I am absolutely delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the latest George McKenzie novel from Marnie Riches, The Girl Who Got Revenge. I love this series and am thrilled to be able to share an extract from the book with you all today. We’ll take a look at that in just a moment but first of all, let’s take a look at what George is up to this time.
About the Book
Revenge is a dish best served deadly…
A twelve-year-old girl is found dead at the Amsterdam port. An old man dies mysteriously in a doctors’ waiting room. Two seemingly unconnected cases, but Inspector Van den Bergen doesn’t think so…
Criminologist George McKenzie is called in to help crack the case before it’s too late. But the truth is far more deadly than anyone can imagine… Can George get justice for the dead before she ends up six-feet under too?
A heart-racing thriller packed with secrets, lies and the ultimate revenge, perfect for fans of Steig Larsson and Jo Nesbo.
The fifth gripping thriller in the Georgina McKenzie series.
The Girl Who Got Revenge
The outbuildings stood in darkness, like giant tombs. Van den Bergen shivered – as much from the prospect of what he might find as the cold. Every crunched step on the gravel sounded too loud. Was Den Bosch watching him, savouring the sight of him walking into a trap?
Breathing too quickly, feeling light-headed, he tried the door to the first outbuilding. Locked. No lights on. The other three were identical, but it wouldn’t do any harm to check round the back. He crept along the miserly space between the buildings in total blackness until he felt the air freshen. Acres and acres of planted fields beyond. He could smell the good earth, calling to him in the dark. The plants would be stretching up towards the stars in the firmament. Out here, there was no rose-pink light pollution to snuff out Venus and her band of dedicated followers.
When he spotted a light burning in the upper storey of the neighbouring building, his heart was a spooked horse setting off at a gallop. Holding his gun before him with the safety off, he found that the heavy iron door was open just a crack. He crept inside. Climbed a damp stone staircase. The place had a mouldy, organic smell to it. Unheated. Freezing cold. He imagined moss growing in corners that never dried out. As he approached the room upstairs from where the light emanated, he caught sight of his breath steaming on the air. He listened outside for a few moments but heard nothing. Not even the sound of a cigarette being inhaled, or of someone struggling against their bonds. He was certain his heart would give out at any moment; convinced he could feel it flipping dangerously against the left side of his ribcage. If he got out of this alive, he determined to get his cholesterol re-checked.
I’m coming, darling, he thought, picturing his girl beyond the door. Aware that it was too silent and that maybe, just maybe, they were waiting for him with pistols cocked, ready to shoot.
Nose of the Sig Sauer first, he pushed his way in quickly, checking forward, right, left, up, forward again. Clear. He advanced further into a room that had clearly been in use not so long ago. A half-drunk cup of coffee was warm to the touch. There was a clean patch in an otherwise dusty floor, where someone had been sitting. A roll of duct tape on an old wooden school chair. An ashtray with the embers of a spent cigarette, still glowing.
Gah… Don’t you just want to read more? Well if you do, then you can buy your own copy of the book right here.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait. My thanks to publishers Avon for providing an advance copy of this book for review. I have missed George and it was fabulous to be back in her company and that of her ageing and frustrating beau, Van den Bergen. Trust me when I tell you that the extract above is just a snippet of the brilliance you are going to get when you tuck into this novel.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that this book is just another commentary on the sad plight of refugees and the awful conditions they endure in order to seek out a new life. It absolutely is all of that but then so much, much more. Touching on some highly emotive subjects, the death of the young girl is just one of the issues addressed in the novel and Marnie Riches has a knack of taking these current affairs and making them fresh and relevant without preaching, providing readers will both a sense of the injustice faced by the characters but also an overwhelmingly brilliant read. The death is not dwelt upon but its impact resonates throughout the novel, driving on Van den Bergen to seek justice as he considers how he would feel if it was his own granddaughter who had died.
The secondary thread, that of the old man who died in the Doctor’s waiting room, right in front of Van den Bergen in fact, leads the reader in an altogether different direction. It is surprising and yet strikingly familiar and the way in which the stories are concluded is brilliant. Thrilling, edge of your seat, hold your breath kind of action which sees the whole team in grave danger. I can’t really say too much about this without spoilers but let’s just say it is another very topical and very well written story. There are passages from an old diary which I think are extremely well written, informing the story and ultimately driving the final scenes which are so very explosive in content.
Well – explosive and bloody funny. You’ll be on tenterhooks waiting to see if George and Van den Bergen can fight their way out of their predicament, but by god, you will chuckle at the method that George employs to give herself a fighting chance. This probably has to go down as the most impressive and creative use of blister plasters I have ever seen in a novel. Can’t say I expect it to be repeated.
I love the characters of George and Van den Bergen. Both are stubborn and determined in the extreme and while George is obsessed with cleanliness, Van den Bergen is obsessed with hypochondria. Perhaps he has cause, his health being brought into focus in this book in particular, but just how serious it all is you will have to read to find out, won’t you? The one thing that the pair, so perfectly matched in the most unexpected of ways, is perhaps less obsessed with is their own relationship. They seem at odds and it makes for some very difficult moments between them.
The rest of the gang are there too. Aunty Sharon and George’s mother Letitia, less visible in this book that in some of the others but still impacting or colouring George’s life, much to her dismay. Plus we have the old faithfuls of Elvis and Marie supporting Van den Bergen’s search for a killer. Elvis, minus his trademark hair, is struggling still with events from a few months before and to be fair, if you have read the last book, you can hardly blame him. Marie is as ‘fragrant’ as ever, but between the pair of them you have a terrific level of support for Van den Bergen and George and they blend perfectly.
I wish I could say more about this book but to do so would give too much away. I will just finish by saying that it is an absolutely superb addition to the series, full of twists, turns, poignant moments, dark humour and edge of the seat action and all in Marnie Riches unique style, one which I have grown to be a very big fan of. If you love the series you will love this book. At the risk of sounding like I’m auditioning for the role of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz I will just say this to sum it all up – Lions and racists and boars! Oh my.
But oh that ending … What? Really? You’d leave us like that? Evil Ms Riches, evil. I can only hope this means there is, perhaps, still much more to come?
Seriously guys. Go and read it and once you have we can talk.
About the Author
Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in Manchester. She learned her way out of the ghetto, all the way to Cambridge University, where she gained a Masters degree in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser. Previously a children’s author, now, she writes crime and contemporary women’s fiction.
Marnie Riches is the author of the best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime-thriller series, published by Avon at Harper Collins. The Girl Who Wouldn’t Die – the first outing for crime fiction’s mouthy, kickass criminologist – won the Patricia Highsmith Award for Most Exotic Location at the Dead Good Reader Awards 2015, whilst the series was shortlisted for the Tess Gerritsen Award for Best Series in the Dead Good Reader Awards 2016. With the fifth title in the series – The Girl Who Got Revenge – due out in April 2018, the books have garnered both a loyal readership and critical acclaim. All five books will finally be available to buy in print from April onwards!
Follow the tour: