#Blogtour Strays by Janeen Leese-Taylor

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour Strays by Janeen Leese-Taylor.

About the Author

Janeen is an Irish author born and raised on the scenic Causeway Coast. Curious, and with a great love for adventure, Jan spent her childhood climbing trees and talking to her imaginary friends, many of whom have now found a home in her writing.

She has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and works for gaming companies around the world. She is a lover of all things fantasy and aims to bring some magic to the places that she visits in her writing. Portstewart, Dublin and Chester City each feature prominently in both her travels and her writing, and her stories often draw from real life places that have captured her heart.

As an ultramarathon runner, Jan often writes on the go, using her trusty phone and stylus to craft scenes that come to her after hours on her feet. 

She lives with her husband, Liam, their Border Collie-Cross, Zarya, and their Guinea Pig, (Peek-A) Boo, who they all fear will one day take over the world! Follow @InkAndSmudge on Twitter. @inkandsmudgebooks/ on Instagram or JLeeseTaylorAuthor on Facebook

About the book

A murder without evidence, a secret that could topple society and a cop with a bit of a coffee habit!

Three things were certain in the mind of Officer Theodore Night: One: There’s a serial killer loose in Portstewart. Two: His new friend is a werewolf. Three: He’s in way over his head

When bloody paw prints at a crime scene leads Officer Night to consider the impossible, he must rely not only on his years of investigative experience, but on the local werewolf pack, for help. An unlikely friendship gives Night the edge he needs to prevent an all-out war. Has Blair, the mysterious barista from Bean and Gone, caused him to bite off more than he can chew?

Review

Officer Theo Night – always willing to lend a helping hand even if it means putting himself in danger. He also has the habit of collecting strays, both the four-legged and the two-legged kind, sometimes a combination of both.

Hot on the heels of a vicious killer, someone or something that likes to annihilate entire families, is out there causing mayhem and Theo is determined to find them. It seems like the wrong time to be picking up young men in distress, especially when his home is filled with a pack of protective family members led by a small alpha with a mega attitude.

Side note – sometimes less is more when it comes to describing a person, perhaps to differentiate one speaker from the other and to ensure the reader knows who is speaking. The flow of dialogue and the story becomes stunted by the repeated use of – the smaller man, the dark-haired man for example.

Urban-fantasy with a mystery/crime vibe, and to top it off it’s also LGBTQ – It ticks plenty of boxes, that’s for sure. It has the potential to be an interesting series, as the author hones her skills and delves deeper into that vein of creativity.

Buy Strays at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : ‎Blossom Spring Publishing; pub date 17 Nov. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Simple Truth by James Buckler

 It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Simple Truth by James Buckler.

About the Author

James Buckler lives in London. He has worked in film and TV for many years, most notably for MTV and BBC Films. His first thriller, Last Stop Tokyo, published to critical acclaim. The Simple Truth is his second novel. Follow @jamesbuckwriter on Twitter

About the book

A young woman is dead. A very wealthy client needs a favour. You’re newly qualified as a lawyer and this could be your big break, so you jump at the chance.

The case is about to be closed. All you have to do is talk to a family, ask them to sign some papers. How difficult could it be? Their daughter was found dead at a beauty spot on the outskirts of London in what you’re told was a tragic suicide. 

Only you can uncover what really happened. But the truth is never that simple. And this case could cost you your life…

Review

What’s the difference between the crime organisations that deal with the street and the corporate world that cross the occasional boundary? None at all really other than the fact corporate believe they have the moral high ground, due to their education and the nepotism that gives them a helping hand on their paths. Criminal is criminal, right?

When Lewis is picked for distasteful job of getting an NDA signed, by the boss of his form of all people. He thinks it’s a foot in the door to the top, he also presumes it’s because the top tier can see the potential in him. It takes him a while to figure out he is the low-class patsy that belongs neither here nor there, because one set of people won’t accept him because he works for the enemy and the enemy think he will never be good enough to be considered an equal.

Lewis is the perfect man in the middle, and the kind of character that readers feel sympathy for, as he stumbles right into a wasps nest with the best of intentions. Well, perhaps his ambition allows him to ignore the obvious.

It’s a legal thriller, which has the potential to be a series, as Lewis grows and becomes more secure in his self, his nose for crime, and his inadvertent interest in the truth.

Buy The Simple Truth at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Bantam Press, pub date 5th January 2023 / Hardback / £14.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour Death in Heels by Kitty Murphy

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour Death in Heels by Kitty Murphy.

