Book Reviews

Will To Live by Rachel Amphlett #blogtour @RachelAmphlett @emmamitchellfpr

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Will To Live by Rachel Amphlett! We are here today because of a cover lust that turned out to be one of the best surprises I’ve had! I’m definitely gonna keep judging books by their cover!!

cpver.jpgTitle: Will to Live
Author: Rachel Amphlett
Publisher: Saxon Publishing
Date of publication: April 4th 2017
Format reviewed: eARC
Source: PR
Number of pages: 320
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

When a packed commuter train runs over a body on a stretch of track known to locals as ‘Suicide Mile’, it soon transpires that the man was a victim of a calculated murder.

As the investigation evolves and a pattern of murders is uncovered, Detective Sergeant Kay Hunter realises the railway’s recent reputation may be the work of a brutal serial killer.

With a backlog of cold cases to investigate and attempting to uncover who is behind a professional vendetta against her, Kay must keep one step ahead of both the killer and her own adversaries.

When a second murder takes place within a week of the first, she realises the killer’s timetable has changed, and she’s running out of time to stop him…

Will to Live is the second book in a new crime thriller series featuring Kay Hunter – a detective with a hidden past and an uncertain future…

If you like Angela Marsons, Peter James and Robert Bryndza, discover the latest addition to Rachel Amphlett’s new series today


Warning: do not start reading Will to Live while having dinner. In fact, avoid all meal times around this book, because the story hits the ground running and then you’ll be so engrossed in the events that whatever dish is on the table will be cold by the time to remember you have a stomach to feed anyway!

Okay, now that this is said, let’s go back to the start.

Like many of you, I had seen so much praise for Rachel Amphlett’s first book that I bought the story, but the never-ending game of the reading list has prevented me to read it… yet.

The day I saw the cover for Will to Live, I thought “The hell with my plans and my obsessional need to read series in order, I’m getting involved in this!” Was I afraid of missing hints and pieces of the story by jumping on the bandwagon with the second book in the Kay Hunter series? Yes. Did it influence my way of approaching the book? Yes, I did my best to pay even more attention than usual to details, names, personalities. But I shouldn’t have worried, because Rachel’s vivid and spot-on writing makes it so easy to enter Kay’s world that you don’t need the extra effort. Open you eyes and make the first step, Rachel has you covered.

As I said earlier, the opening needs a warning. Starting with such a normal action such as walking the dog talked to me, as I do it four times a day! And according to a dear author I love, statistics prove we dog-owners are prone to witness the worst. I must say the stats are right on this one! As a squeamish young lady, I was surprised that instead of grossing me out, the event presented at the beginning pulled me into the story and from this point onward, I was unable to tear myself away from the pages.

Will to Live was devoured in a single sitting. As a slow and busy reader, this rarely happens. Here’s what kept me lose all track of time.

The team effort. Yes, Kay Hunter is the main protagonist, but she’s thrown into a realistic police precinct with bosses and colleagues, friendships and grudges, things that bring authenticity and more weight to everything Kay does. She is not a super cop working on her own, her actions and the actions of those around her have consequences on everyone and I just loved the attention the author added to make sure everyone felt like a genuine person and not a shop dummy. My mind couldn’t help but imagine the team space in Broadchurch and I could clearly see a crowded room, paperwork piling up on desks, telephones ringing every minute and the buzz of people working against the clock!

Kay herself is what makes the book different. First of all, Kay is one of my favorite names. I owe it to Scarpetta and the strong personality I attached to the name because of her. But this Kay is different, in a brilliant way. I know, you might be thinking “another woman detective??” I hear you, but hey, men stole the scene for so long, I am glad to see an array of female in the police force! Especially when they are not robots. Kay is resilient, she has at heart to do her best in her job, she cares about the people around her, but she’s also a woman with a personal life which is not as chaotic as what we are used to. I think I was curious about the detective, but I fell for the woman. The more I learned about her through her thoughts and doings, the more I wanted to know and dig deeper. She has her own struggles and issues, but her personal life felt homey and natural and it only made me care more for her as I hoped she could preserve this bubble of safety.

Last but not least, the investigation itself has the perfect balance that every crime story lover expects! I’m not a big fan of grizly murders and gruesome details, remember I’m squeamish and easily freaked out by vivid and accurate descriptions! But Rachel Amphlett tricked me and before I could realize, I was witnessing the worst and chasing a real monster. How did I handle the hard and macabre parts? I only followed Kay and the team, my stomach clenched at the same time as theirs, my eyes averted any unpleasant views as much as possible, just as theirs did. I loved the description and the originality of the case because those genuine characters I was talking about earlier were feeling just as bad as I was, and we were all spurred by the same gut feeling to make the nightmare stop. I really felt I was a part of the team and that’s what helped me. Don’t let my rambling turn you off, it really isn’t that horrific, I’m only very sensitive!

Also, bonus points for real investigation time frame. You don’t get results two hours after you sent them to the lab unless you are Horatio Caine. I’m very picky with this kind of things because their accuracy weighs a lot in whether or not I’ll care about the plot and investigation itself. And every crime thrillers reader wants to be swept away by a taut and plausible plot, right?

So we have a good team, blood, and a strong sense of time. What finished to convince me was the subplot stemming from the first book, the underlying tension I could feel but not make sense of. Contrary to what I first believed, it was absolutely not frustrating. It only made me wish I could push the stop button, read the first book, and come back! You get enough hints so that the problem keeps niggling you, always in a corner of your mind, just like Kay, and it brings a few surprises that add to the intensity of the already intricate current investigation.

