Nothing Bad Happens Here by Nikki Crutchley #BookReview #BlogTour

She looked away from his face and took in the clear spring night, full of stars. Her last thoughts were of her mother. Would she finally care, when one day they found her body, and a policeman came knocking at her door?

The body of missing tourist Bethany Haliwell is found in the small Coromandel town of Castle Bay, where nothing bad ever happens. News crews and journalists from all over the country descend on the small seaside town as old secrets are dragged up and gossip is taken as gospel.Among them is Miller Hatcher, a journalist battling her own demons, who arrives intent on gaining a promotion by covering the grisly murder. Following an anonymous tip, Miller begins to unravel the mystery of the small town. And when another woman goes missing, Miller finds herself getting closer to the truth. But at what cost?

I'm delighted to be one of the hosts for the Nothing Bad Happens Here blog tour today. My grateful thanks to the author, Nikki Crutchley and Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my copy of the ebook.
Nothing Bad Happens here is Nikki Crutchley's debut novel and what a brilliant book to start her writing career. I read the book in a day and it was one of those stories I just couldn't put down.
When the body of missing British tourist, Bethany Halliwell is found in Castle Bay, the usual media circus soon descends on this small seaside town. Among them is journalist, Miller Hatcher who has been instructed to write a feature piece on the murder. Although desperate to gain the promotion she might be in line for, Miller isn't like the other, more mercenary journalists covering the case. She is principled and sympathetic and she has her own troubles - this flawed vulnerability makes her immensely likeable but it also leads her into terrible danger...
Castle Bay, on the Coromandel coast of New Zealand should be a holiday paradise and indeed hundreds of tourists descend on the town during the summer months. They bring with them the usual problems - fights, alcohol, drugs - but as the locals are keen to keep reiterating to Miller, "nothing bad happens here." The residents of Castle Bay are convinced that the murderer must be an outsider but Miller isn't so sure. Her suspicions are raised further when another young woman goes missing. Castle Bay becomes almost another character in the book as its sinister secrets are slowly revealed. This close-knit community isn't as idyllic as it seems. Although some of the townspeople are friendly and welcoming, others have a much darker side and Miller learns some disturbing truths about a few of its residents. There really are some very unsavoury people living in the town and before long the gossip mill is in overdrive. Paradise begins to look tainted, and this blissful holiday location begins to show its cracks.
Nikki Crutchley's characters are absolutely believable, some are intensely unpleasant, a few downright evil and there are others - Sergeant Kahu and his wife, Trina, for example who I would love to hear from again. The small town setting evokes an oppressive claustrophobia and contributes to the sense of foreboding that something is terribly wrong here. As the horrific truth is finally revealed, the action becomes thrillingly tense. Nothing Happens Here is a superbly compelling novel which combines a gripping mystery with characters whose lives I actually became invested in. I'm not sure if Nikki Crutchley intends to write more books featuring Miller Hatcher or to revisit Castle Bay but I would welcome the opportunity to read more about them. Whatever her future plans are, this assured debut marks her as a writer to remember and I'll be looking forward to her next book. In the meantime I highly recommend Nothing Happens Here.

Nothing Bad Happens Here can be purchased here.

Don't forget to visit the other stops on the blog tour, check out this poster for details.

About the Author

After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls. Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and recently has had success in flash fiction. She has been published in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine and Mayhem Literary Journal, and has also had a story published in the Fresh Ink Anthology. Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. Nothing Bad Happens Here is her first novel, set on the Coromandel Coast of New Zealand.