Briefly Maiden by Jacqueline Chadwick @jackiechaddy @fahrenheitpress

Hi everyone,

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:

Briefly Maiden

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:

Briefly Maiden (Ali Dalglish Book 2)

My thoughts:

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!!!!!

In The Still by Jacqueline Chadwick @jackiechaddy @fahrenheitpress

Hey guys,

Back again today with my review for In The Still in prep for tomorrow’s Briefly Maiden publication day review!

Jackie C

*Many thanks to Chris at Fahrenheit for my review copy!*

About the book:

When Ali Dalglish immigrated to Canada she left behind her career as Britain’s most in-demand forensic pathologist & criminal psychologist.

Now, eight years later, Ali feels alone, and bored, and full of resentment. Suffocated and frustrated by her circumstances and in an increasingly love-starved marriage, Ali finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.

As she’s pulled deeper into the case of ‘The Alder Beach Girl’ and into the mind of a true psychopath, Ali is forced to confront her fears and to finally embrace her own history of mental illness.

In an increasingly febrile atmosphere Ali must fight hard to protect those she loves from the wrath of a determined and vicious predator and to ultimately allow the woman she once was to breathe again.

Click HERE to get your copy!

 

My thoughts:

In this crime debut, we meet Ali Dalglish, who emigrated to Canada 8 years previously with her husband and two children. Before moving to Canada, Ali worked as a forensic pathologist and a criminal psychologist. Considered to be a child prodigy, highly intelligent Ali ended up leaving the UK at the pinnacle of her career to re-locate to Canada, and as a consequence, is filled with resentment and totally unfulfilled with her life as it is now.

Living in the quiet town of Mochetsin, Ali gets drawn into a murder that sends shock waves through this idyllic seaside town. The killer wont stop at one,and refuses to be caught. What follows is a manic and grisly game of cat and mouse. Can Ali rise to the challenge and put her old skills to good use to help the investigation?

In The Still is a graphic and evil crime thriller. Usually, with all of the crime books I read, I tend to read with detachment as I’ve become desensitised to violence between the pages, However, In The Still is different. It got under my skin. It made my heart pound. I was afraid to turn the pages to see what fresh hell Jackie Chadwick would unleash on her unsuspecting readers. The antagonist is so sick and twisted, yet unbelievable clever. That is what kept me hooked from beginning to end.

Jacqueline Chadwick has a very descriptive writing style, lots of big beautiful words to describe the absolute horrors taking place in her book. Another thing about her writing is the dry humour that is interspersed in the narrative. It gives welcome relief to some of the heavier parts, and it really endears Ali to the reader. It takes skill to inject humour into something so disturbing, but it is carried off with ease by the author. There is something infectious about foul-mouthed Ali, she’s definitely someone I’d love to hang out with!

With Ali in particular, there is a constant and honest undercurrent of her battle with her own mental health. It is referred to a few times and I liked how the author described her almost daily battle with her issues as it made her even more human and relatable. It shows that Ali, beneath her hard exterior, is trying to deal with her own mental health on top of everything else. Family life and the investigation clearly take its toll on her but I’d like to think she’s strong enough to get through it all and come out fighting.

Thoroughly enjoyed reading In The Still. It kept me gripped, made me feel more than a little uneasy and screwed with my head. Ali is a force to be reckoned with and I can’t wait to see where she takes us next! Loved it!

Highly recommended!

 

Q&A with Jacqueline Chadwick @jackiechaddy @fahrenheitpress

Hi everyone,

To celebrate Briefly Maiden’s release on Thursday, the second Ali Dalglish book, by Jacqueline Chadwick, I’m re-sharing my Q&A today, and tomorrow I’ll be resharing my review for her debut, In The Still!

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.

In The Still is her first novel.

You can follow her on twitter @JackieChaddy

About the book:

Jackie C

When Ali Dalglish immigrated to Canada she left behind her career as Britain’s most in-demand forensic pathologist & criminal psychologist.

Now, eight years later, Ali feels alone, and bored, and full of resentment. Suffocated and frustrated by her circumstances and in an increasingly love-starved marriage, Ali finds herself embroiled in a murder case that forces her to call upon her dormant investigative skills.