About the Author

Kitty Murphy lives with her husband, Roger, on the very westerly edge of CO. Clare, Ireland. She adores drag in all its forms and crime fiction in all its chilling splendour. Kitty is bi/queer. From a well spent youth divided equally between the library and the LGBTQ+ scene, it was only a matter of time until both worlds collided in a flurry of fictional sequins. Follow Kitty on Instagram: @kitty_murphy writes or on Twitter: @scribblingink1

About the book

When Fi went to support her best friend’s drag debut, she didn’t imagine a killer would be going to watch it too. And they’re waiting for their grand finale…

Fi McKinnery is overwhelmed with pride, watching her best friend Robyn perform his drag debut as the dazzling Mae B at Dublin’s premier drag club Trash. But the evening is ruined when bitchy young queen Eve Harrington lampoons Mae B’s performance and ruins the show. Eve is unceremoniously evicted from the club, and later that night Fi finds her dead, face down in a flooded gutter.

The police decide it was an accident and the queens are keen to move on as well,  but Fi isn’t so sure. Eve had plenty of enemies with her casual cruelty and many people might have wanted her dead. Fi is determined to uncover the truth, even though her ‘Hagatha Christie’ sleuthing is driving a wedge between her and Robyn, whose star is now rising at TRASH.

Something dark is lurking beneath the feathers, glitter and sequins of Dublin’s drag scene. Fi is determined to protect her friends, even as they distance themselves from her. Can she stop the killer before more people die?

Review

I wonder if Fi realises that supporting and encouraging her friend Robyn to emerge themselves into the world of drag is also a step that will lead to humiliation and death. Is her quest to find a vicious murderer also the beginning of the end of their friendship, even if Fi is only trying to keep her friend safe. Fi has become a hazard to the newly found sanctuary and their community.

It’s interesting to watch Robyn slowly be drawn into the close circle of the drag queens. Home has finally opened its doors, and same embraces same, whilst simultaneously drawing a line between Fi and Robyn. As she investigates the death Robyn takes on a defensive stance and begins to regard Fi as the enemy.

Aside from Robyn escaping the cocoon of societal norms and boundaries, and the journey to face internal and external fears and threats, I found the cracks that appear in the relationship between Fi and Robyn quite deep. Once inseparable and supportive of each other, one of the friends finds themselves fighting to fix the chasm that has appeared between them. I’m sure the question of whether finding the killer is worth throwing their friendship away is one that hovers in the background, and equally whether it is sustainable after Robyn finds a new place to become the inner butterfly that has been waiting to emerge.

It’s a murder mystery, one that fits under the genre heading of crime, but it ventures beyond the vast space all things murder and mayhem encompasses – it’s also a tale of coming-of-age, of coming out, of discovery of self. Perhaps most importantly it’s a story about finding a safe space where you belong and are accepted for each and every facet of your self.

Buy Death in Heels at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Thomas and Mercer, Pub date 1st January 2023. Paperback – £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Cruise by Catherine Cooper

It’s a pleasure to take part in the Blogtour The Cruise by Catherine Cooper.

About the Author

Catherine Cooper is a freelance journalist writing for many national newspapers and magazines, specialising in travel. She also makes regular appearances as a talking head on daytime TV. She lives in France with her husband and two teenage children. 

Her debut thriller The Chalet was a top five Sunday Times bestseller and spent three weeks in the Kindle top 100. The Cruise is her third novel. Follow @catherinecooper on Twitter

About the book

A glamorous ship. A mysterious cast of passengers. And a New Year’s Eve party that goes horribly wrong…

During a New Year’s Eve party on a large cruise ship in the Caribbean, the ship’s dancer, Lola, disappears. The ship is searched, and the coastguard is called, but there is no sign of her, either dead or alive.

Lola was popular on the ship but secretive about her background, and as the mystery around her deepens, everyone on board becomes a suspect. Who was she arguing with the night she vanished? 

Why did she come aboard the cruise in the first place? What was she running from?

Review

A floating city of pleasure and luxury becomes the scene of a tragic accident or was it intentional, either way someone is missing. The aftermath reveals secrets, people hiding secrets, people using secrets to threaten others – overall it seems as if the disappearance of one person starts of a type of unravelling in other people. Is it guilt? A killer, a blackmailer or is there a bigger picture?