I’ll stop by saying I was fooled. I’m not ashamed to say the author had me and it doesn’t happen that much. I was looking for twists and red herrings and trying all kinds of theories. In the end, it turned out I was wrong, but it felt just right!

Overall, I was utterly impressed by the unique character created by Rachel Amphlett and the horrendously brilliant investigation masterfully combined with the shadow of old ghosts ready to haunt you, all wrapped in the thin veil of a normal daily life.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to Kay with the first book!

I would like to thank Emma and Rachel for inviting me to take part in this blog tour.

You can find the book here!!!



Rachel Amphlett is the bestselling author of the Dan Taylor espionage novels and the new Detective Kay Hunter crime thriller series, as well as a number of standalone crime thrillers.
Originally from the UK and currently based in Brisbane, Australia, Rachel’s novels appeal to a worldwide audience, and have been compared to Robert Ludlum, Lee Child and Michael Crichton.

She is a member of International Thriller Writers and the Crime Writers Association, with the Italian foreign rights for her debut novel, White Gold, being sold to Fanucci Editore’s TIMECrime imprint in 2014.
An advocate for knowledge within the publishing industry, Rachel is always happy to share her experiences to a wider audience through her blogging and speaking engagements.

You can keep in touch with Rachel by signing up to her mailing list via her website (, or via Facebook ( and Twitter: @RachelAmphlett


Don’t forget to check the fantastic stops on the tour for more about Will To Live! 

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35 thoughts on “Will To Live by Rachel Amphlett #blogtour @RachelAmphlett @emmamitchellfpr”

  1. I also really enjoy reading about an interesting team in crime novels so you had me as soon as you said that. Also, the realistic investigation info and your comment about Horatio Caine…too funny yet so true. You’re right, those details do play such a big part in making the story feel realistic. I would not have thought I cold possibly be interested in another series at this time but your review has made me decide to go back and take a look at book 1 in this series. If I jump on board now I’ve only got 2 to catch up with😃Excellent review!!


    1. I love the “team” feeling! Too often, the main character is felt alone to take care of a case and handles everything, but real life is all about having a bunch of people assigned tasks and answering phones, doing their best and I loved that this book possesses a strong and relatable team. Haha, can you guess I hate Caine? :p I am usually so leery about crime series, but if I had to recommend one, this one would be on the top of the list! xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Whoa, sounds like you had some seriously good (good?) time with this book! 🙂

    I’m interested though around the dog walker statistics.. well, not statistics, but the claim itself. Have you ever witnessed something bad/horrible, a crime, while walking a dog?


    1. Haha, awful but fantastic time with this book! I can’t believe I loved it so much, I think it’s because the horrific parts were perfectly handled and allowed me to be there without keeping the terrifying things inside. I don’t know, I’m rambling, haha, I just loved it.
      I once witnessed someone being attacked when I walked my dog very late at night and had to call the police, but I’ve never discovered a body or anything like that!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh.. even witnessing someone getting attacked is quite a difficult situation… ugh… if violence only stayed in books and films, the world would be a better place.


    1. I was sure to have guessed and was a little disappointed by how easy it seemed to be, so I was relieved when I realized I was wrong! 😀 Thank you so much my Twin Pea ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great review for this book Donna. It sounds like a brilliant story and I guess the fact that it hit the ground running means the whole book was filled with action! Also the warning at the beginning makes it sound like you started this book while eating dinner. Was that the case? 🙂


    1. Thank you, Beth! 🙂 The book has a real feel of life, some days things happen, others nothing goes well, and the balance between the action and the police work is perfect!
      Yep, I often start reading when I take my meals, as it’s one of the rare moments I can be left alone, but it’s often a terrible idea, especially with crime stories!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! Oh that’s good the balance worked. I guess too much action would feel unrealistic and too little would make it boring in a way.
        Yeah that’s not something I’d do either. I normally reading during my lunch break but given I read fantasy books mostly that’s not normally a bad idea. 🙂


    1. Yes! I love food, and I mean I LOOOOOOVE food, but the opening was so gross but addictive at the same time and I just had to give up on one thing, I chose to let the cheeseburger get cold xD And the rest of the book kept me engrossed, I never even thought about a snack!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I keep trying to stay away from cop procedural/crime thrillers but once in a while I find a book that is so compelling that staying away is not an option. This sounds like a great read Donna and the cover is amazing. I will check it out. Fab review!


    1. I know the feeling, I was so happy to mix genres but recently I’ve stayed within crime stories and I am enjoying them so much I can’t stop! This one is definitely worth checking, it’s a strong series!


  5. Another brilliantly written and thorough review Donna. I haven’t read any books by this Author, but like you I have seen the high praise for this and the first book. I am taken already by your reference to Broadchurch and Kay Scarpetta – the first crime books I read.
    We are the same in that we suspect so many of the characters, but I like a book best when I am wrong but it totally makes sense when you find out the twist, it lets you think back over the whole book again to see ‘ah yes, it was them because of that, that and that’.
    I hope you enjoy the first book just as much.


    1. Thank you very much, Amanda 🙂 I was not sure I would be able to enjoy it fully without the background from the first book but the writing and characterization are good enough to allow you to have a great time with this book anyway. Scarpetta was also my first crime book series 🙂 and the police station really made me think of Broadchurch. Can’t say if it’s I’m obsessed or if the book is responsible, haha.
      I’m really looking forward to the first installment and I’ll make sure to read it soon 🙂 xxx


  6. Sounds like a really awesome crime novel! Got to admit that women detectives are awesome though! Really like the sound of Kay. Curious to hear your thoughts on the first book though. Might push me to try this series out in the end! 😀 Awesome review, Donna!


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