As she’s pulled deeper into the case of ‘The Alder Beach Girl’ and into the mind of a true psychopath, Ali is forced to confront her fears and to finally embrace her own history of mental illness.

In an increasingly febrile atmosphere Ali must fight hard to protect those she loves from the wrath of a determined and vicious predator and to ultimately allow the woman she once was to breathe again.

You can get your copy bu clicking the link below:

In The Still (Ali Dalglish Book 1) by Jacqueline Chadwick


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

At the risk of boring you to death: I am forty-two, Scottish, I have two children and too many dogs. I have a fabulous husband who is a firefighter. I grew up in Birmingham where I became an actress at the age of 11 and continued in that field until I was 26. I left acting to focus on motherhood and to homeschool my kids. I moved to Canada in 2009 were I work as a writer and miss the U.K. every day.

 

How did you get into writing? Is it something you’ve always wanted to do?

I have always loved writing. During my years as an actress, writing was my ‘dirty little secret’ and I would sneak off to my dressing room and write plays and TV scripts and screenplays. Nowadays I like to write novels, especially ones that are just a little bit twisted.

 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

The inspiration for my first novel, ‘In The Still’, was a combination of  two things: a secluded nature trail near my house and my husband’s job as a first responder. I wanted to know, if a murder victim was discovered in the sleepy municipality where I now live, how would it be handled? Who would be first on scene? Would they bring in specialists? Then, once I started to describe the setting, it became clear to me that a killer could operate undetected for a long time, perhaps forever, in such a place as long as he chose his victims carefully and didn’t get clumsy.

 

How would you describe your writing to anyone who hasn’t read your books?

I am fascinated by the dark side of human nature. I love to explore the notion of evil. I get excited writing things that are grim and sometimes uncomfortable. I’m happy with certain chapters only when I have to take a break after writing to have a drink of water and let my nausea subside. My central character is a brilliant woman called Ali Dalglish but what I especially like about her is that she isn’t perfect, she is flawed and about as far away from sorted as you can get.

 

Do you think social media helps in regard to promotion and drumming up publicity for a new book?

Since ‘In The Still’ is my debut, I am green to the industry and to social media. Although I’ve become totally addicted, I am a Twitter newbie and so you’ll have to ask me that one in the future.

 

What’s your most favourite thing about being an author?

Writing every day. It is my idea of heaven on earth. I love every moment of it from the first chapter to the very last.

 

What’s your least favourite thing about being an author?

Well, as I said before, I’m learning as I go but I have noticed that, once your work is out there, you have frequent moments of self-doubt and sheer panic. However, thus far it’s been nothing a glass of wine can’t fix.

 

Where do you see your writing career 5 years from now?

I’d like to have written another five books.

 

What’s next for you?

‘Briefly Maiden’ and ‘Silent Sisters’ (books two and three in the Ali Dalglish series) are being published by Fahrenheit Press later this year and I’m currently working on a fourth that’s set in Britain because I’m just so damn homesick.

 

I often wonder are authors voracious readers. Do you read much, and if so, what kind of books do you enjoy?

I read every day. At the moment I’m working my way through the works of the Fahrenheit Press family and I’m thoroughly enjoying them all. Crime fiction is my favourite genre and always has been since I was little but I like to read a mix of styles and genres, both modern and classic.

 

Can you tell me your all time favourite book, or if you have to, your top 5?

There are many books I love but one in particular stands out as my favourite: ‘Hannibal’ by Thomas Harris. I remember reading it on the train and my face getting hot as Harris introduces Mason Verger, it was the first time I had to shut a book just to steel myself for more.

 

 

Has there been any books you’ve read that you wish you had written?

Hannibal.

 

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I have always homeschooled my kids. My daughter is twenty and so she’s all done but I still work with my son, Jamie. There’s always crap to do around the house (especially with four dogs) but nowadays I can slip off to my desk, dive into a new chapter and leave it for tomorrow.

 

Have you any hobbies that aren’t book-related?

Oil painting and furniture restoration although, since Ali Dalglish took up residence in my skull, I haven’t done either for a while.

