Keep you Near- DS Marnie Hammond Series #1 by Robin Roughley Book Cover
Detective, Mystery & Thriller

Keep You Near – Robin Roughley

Loved this exciting crime thriller, the first in Robin Roughley’s DS Marnie Hammond series. Marnie is a dedicated cop not afraid to kick arse to get results


DS Marnie Hammond Series #1 

Terrible! How can you describe the nightmare following you since your sister was abducted and you were unable to save her? Detective Sergeant Marnie Hammond thinks she has put the past behind her but then a young girl is abducted and somehow the past regains control of the present… There is a young man terrorised by his sister who is keen to let him take the punishment for her deliberate mistakes. Who would believe him? He is a whippersnapper so he is told whilst, yet again, suffering a beating. People are getting angry at the police for failing to find the missing eight-year-old Jenny and the finger is pointed at a fugitive paedophile. But then young Luke crosses Marnie’s path once again and in the woods they discover the dark secrets hidden there.


Detective Chief Inspector David Reese is at his wit’s end as the investigation into the abduction of little Jenny is two weeks old with no indication of motive or a possible suspect. The paedophile is still missing and the police team are struggling to find leads. When Marnie chases a young villain, Luke, through the streets of Kirkhead into the woods surrounding the town, time stands still for Marnie as she finds the remains of a young girl hidden there. It is the same wood where her sister was abducted all those years ago whilst she was in her care. Marnie was only eleven years old, but she feels responsible for not protecting her sister – the last thing she heard before her world turned to darkness was the man who took her sister away bellowing “whippersnapper.” Marnie forces herself to focus on the present as it is established that the body in the woods has been lying there for years. Jenny could still be out there.

In the meantime, we witness a man in agony as he desperately searches for his ledger because he needs to remember. Remember what? The snarled ‘whippersnapper‘ is anchored in his mind “mocking him down the years.” When he finds it he can vividly imagine each of his victims being in his power until they succumbed to the fear. Except for the one that got away… Marnie is in total shock when she sees Luke’s bruised and battered body, especially when she realises the abuse must have taken place at the Young Offender’s Unit run by governor Gareth Walls who seemingly has no problems with punishments dealt by other in-house offenders. Marnie is under a lot of stress as she takes Luke’s fate to heart, added to the case of the bones in the woods belonging to a young girl who went missing years ago. It comes too close to home for Marnie – we can only hope she keeps it together while the investigating takes her to dark and dangerous places.

My Thoughts

If you have seen Unforgettable (the tv series featuring the female protagonist with hyperthymesia due to her sister’s abduction) you have an inkling what haunts protagonist Marnie Hammond’s nightmares but I can assure you this is so much darker and creepier! We, the readers, are in the head of a serial killer who is a psychopath – providing us with insight into his upbringing and the abuse inflicted upon him. The topic of nurture-nature is fascinating and applicable to many characters in this detective novel. The ‘whippersnapper’ word kept swirling in my mind and I thought I knew how the thriller would end – but I was wrong. This novel also clearly shows the feelings of desperation and exhaustion experienced by the police officers, who work day and night and are sometimes too easily immersed personally in the investigation. The author cunningly weaves this into his excellently written psychological thriller and I just love that!

About the Author

Robin Roughley Author Image

Robin Roughley lives in Wigan in the North West of England (God’s coal bunker) though he hopes to one day be released for good behaviour. He is the author of eleven crime/thriller novels featuring DS Lasser. The novels are set between the run-down streets of a northern town and the beautiful yet desolate west Pennine moors. If you prefer your characters to be flawed, with a sprinkling of dandruff and old www.robinroughley.comacne scars, the plots to be laced with dark humour, then you will find the DS Lasser series right up your alley!

The DS Lasser series consists of 13 instalments:
#1 The Needle House; #2 The Way that it Falls; #3 Tethered to the Dead; #4 Twisted; #5 More Equal than Others; #6 Vanished Beneath; #7 Riven; #8 Bad Self; #9 Crave; #10 Moments Back#11 Conspiracy of Ravens; #12 Dark Necessities; #13 Living Ashes

Book Info

 Paperback   318 pages
 Publisher   Bloodhound Books (2 Mar. 2017)
 Language   English
 ISBN-10   1912175053
 ISBN-13  978-1912175055

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