It’s a psychological thriller, a mystery with a sort of dual storyline, and the way they seem unconnected. The cruise ship, which in itself is an extravaganza of expensive living, and yet it is also becoming the scene of too many accidents and crimes. Simultaneously the story of a missing child, who reappears under traumatic circumstances with no memory of her life before she was taken.

The author does an excellent job of keeping the two stories completely separate for the majority of the book, so much so that the reader forgets one when they delve into the other, and vice-versa. Both so engrossing that there is no thought of why, or if they could be linked.

It’s an engrossing read, and certainly one that makes me want to read more.

Buy The Cruise at Amazon Uk or got to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: HarperCollins | pub date 10th November 2022 | PBO EB AUDIO. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour The Imposter by Leona Deakin

It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour The Imposter by Leona Deakin.

About the Author

Leona Deakin draws inspiration for her writing from her own experiences having started her career as a psychologist with the West Yorkshire Police and her successful work in psychology since. Leona was part of a team responsible for designing methods of selection for recruiting and promoting officers from PC to Chief Superintendent. 

Her role was to create realistic policing scenarios – from personnel issues to large scale incidents (plane crash, terrorist bomb etc) – that could be used to test leadership skills. To do this she spent a great deal of time interviewing and observing officers at various ranks and reviewing cases. This gave Leona an insight into the police culture that helps her to write authentic character interactions in her novels. 

Leona is now an occupational psychologist and lives with her family in Leeds. She has written four novels in the acclaimed Dr Augusta Bloom series: Gone, Lost, Hunt and The Imposter. Follow https://twitter.com/LeonaDeakin1 on Twitter

About the book

The Imposter is the fourth gripping thriller by Leona Deakin with a truly brilliant, mind-bending twist! While each of Leona’s thrillers can be read as a standalone, The Imposter delivers all the pace, plot and expert psychological insight that her devoted fan base have come to expect.

Dr Bloom is faced with her most challenging case yet as she races to catch a highly unpredictable murderer in London. He doesn’t just want your identity. He wants your life… – No one sees him coming.

A stock-market trader is pushed from a high-rise balcony and falls to his death on the street below. The only clue the police can find is a box of matches. – No one survives for long. The decomposing body of a member of the Saudi Royal Family is discovered in a car. Evidence suggests the killer took the man’s life, then stole his identity, wore his clothes and lived in his hotel room – before vanishing into thin air like smoke.

Nothing but matchsticks are left behind. – Dr Bloom realizes the only thing linking these murders is a trail of burnt matches and broken lives. Time is running out – and if she isn’t careful, she might be the next to burn …

Review

This is the fourth book in the Dr Bloom series, and despite recurring characters and certain sub plots, they can be read as standalone novels. I think it makes the series a wee bit more enticing. You can read the rest of the series because they are good books, and you get the gist of the underlying tension and manipulation between Bloom and Seraphine, but you can equally discover and enjoy each book individually without thinking you are missing out on a part of the story.

In this book Bloom is brought in, not because there has been a sequence of peculiar deaths or alleged accidents that suggest a third party is enjoying a masquerade process before killing them. Bloom is there because Seraphine appears to be part of the bigger picture, and she knows exactly how she ticks.    

Is it bad that I really enjoy Seraphine? Her character is written in a way that makes her pathology, her intelligence and the ability to stay ten steps ahead of everyone around her quite intriguing. The character you know is capable of anything without feeling an inch of remorse, and yet as a reader you’re still quite invested in whatever dangerous mischief she may get up to.

It’s also an interesting way to drive a double thread plot. You pay attention to one but are also looking over your shoulder for the variable that is at best manipulating the scenario and at her worst she is directly involved and has her wicked fingers in all the pies – just for the fun of it.

Buy The Imposter at Amazon UK. Publisher:  pub date 24th November 2022 | Paperback Original | Penguin (Transworld) | £7.99 – Ebook available from 3rd November 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour The Veteran by Will Patching

It’s my turn on the Blogtour The Veteran by Will Patching.

About the Author

Will Patching was born and raised in ‘sarf Lunnon, Engerland’, or at least, that’s how he pronounces it! Hence, many scenes from his novels are situated in London, the surrounding suburbs and other parts of southeast England, though they also span as far afield as Asia and the USA.

His approach to writing is to hit the reader with hard truths about the world we live in, and his mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels are certain to set your pulse pounding. 

One male reviewer decided he needed to check his door locks late one night while reading Will’s darkly disturbing thriller, ‘Remorseless’. He subsequently commented on social media: ‘Seriously scary!’

