Today I pass the reins over to Mandie who has a review of Stalker on the Fens by Joy Ellis.
The Official Book Blurb
DETECTIVE NIKKI GALENA’S FRIEND THINKS SHE HAS A DEADLY STALKER, BUT WILL ANYONE BELIEVE HER BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE?
DI Nikki Galena’s close friend Helen Brook is involved in a serious accident where she is trapped in a collapsed cellar. After her hard-won recovery, Helen is still getting flashbacks to a man she says was down there with her and who confessed to a murder. But no trace of this man can be found.
Then Helen tells Nikki that someone is watching her. But is all this in her friend’s imagination and part of her post-traumatic stress?
And why is Stephen Cox back in town? He’s the villain who tore Nikki’s life apart and he seems to have returned to wreak more chaos. Before long the whole town is on the verge of hysteria and her friend’s fear will lead Nikki and Joseph on a very dangerous trail.
Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the heart-stopping conclusion.
Having thoroughly enjoyed a couple of books written by Joy Ellis, I jumped at the chance to read Stalker in the Fens. The book starts with a serious accident that sees the best friend of DI Nikki Galena trapped in a cellar under a wall. 12 months on and Helen Brooks is starting to get flashbacks about that day and she is convinced that she is being followed due to something someone told her while she was trapped.
Nikki wants to believe her friend however when she starts to investigate all things point to it being just a bit of paranoia… that is until one night when she goes round to keep her company and finds Helen has been brutally murdered. When Helen’s partner goes missing and is subsequently found badly beaten Nikki is left wondering what he had been involved in and was it linked to her friend’s death.
The pairing of DI Nikki Galena and DS Joseph Easter works really well as they have a closeness that can only come through time and understanding. He seems to be her voice of reason and calming influence all in one as she struggles with the case and how close she is to it all. Living across from each other on the fens he seems to know when she needs an ear to bend and is willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice if required.
DS Easter is also trying to reconnect with his daughter after his divorce but the fact that she is now working locally and dating one of the young police officers in his station seems to help. He is also taking some joy from the fact that his ex-wife will hate it.
DC Eric Barnes is transferred into the team which causes problems and to be fair for the majority of the book he does not seem to have any redeeming qualities. He is related to a senior officer and thinks himself above everyone else and the backwater force in the fens, hating the fact that there is a woman in charge. After a very public telling off he makes his biggest mistake yet that sees him come to blows with Nikki for a second time. Without going into detail so that I don’t give the plot away, he does however manage to show that he is human and somewhere deep down there is a half decent copper.
Throughout the book there are times I was almost sure I knew who had done it and why, however as the investigations evolved I found that not everyone and everything was as it seemed. Ties from the past cropped up that had links with current events and the eventual outcome was not actually what I expected.
Stalker on the Fens is the fifth in the Nikki Galena series but I will admit it is the first one I have read. Although there are some possible references to earlier books in the series, not having read them did not make this book any less enjoyable, nor did I feel that I was missing vital links to understand the dynamic within the team so can be read as a stand-alone story. That being said I am going to have to purchase books 1 – 4 just so that I can see how the relationship between Nikki and Joseph began and how it has developed over the cases they have investigated.
My thanks to Netgalley and Joffe Books for the advance copy of this book for review. Stalker on the Fens is available now from the following retailers.