Today I pass back to Mandie who has a #BooksOnTour review of Murder in the Fens by Clare Chase. Thanks to Noelle Holten of Bookouture for including us in the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
When the body of twenty-year-old Julie Cooper is found – her pockets stuffed full of wilting flowers – in an iron-age hill fort on the edge of the fens, Detective Tara Thorpe and her team are called in to investigate. The evidence points to an illicit affair gone wrong… but is there more to the story?
As always at the Cambridge constabulary, the case turns personal. Detective Blake is exhausted after the arrival of a new baby with wayward wife Babette, and Tara is keen to put as much distance between herself and Blake as she can – both at the station and on the hunt for the killer. Charming rookie officer Jez is the perfect distraction… but is he a little too good to be true?
Then Tara makes a startling breakthrough when she finds an unsettling family heirloom hidden in the late victim’s bedroom – a golden statue of a sinister-looking cat with emerald eyes. As she traces its origins, Tara begins to realise that Julie’s murder is no one-off crime, but a sinister plot with its roots in a terrible secret that was covered up decades earlier.
An unputdownable page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Joy Ellis.Available From: Amazon
Murder in the Fens is the fourth and final book in the Tara Thorpe series. Having read all the other books I was both excited and a little bit sad. This has been a series that I have devoured from the beginning with ease as I followed Tara in her investigations as a magazine reporter to her new career within the police force. I am happy to say that on the whole the book was as good as all the others.
Tara is once again thrown into a murder investigation when the body of student Julie Cooper is found and the investigations into her death were not as easy as the team hoped with several suspects and no one seeming to want to tell the truth. This time she is not given the freedom in the investigation that she had previously, something she is not totally happy about. As she is one of the junior members of the team who doesn’t always play well with others it is probably more in keeping with her rank. She is still primarily partnered with DS Max Dimity and they do have a really good rapport not that this is looked on favourably by DS Megan Maloney. Her objections though are not strictly professional ones and it is nice to see the personal relationship develop between Max and Megan as he slowly starts to move on from the death of his wife.
There is also a further change in the dynamic in the form of DC Jez Fallon. Although he comes across as someone who does not take things seriously, he does surprise you when you least expect it. Constantly trying to get Tara to agree to a date, he does make her see that maybe she really should move on from her feelings for DI Blake. Even with this new team member they really do work well together each one bringing a different element to the investigations.
With it being the final instalment there was a little more of the personal lives of the team than in previous books as the author brought some of the back stories to a close. After the last book ended with the apparent reappearance of Tara’s childhood stalker, I had expected this to take more of a prominent place in the story but it was used more as a vehicle for one of Tara’s old adversaries to try to cause her pain towards the end of the book. This and the way in which Tara and DI Blake’s story was brought to a conclusion left me feeling that they were a little bit rushed .
That being said Murder on the Fens is a great cosy crime book and I would recommend this and the rest of the series to anyone who loves this type of book. They don’t need to be read in order but why wouldn’t you? Now that this series is over I look forward to what Clare Chase is going to unleash on us next and will be one of the first in the queue when the book is released.
About the Author
Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries and recently signed a three-book deal with Bookouture for a new crime series set in Cambridge. The opening book, Murder on the Marshes, is available for pre-order and will publish in July 2018. The mystery follows investigative journalist Tara Thorpe as she teams up with Detective Garstin Blake to solve the murder of a young female professor at Cambridge University. The case takes them through the dark underbelly of Cambridge and in to the murky fens that surround the centuries-old city. The second and third books in the series are scheduled for publication in late 2018/early 2019.
After graduating from London University with a degree in English Literature, Clare moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage children, presents a good happy medium.
As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.
Clare’s debut novel, You Think You Know Me, was shortlisted for the Novelicious Undiscovered Award 2012, and an EPIC award in 2015. It was also chosen as a debut of the month by Lovereading.
You can find Clare’s website and blog at www.clarechase.com
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