Will’s eclectic professional experience—from his teenage role as a ‘gardener’ weeding sewage treatment filter beds, through flying a Hawk jet very fast, very low and very dangerously before the RAF realised and booted him out, then attending Harvard on a course for budding CEOs, largely thanks to the Peter Principle of promotion, and more recently, to building his dream, a charter yacht that sank in southeast Asian waters—all have led to a rich and varied life, often reflected in his writing.

For more about the author, his writing, his characters and inspiration, please head to his website at: willpatchingauthor.com Follow @WillsNovels on Twitter

About the book

A dying veteran. A long-lost son. And an infatuated nurse. Are any of them who they claim to be?

When an abusive stranger offers to care for terminally ill veteran Barry Brown while claiming to be his long-lost son, Detective Jack Carver is tasked with finding out the truth.

Brown’s wife disappeared with the infant boy under circumstances Jack finds highly questionable. While looking into her background and subsequent death he soon finds himself investigating a baffling cold case spanning almost four decades.

Was she the victim of a misogynistic serial killer who has never been brought to justice? Is Richard Brown really the missing son he claims to be? And is his browbeaten girlfriend actually qualified to care for the old man?

Find out in The Veteran, a dark, twisted psychological crime thriller… Deadly Inspirations – ‘Stand alone’ Book two ‘ENVY’

The Veteran is the second self-contained novel in a loosely-linked series based on The Seven Deadly Sins, featuring characters from Will’s gritty British crime thriller series, The Remorseless Trilogy. It is not necessary to have read book one, The Widow, or any of his other books to enjoy his latest gripping tale.

Review

I’m going to start with the fact the author is unapologetic about his work, any possible triggers, the British spelling and about how he wants to tell his stories. The book begins with a note on this, and I can’t say I disagree with that, although there were certain elements that I found irritating at times. Nothing I wouldn’t expect though given the genre, and the nature of the story.

Expect some sexism, abuse, toxic masculinity – to name a few, but equally it fits into the snarky, murky and often downright sleazy and lethal plot. That being said there is also an element of mind games when it comes to criminal vs the main character. It’s easier to stay hidden in the open when you fulfil the expectations of a stereotype, because then nobody bothers taking a second glance. They think you made assumptions, and in doing so left them free from suspicion – until Jack wanders into the picture.

Slowly but surely malicious plans are unravelled, and a cold case begins to emerge from the ashes, actually I think it’s probably more a matter of knowing your criminals and trusting your gut instinct.

It has an urban feel, gritty and raw. Smelly armpits, obnoxious old men, and someone who digs their heels in, wades through the various veils of deceit with the sole intention of solving crime, and perhaps teaching certain people a lesson here and there.

Buy The Veteran at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour All That is Wicked by Kate Winkler Dawson

 It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour All That is Wicked: The ‘Victorian Hannibal Lecter’ and the Race to Decode the Criminal Mind by Kate Winkler Dawson.

About the Author

Kate Winkler Dawson is a seasoned documentary producer, her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, WCBS News, ABC News Radio, ‘PBS NewsHour’ and ‘Nightline’. She is the author Death in the Air, American Sherlock and All That is Wicked, and the host of Tenfold More Wicked, a historical true crime podcast on the Exactly Right network, now on its fourth series. Follow @kwinklerdawson on Twitter, Visit katewinklerdawson.com

About the book

The thrilling story of Edward Rulloff – a serial murderer who was called ‘too intelligent to be killed’ – and the array of 19th-century investigators who were convinced his brain held the key to finally understanding the criminal mind. Rulloff was a brilliant yet utterly amoral murderer – some have called him a ‘Victorian-era Hannibal Lecter’ – whose crimes spanned decades.

From alienists (early psychiatrists who tried to analyse the source of his madness) to neurologists (who wanted to dissect his brain) to phrenologists (who analysed the bumps on his head to determine his character), each one thought he held the key to understanding the essential question: is evil born or made?

Expanding on her hit podcast, Tenfold More Wicked, acclaimed crime historian Kate Winkler Dawson draws on hundreds of source materials and never-before-shared historical documents to present one of the first glimpses into the mind of a serial killer – a century before the term was coined.

Review

This is historical true crime, which is well documented enough for the author to create an accurate factual picture instead of speculation and theories. The case of Edward Rulloff, a man who confused the experts of that era, because he didn’t fit the image of a monster. 

