Don’t Look Down by Barbara Scott-Emmett
Don’t Look Down opens with a scene which is only resolved at the end of the novel, giving us an immediate hook. We have to keep reading to find who, what and why.
Lauren Keane flies to Germany to visit an old friend, Katti Hauer. But Katti is missing and her brother, Wolf, with whom Lauren shares a past blighted by a broken love affair, meets Lauren’s flight in Katti’s place. Lauren and Katti look very much alike, especially when Lauren is wearing Katti’s clothes. As a result, she is mistaken for Katti and kidnapped in her place. Lauren must fight for her life and sanity, while also trying to find and save her missing friend.
The plot has many layers, leaving Lauren not knowing who is friend and who is foe. Revenge, the sex trade, drugs and people trafficking all combine to give us a complex plot and plenty of reasons for the characters to produce twist after twist.
The story is set against a bitter winter backdrop and Scott-Emmett brings Nuremberg and the surrounding area vividly to life. From the moment the heroine, Lauren Keane, leaves the airport on her arrival the settings are flawless. Not once did the descriptions of town and country feel intrusive, they simply added depth to the storytelling.
The characterisation is good and the hero, Wolf Hauer, is gorgeous enough for fall for, but not so overwhelmingly handsome that he doesn’t seem real. Let’s put it this way, I wouldn’t mind riding pillion on his bike as Lauren does at the beginning of the novel.
The book was marred (very) slightly for me by guessing correctly early on who the mole was, but this didn’t spoil my overall enjoyment of what was a very entertaining read.