 

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

My husband and I have always taken the kids to Disney but right now, given the chance, I’d go to Britain – I’m dying for a proper fish supper, some tattie scones and as much Irn Bru as I can take.

 

Favourite food?

As above!!!

 

Favourite drink?

I love beer but it’s too fattening (I’m five foot and so every pound just takes me closer to that barrel-shape I’m genetically destined for) so I stick to vodka and cranberry and the odd glass (bottle) of red.

 

 

Last but not least, why writing? Why not something else?

Whenever I don’t write, even if for just a few days, I go more than a little bit crazy. It’s something I am compelled to do. I bloody love it!


Huge thanks to Jackie for answering my questions! 🙂

Check back tomorrow for my refresher of In The Still…

Under Water by Casey Barrett

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*Many thanks to the author for my review copy!*

About the author:

Casey is the author of the Duck Darley crime series. The first in the series, UNDER WATER, will be released by Kensington Books on November 28th, 2017. Book two – AGAINST NATURE – will come out eight months later on July 31st, 2018. And Book three – THE TOWER OF SONGS – is slated for mid-2019 release.

Casey is also a Canadian Olympic swimmer and the co-founder and co-CEO of Imagine Swimming, New York City’s largest learn-to-swim school. He has won three Emmy awards and one Peabody award for his work on NBC’s broadcasts of the Olympic Games.

About the book:

Duck Darley should have been a winner. Once a competitive swimmer destined for Olympic gold, he drank away his gilded youth and followed his fraudster father’s footsteps into prison. Barely scraping by as an unlicensed private investigator, Duck now chases down cheating spouses for the same Manhattan elite who once viewed him as equal, and drowns bitter memories with whatever fills his glass.

Duck’s lost glory days resurface when he’s tasked with finding the teenaged sister of a former teammate turned Olympic champion. Privileged Madeline McKay vanished over Labor Day weekend, leaving behind a too-perfect West Village apartment and a promising athletic career of her own. Duck thinks he’s hunting for a self-destructive runaway—until Madeline’s film student ex is savagely murdered, and the media spins her as the psycho who killed him.

As Duck searches for Madeline, he’s plunged back into the dark underbelly of Olympic swimming—a world rife with wild lies and terrible violence. And he soon learns that no matter how hard he tries to escape his past, demons still lurk beneath every surface . . .

Under Water by Casey Barrett

My thoughts:

Under Water is the first book in a Casey Barrett’s Duck Darley series, and it’s definitely off to a good start!

Darley used to have promise as an Olympic swimmer, but for various reasons, he ended up going to prison instead. This lead to Darley working as a PI in Manhattan, where he exposes cheaters and the usual PI fodder. Until he is contacted by the mother of his old swim team mate.

Madeleine McKay is missing but Darley thinks she’s run away and that there’s nothing untoward about her disappearance. Until her ex is murdered, and she becomes the prime suspect.

From here, Under Water really picks up the pace. Darley gets into trouble on occasion, but all in his pursuit for the truth. At times violent and gritty, Under Water has an almost hard-boiled crime kind of feel to it. It’s noir-ish and quite old school but it’s quite pacy!

It’s been a while since I read a crime book like Under Water. There is a seedy undertone throughout the narrative, but it lends itself well to the investigative work Darley has to do. One for fans of James Ellroy maybe? It’s got that kind of vibe going for it at times. One worth adding to your list!

Recommended for sure!

The Hidden Face by S. C. Flynn

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*Many thanks to the author for my review copy*

About the author:

S C Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian.

He reads everything, revises his writing obsessively and plays jazz. His wife Claudia shares his passions and always encourages him.

S C Flynn has written for as long as he can remember and has worked seriously towards becoming a writer for many years.

THE HIDDEN FACE (November 2017) is his second novel and the first in the Fifth Unmasking epic fantasy series.

About the book:

A face without a face – an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Once every few hundred years, the sun god, the Akhen takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he – or she – be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, returns to Faustia after years as a hostage of their rivals, the Magians. Those years have changed him, but Faustia has changed as well; the emperor Calvo now seems eccentric and is controlled by one of Dayraven’s old enemies. Following the brutal death of his old teacher, Dayraven is drawn, together with a warrior woman named Sunniva, into the search for an ancient secret that would change the fate of empires.

