’ve read. I feel like this book was made for me, ha ha.

I read the second half of this book in one sitting, with a mini break to brush my teeth and crawl into bed, as I couldn’t put it down, and just had to know how it finished, even though I could hardly keep my eyes open. Oh my, what an ending it turned out to be. The epilogue left me somewhat stunned.

Although The Damselfly can be read as a standalone, I highly recommend you read the previous two books Black Wood and Willow Walk, even if you read them after reading this one, as they are all great.

This may sound slightly random, but this book had me craving Tom Hardy and fried egg sandwiches. Not necessarily at the same time, although come to think of it, I can think of worse scenarios. At least it wasn’t prawn sandwiches. Those things are almost as scary as sharks!

I also love the Friedrich Nietzsche quotes at the beginning of the books, because despite hardly understanding a word of philosophy at university, I did still love it. Perhaps it was the desire to understand that made me so intrigued by the subject. There was also something about Nietzsche in particular that sparked my curiosity, even if I do still struggle to spell his name correctly.

I feel a little sad that I’ve read all of the trilogy now, but I can’t wait to see what S.J.I Holliday has up her sleeve next. In the meantime, if you haven’t read any of her books, but enjoy crime, murder mysteries and stories with great characters, then please give this trilogy a go.

5 Stars


Where to find this book:


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Where to find the author:







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