BROADLAND By David Blake
A girls body found mutilated by a boats propeller, another dumped at the bottom of a slipway, and a disused Norfolk Mill, hiding the secret to both.
A COLD DENSE shadow fell over Jane Richardson as she hurried along the concrete towpath. To her left, moonlight danced over the River Burke’s untroubled surface as it slipped silently past, heading back the way she’d come. A low-hanging branch scratched at her face as she ducked underneath. From somewhere far behind her came the shriek of laughter, slicing through the air, only to fall silent a moment later to leave nothing but the sound of her high heels, click-clacking out a stark but steady beat.
When a girls body is found strangled, raped, and horrifically mutilated by a boats propeller, deep in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, newly arrived Detective Inspector John Tanner is asked to assist with the investigation.
At first, all the evidence points to a man who had a multi-million pound reason to kill her. But when an alibi is produced from an unexpected source, and another body appears at the base of a slipway, Tanner finds himself turning to local girl, Detective Constable Jenny Evans for help.
As a more romantic relationship develops between them, they find themselves facing a race against time to identify a lethal adversary, one with a lust for blood and a mind set on revenge.
The start of a new Detective series always gets my attention, this one introduces DI John Tanner, set in the beautiful Norfolk broads.
DI John Tanner is new to the team he has just transferred from London due to a personal tragedy, the death of his daughter. He is partnered with DC Jenny Evans, who was born and bred in the area. Jane Richardson has been reported missing, being the daughter of a prominent millionaire, the initial thoughts are kidnap, for money. But the the body turns up and the most obvious person to look at is the husband. But he seems to have an alibi, or does he? As the investigation progresses they realise there is more going on, especially when another body turns up.
I like the banter between Tanner and Evans, as Evans speaks first and thinks later, but this seems to work with Tanner, they seem comfortable working together, and it adds some lightness to what can be an otherwise intense story. Obviously you can’t keep everyone happy when someone comes from a different area and the same can be said here, not all are happy with Tanner’s transfer.
It’s always difficult setting the scenes and introducing new characters to readers, learning the temperaments and things that make them who they are. Tanner having a somewhat dark past as seems to be the thing with this genre lately, but I’m guessing that in real life there are DI’s that carry things round with them, depending what case’s they have worked on in their career.
There’s a lot of talk about boats but again that’s setting up the scenes for both the area and for the crimes.
The story is well plotted and flows well, with the usual twists and turns expected in the story, trying to throw you off who the guilty party is, a couple of little bits were obvious when reading, but took the characters a bit longer to see, but they got there, and it didn’t really distract from the storyline.
The characters are all well rounded and relatable, likeable which I find can be a big hurdle, if you don’t like the characters the book just doesn’t work.
The pace was at times a little slow then picked up then a little slow and then an ending that you just go wow, ok didn’t see that coming.
A great start to a new series I look forward to reading more about these characters. To see where they go next.
I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️I look forward to more.
Thank you to # netgalley and #Blackoakpublishing for an ecopy of this in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David is a full time author living in North London. To date he has written sixteen books along with a collection of short stories.
When not writing, David likes to spend his time mucking about in boats, often in the Norfolk Broads, where his crime fiction books are based.