Firstly, happiest of publication days to Jackie 🙂
Today I am thrilled to be sharing my review for one of my most anticipated books, Briefly Maiden, by Jacqueline Chadwick. I’ve been waiting to read Briefly Maiden since I finished the first book in the series, In The Still (read that review HERE), so getting to read an early copy of this was an absolute privilege.
It’s not just me who’ll be sharing a review for Briefly Maiden today, one of my absolute FAVE people, Gordon at Grab This Book , will be posting his so make sure you pop over to his blog to see what he though of Briefly Maiden too!
About the author:
Jacqueline Chadwick is probably best known for her work in British soap operas.
Jackie appeared in ITV soap opera Emmerdale, as Tina Dingle from 1994–1996. For this role she was nominated for Most Popular Actress at the 1996 National Television Awards.
Jackie next appeared in Coronation Street in 1998 as factory machinist Linda Sykes. The storyline involving her character’s relationship with Mike Baldwin won Best Storyline at The British Soap Awards in 2001. She left Coronation Street in 2001.
In 2002 she relocated to Canada with her husband and family.
Briefly Maiden is the hotly anticipated follow up to her thrilling debut novel featuring Ali Dalglish, In The Still.
You can follow her on twitter @JackieChaddy
About the book:
Ali Dalglish is back in the role she loves: working alongside Vancouver Island’s Integrated Major Incident Squad and is once again partnered with Inspector Rey Cuzzocrea.
As the chemistry between Ali and Cuzzocrea intensifies so does the hunt for a twisted killer as they are tasked with solving a series of violent murders with links to a sinister paedophile ring in the idyllic island city of Cedar River.
In the midst of the chaos, Ali is pulled by her desire to find and save the children at the heart of the case but she is thwarted by an evil so cunning and powerful that it threatens to become the nemesis she never imagined possible: one that could bring her to her knees.
Published by Fahrenheit Press TODAY, you can order your copy by clicking the link below:
As I sit here trying to get what’s in my head out into this review, I can’t help but feel it still won’t be enough to convey just how good Briefly Maiden is. In The Still was an astounding crime debut, so naturally I often worry will the next book be as good. Tentatively, I wonder will it be better. Well in this case, I can say for certain that In The Still was not a fluke, Jacqueline Chadwick is supremely talented and Briefly Maiden cemented that for me.
I went into Briefly Maiden blind. I didn’t recheck the blurb, I didn’t do a quick recon of my review for book one because I can still clearly remember the raw, visceral writing and how it left me feeling. I wanted that feeling again, and boy did I get it, in fucking spades!!!!
We’re back with foul-mouthed, sarcastic and all-round awesome Ali Dalglish in Maiden (yes, I’m shortening it because I will be mentioning the name A LOT!!!) where she is paired up with Inspector Rey Cuzzocrea to investigate some brutal murders in Cedar River. Those who are killed all seem to have links to a paedophile ring operating in this idyllic little town and as Ali and Rey are drawn further into the investigation, it gets more and more disturbing at each turn.
If In The Still was dark, Briefly Maiden is fucking pitch black.
It goes to places that made me flinch, hiss and want to fling the book at the wall. The themes here are not light, there is murder, child abuse, paedophilia, psychopathy and that’s just the ones that spring to mind as I’m writing this. Seriously, in places, it’s a tough read. There is a tendency in fiction to shy away from the heavy stuff, but that’s not Jacqueline’s style. She will give you EVERYTHING you need to know, in great detail, until you feel like you’ve had an emotional gut punch. More than once, I found myself wishing I could stop reading, but such is the addictive quality of her writing, that I couldn’t!
There are brief moments of levity in the narrative though, and they are much-needed at times. Firstly, Ali herself. . Quite honestly, her sarcasm and sharp tongue make her my kind of person. I love that she is normal, she has her quirks, but she is a genuine character, and I reeeeeeeeally wish she was my friend because I reckon coffee/wine chats with her would be hilarious. Her relationship with Rey in this one was lovely to see because it had the time to develop a bit more and the reader got to see them progress in terms of how well they work together!
Marlene, Ali’s neighbour and crime-fighting bestie is also in this one and I swear she gets funnier every time she’s mentioned. I loved her and Ali’s interactions, because you can see the camaraderie and friendship there and it’s a really nice little aside to the dark, sinister tone of the book as a whole.
I’ve already said this, but Briefly Maiden is a dark and terrifying book. It has horrendous, graphic and gruesome murders , a vile paedophile ring and some extremely depraved characters. Not for the faint of heart, but it is such a great book. The author has also got some seriously in-depth stuff about deviants and deviant behaviour in here too. It makes for tough reading, but in terms of the relation to the plot is was a really interesting angle!
I loved Briefly Maiden. I was dying to read it from as soon as I finished In The Still, and it was so totally worth the wait. I devoured it. Brilliantly crafted, with a twisted plot, this book has left me wanting more. I NEED TO READ BOOK 3!!!!!!
I can’t say anymore without completely ruining the plot, or the ending. And where’s the fun in that?! I will say this though; if you love your crime fiction sick and twisted, then Jacqueline Chadwick is most definitely an author to add to your list. I mean, she has the face of an angel, but the mind of a killer!
Highly, HIGHLY recommended!!!!!