Powerful enemies want the secret as well, including a dynasty of magician-kings who were thought to have died out long before, a mad, murderous hunchback and a beautiful, deadly woman who is never seen. Sunniva and Dayraven fight to survive and to solve the mystery while their own pasts come back to life and the attraction between them deepens.

The Hidden Face by S. C. Flynn

My thoughts:

I’m not going to lie, I found The Hidden Face really hard to get into initially. It was really laden with details and names and I found myself getting confused early on. However, once the main characters met, and they found themselves thrown together to unravel the clues left for them, it really picked up the pace.

Dayraven find his old teacher brutally murdered, ad he is left something that makes him question everything. Enter Sunniva, a female warrior who can help him on his quest for the truth.

At this point, the book pick s up pace as they work together to solve clues left for them to uncover the truth of an ancient secret. It really draws the reader in, as you become invested in their quest.

The Hidden Face is a very intriguing read. It has some excellent characters along with some intricate world-building. I particularly enjoyed seeing the relationship between Dayraven and Sunniva shift as the book changed its course.

If you’re a fan of fantasy, this is definitely one to add to your list.

Recommended for sure!

 

Publication Day Blog Blast~Dying Breath by Helen Phifer~Ellen’s Review

Hi everyone,

Today is the blog blast for Helen Phifer’s Dying Breath and I’ll be sharing Ellen’s review with you all! First though, here’s the all-important bookish information that you need to know!

About the author:

Helen Phifer author picture

Helen Phifer lives in a small town called Barrow-in-Furness with her husband and five children.
Helen has always loved writing and reading. Her love of horror films and novels is legendary. Helen adores reading books which make the hair on the back of her neck stand on end. Unable to find enough scary stories to read she decided to write her own.

Helen’s debut novel ‘The Ghost House’ was published by Carina UK in October 2013 and went on to become a best seller along with the rest of the Annie Graham series. The Secrets of the Shadows, The Forgotten Cottage, The Lake House, The Girls in the Woods and The Face Behind the Mask.

The Good Sisters is a standalone horror story which will scare the pants off you or so her lovely readers have told her. It scared Helen when she was writing it so she pretty much agrees with them.

March 2017 saw the release of psychological thriller Dark House (previously called The Lost Children), book 1 in the Detective Inspector Lucy Harwin series. Book 2 – Dying Breath is due for release in Nov 2017.

Author Social Media Links:

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Helenphifer1

Instagram:    https://www.instagram.com/helenphifer

Twitter:       https://twitter.com/helenphifer1

Website:     https://www.helenphifer.com

About the book:

Dying-Breath-Kindle

Take a breath. Pray it’s not your last.
Just a few months after a terrifying case that nearly took her life, Detective Lucy Harwin is back with her squad in the coastal town of Brooklyn Bay – and this time, she’s faced with a case more horrifying than anything she’s encountered.

Along with her partner, Detective Mattie Jackson, Lucy is investigating what appears to be a vicious but isolated murder; a woman found bludgeoned to death on a lonely patch of wasteland.

But when a second victim is discovered strangled in an alleyway, then a young family shot in their own home, Lucy and the team must face the unthinkable reality – a killer is walking the streets of their quiet coastal town.

While Lucy and the team try to find the link between these seemingly unconnected murders, they uncover a disturbing truth – these murders are replicating those carried out by infamous serial killers.

Lucy must get to the killer before he strikes again. But he’s got his sights on her, and is getting ever closer… Can she save herself, before she becomes the final piece in his twisted game?

Amazon Links:UK http://amzn.to/2kwbxut

                            US http://amzn.to/2y7pqEK

Ellen’s Review:

I have often seen a book described as “jaw-dropping” before but never actually experienced it….until Dying Breath by Helen Phifer. At points throughout the book I could have done with a hammock for the aforementioned dropped jaw! The story is super tense and fast paced and one of those books where I could be caught speaking aloud to. “Whaaaat!?” and “No way” being some of the favourite phrases used.