How do you equate heinous acts with a man who appears intellectually superior – a gentleman. I think this aspect is something we see in our day and age, and the last century. If a criminal is articulate, intelligent and well educated a lot of people think it is a direct contradiction to their image of what a serial killer might be, ergo also makes them more vulnerable to manipulation and make them potential victims.

I think the last few chapters, especially the epilogue, gave a lot of food for thought. I can imagine Rulloff was considered a bit of an enigma. The perfect specimen to interview, examine and to diagnose. Perhaps the first inklings or awareness of a certain sector of people who don’t have a reason for killing, who enjoy the power of death cause by their actions. Just sitting on the boundary of discovering serial killers. At the time the actions of Rulloff must have felt like an inexplicable blip.

I wondered whether the description of how Rulloff was perceived differently by each person who interacted with at length actually resonates as a type of pathology – the mirroring to give the other person what they need and expect, ergo making them comfortable, vulnerable and even hyper-vigilant to the danger. 

I thought the book was well researched and an utterly engrossing read. As the author mentions, it’s the path towards the mindhunter – trying to understand the behaviour patterns, the reasoning and the triggers in order to catch this very dangerous and special type of killer. It’s genuinely concerning to think that at any given time there are many undetected serial killers, who haven’t hit any radar or who have and are needles in very large human population needlestacks. Really interesting read.

Buy All That Is Wicked at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher‏: ‎Icon Books pub date 6 Oct. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#Blogtour 6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour 6 Ripley Avenue by Noelle Holten.

About the Author

Noelle Holten is an award-winning blogger at http://www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR & Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime & Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.

Dead Inside – her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international kindle bestseller and the start of a new series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. Subscribe to her newsletter Noelle Holten – Author, Follow @nholten40 on Twitter, Visit crimebookjunkie.co.uk 

About the book

One House. Eight Killers. No Witnesses. 

Jeanette is the manager of a probation hostel that houses high risk offenders released on license. At 3am one morning, she receives a call telling her a resident has been murdered. Her whole team, along with the eight convicted murderers, are now all suspects in a crime no one saw committed…

Don’t miss the first nerve-shredding standalone thriller from Noelle Holten, author of the Maggie Jamieson series.

Review

Hidden in this crime thriller is a subtle critique of the legal system in regard to violent offenders and the way their rights often supersede those of their victim/s and their families. I would include potential future victims in that train of thought. Certain types of offenders will probably reoffend, and with that in mind the house on Ripley Avenue – in the middle of a normal neighbourhood, well it creates a lot of controversy.

A lot of controversy actually, especially when one of the violent offenders get a taste of his own medicine and ends up dead. Not sure anyone is really that upset about it, however it does mean the police have to find the person responsible for the brutal crime. Herein lies the problem, there are no witnesses and eight potential killers, and the author makes a grand job of making you think everyone has a legit reason to kill.

This didn’t grip me the same way the DC Maggie Jamieson series did. The writing was a bit he said she said, a bit surprising but it’s a standalone and slightly off the already beaten path. The premise was interesting though and the killer was kept hidden and in plain sight all at the same time.

Buy 6 Ripley Avenue at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎One More Chapter; pub date 27 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

#BlogTour Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank

It’s my turn on the BlogTour Under the Cloud by B.R. Erlank.

About the Author

Boris Erlank grew up in Southern Africa and Namibia. He has lived and worked in places as diverse as Luanda, Cape Town, Singapore and San Francisco. Boris recently gave up his job as Global Privacy Manager with a Fortune 100 company to focus on writing full-time. 

He has an extensive background in IT, data privacy and cybersecurity, and has drawn on that experience to craft his latest novel, “Under the Cloud”. 

Boris lives with his family and two dogs in the foothills of Mount Diablo, east of San Francisco. In his spare time, he likes to cycle, hike, sing in a choir, and listen to audiobooks. Visit brerlank.wordpress.com or B.R. Erlank on Facebook

About the book

They call themselves The Settlement Bureau. A faceless, soulless organization coercing Americans with threats to expose their improprieties and vulnerabilities. Inhumanely persistent, they’ve secretly driven hundreds of victims into bankruptcy, despair – and several even to suicide.

But when this organization tries to blackmail IT expert Terry Reynolds, they make a serious mistake. Terry is down on his luck. He is penniless, divorced and in a dead-end job. Yet, the abuse of his personal information stirs Terry out of his lethargy, and he fights back. He embarks on a digital game of cat-and-mouse with the cold, calculating minds behind The Settlement Bureau – and in doing so, uncovers a sprawling criminal conspiracy.