 

I recently read and enjoyed the first in the Detective Lucy Harwin (Dark House) and it was great to be reacquainted with her. I love her professionalism, dedication and that gut feeling she follows. This often leads her into a dangerous situation but she would rather follow leads at her own risk than endanger her team.

 

The interaction between Lucy and the team is great and I am enjoying her blossoming relationship with Mattie. I’m not one for hearts and romance but would like to see Lucy have a little happiness after the trauma of the last two books!

 

An easy five stars from me.

Check out the other fab blogs taking part today:

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Lament The Common Bones by Jen Danna & Ann Vanderlaan

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*Many thanks to the author for my review copy*

About the book:

When death hides in plain sight, only the most discerning eye can see the truth.

Forensic anthropologist Dr. Matt Lowell and his team of grad students don’t go looking for death—it usually comes to them. But when one of Matt’s students suspects the skeleton hanging in a top competitor’s lab is actually from a murder victim, Matt has no choice but to sneak in to confirm a suspicious death. Once the case comes to Massachusetts State Police Trooper Leigh Abbott, the team is back together again.

While trying to handle the new murder case, Matt and Leigh also uncover new evidence behind the mysterious deliveries intended to smear the name of Leigh’s father, an honored cop, fallen in the line of duty four years before. When the person behind the deliveries is finally uncovered, it becomes clear that lives are in jeopardy if they attempt to thwart him. At the same time, as the murder case delves into underground societies and grows complicated when the killer himself becomes a victim, it will take all of Matt and Leigh’s teamwork to solve both cases and escape with their lives.

Lament The Common Bones by Jen Danna & Ann Vanderlaan

About the authors:

A scientist specializing in infectious diseases, Jen J. Danna works as part of a dynamic research group at a cutting-edge Canadian university. However, her true passion lies in indulging her love of the mysterious through her writing. Together with her partner Ann Vanderlaan, they write two series.

Under Danna and Vanderlaan, they craft suspenseful crime fiction with a realistic scientific edge. Their five Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries include DEAD, WITHOUT A STONE TO TELL IT; NO ONE SEES ME ’TILL I FALL; A FLAME IN THE WIND OF DEATH; TWO PARTS BLOODY MURDER; and LAMENT THE COMMON BONES.

Under the joint pseudonym of Sara Driscoll, they write the FBI K-9s mysteries series, starring search-and-rescue team Meg Jennings and her black lab, Hawk. LONE WOLF, released in December 2016, is the first book in the series. The second book in the series, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE, will release in October of 2017, followed by the third book in 2018.

My thoughts:

Lament The Common Bones is book 5 in the Abbott and Lowell Forensic Mysteries series, but to be honest, it can be read as a standalone. There is more than enough backstory present, without actually making you feel you have missed out on the history of the characters. I am most definitely going to be buying the rest of these books though as I was hooked immediately!

The books focus on Matt Lowell and Leigh Abbott, forensic anthropologist and Massachusetts State Police Trooper respectively, as they are tasked with investigating how the skeleton of an unknown murder victim has ended up in another lab, used as an anatomical model for teaching. What are the odds, right?! Well, Abbott and Lowell are going to find out!

This investigation leads them on a very winding path, where even the killer becomes a victim! I know, it sounds odd, but it makes complete sense when you read the book! Alongside the murder investigation, Abbott is dealing with the fallout from her father’s death, because someone is out to tarnish him as a dirty cop.

Both investigations run simultaneously, but at no point are they hard to keep up with. The levels of detail are brilliant, the characters are really well-written and feel almost approachable (I know they’re not real, but they read like they are!!!), and the plot is taut and gripping.

Lament The Common Bones was an excellent introduction to Abbott and Lowell. As I mentioned above, I will most definitely be picking up the first four books. I loved the repartee between them, it gave levity in dark moments, but there was real emotion there too which translated off the page so well. So yeah, another series for me to catch up on for sure, and well worth adding to your list if you enjoy the forensic detail of Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan coupled with the addictiveness (don’t even know if that’s a word!!!) of Cornwell’s earlier Scarpetta books!

Highly recommended!