Review

At the core of this read is religion and the fine line drawn between Christians and the posers using religion it to earn a dime. Zealous pseudo-Christians and in particular the big Evangelists – the TV evangelists. Talk about the world’s greatest con. People want to believe and are eager to send their money. Talking of fine lines – there is also an invisible one many of these pseudo religious groups cross, and often it isn’t even invisible – the line into being a cult.

I think the author makes some interesting comparisons to already existing groups and individuals who are willing to be ruthless, criminal and blatantly devoid of any morals or suggested religious values. People are easy pickings for those working the long con under the guise of a religion – willing to give or do anything only to be embraced by the faux lord and get a key to the door in the sky.

When you combine that with cyber-crime, which is one of the biggest threats the world is confronted with in this era, then you have a perfect collusion between crime, vulnerability and the manipulation via media outlets.

I thought this was quite clever, especially when it waded into more controversial topics. Giving both sides or positions without taking a definitive stand, very diplomatic indeed and yet simultaneously also presenting a no-holds-barred picture of the issue. It’s an engrossing and fast-paced read.

Buy Under the Cloud at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: ‎Khanya pub date 15 Sept. 2022. Buy at Amazon com.

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#Blogtour The Girl in the Photo by Heidi Amsinck

 It’s my turn on the BlogTour The Girl in the Photo by Heidi Amsinck. This is the second book in the Jensen series.

About the Author

Heidi Amsinck is a writer and a journalist born in Copenhagen now living in London. She was London Correspondent for the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten. She has written many stories for BBC Radio 4, all read by Tim McInnerny. She was previously shortlisted for the VS Pritchett Memorial Prize. My Name is Jensen, her first thriller, was published to critical acclaim in 2021 and has been translated into Danish and German. Follow @HeidiAmsinck1 on Twitter, Visit heidiamsinck.co.uk

About the book

When ninety-year-old Irene Valborg is found brutally murdered in an affluent suburb of Copenhagen, her diamond necklace missing, it looks like a burglary gone wrong. When two more victims are attacked, the police lament a rise in violence against the elderly, but who is the young girl in the photo found by DI Henrik Jungersen on the scenes of crime? 

Impatient to claim her inheritance, Irene’s daughter hires former Dagbladet reporter Jensen and her teenage apprentice Gustav to find the necklace. Henrik finds himself once more pitched in a quest for the truth against Jensen – the one woman in Copenhagen he is desperate to avoid.

Review

This is the second book in the Scandinavian Crime series Jensen, both books can be read as standalone novels, however I would recommend reading the first in the series – it’s a great read and you get a better gist of how Jensen and Henrik got to the point they are at in this book.

It begins with the brutal death of an elderly woman, the theft of expensive jewellery, and the photo of a young girl that seems to link further crimes. DI Henrik Jungersen is tasked with investigating, bit the daughter of the elderly woman believes the police are dragging their feet – enter Jensen from stage left to help solve the crime. 

The involvement of Jensen complicates matters for Henrik who is actively trying to remain out of her very enticing orbit, or is he? Indeed she keeps popping up as further crimes seem to suggest an insidious link between what appear to be unrelated events.

Henrik might need to accept the fact he has a wee bit of an obsession with Jensen. Making up scenarios and situations in his head – the attempt to restrict his fantasy and desires, whilst simultaneously pushing them forward. Being privy to his alleged wish to repair the damage to his existing relationship with his wife gives the reader a certain impression, but does he really want to repair it? Is he trying to convince us or himself? Is it just me or does it wander into the realms of something more than just being attracted to Jensen. If Henrik was anyone other than an upstanding police officer, would it be more than unrequited passion? Hmm, I wonder.

I kind of enjoy the whole imbalance and element of the who is the main driver or character of this story. It says Jensen on the box, and yet Henrik is right up there leading the way, whilst Jensen gets the space and time to expand upon the more elusive and intriguing air surrounding her persona. In fact it’s probably the instability of each of them in their own way that draws the reader in.

I like the fact the author doesn’t rely on the previous success and path forged by the characters in book one. Instead the is a very conscious effort to delver not only a riveting read, but also create pathways for further development. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

Buy The Girl in the Photo at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher : ‎Muswell Press pub date 28 July 2022. Buy at Amazon com.