The Silent Dead by Marnie Riches

Today I am delighted to be taking part in the #booksontour event for the brand new book from Marnie Riches, The Silent Dead and to wish the author a very happy publication day. Book two in the Jackie Cooke series, I am loving getting to know Jackie and her team and Marnie Riches is someone whose work I absolutely love so taking part is an absolute no brainer. My thanks to Sarah Hardy and publisher Bookouture for the tour invite and advance copy of the book. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release Date: 01 November 2022
Publisher: Bookouture

About the Book

She was lying as if asleep on the wooden kitchen floor, beneath the fridge covered with a child’s colourful crayon drawings. But her frozen expression showed she would never wake again…

When Detective Jackie Cooke is called out to the scene, she’s expecting a routine check. The bottle of pills on the kitchen table, next to the note with the single word SORRY written in a shaky hand, make it seem obvious what’s happened. But Jackie is shocked when she recognises her old school friend Claire – and she is convinced Claire would never take her own life.

Determined to dig deeper, Jackie soon discovers evidence that proves her right: a roll of notes has been thrust down the victim’s throat. And when she finds another woman killed in the same way, she realises someone may be targeting lonely single mothers. As Jackie talks to Claire’s distraught children, one of them too young to understand his mummy is never coming home, she vows to find answers.

Both victims were in touch with someone calling himself Nice Guy – could he be the killer? Pursuing every clue, Jackie is sure she’s found a match in dead-eyed Tyler, part of a dark world of men intent on silencing women for daring to reject them. But just as she makes the arrest, another single mother is found dead – a woman who never dated at all.

Forced to re-evaluate every lead she has, with her boss pressuring her to make a case against the obvious suspect, Jackie knows she is running out of time before another innocent woman is murdered. And, as a single mother herself, she cannot help but wonder if she is in the killer’s sights. Can she uncover his true motivation and put an end to his deadly game… or will he find her first?

A completely unputdownable crime thriller that will have you reading long into the night. Perfect for fans of Kendra Elliott, Rachel McLean and Val McDermid.

My Thoughts

I do love a good bit of crime fiction, and one thing you are guaranteed with a Marnie Riches book is that you are going to get an absolutely brilliant bit of crime fiction. I’ve been reading the author’s work for a while now and have yet to find one that even comes close to disappointing. From gritty, urban style fiction to stories that are dotted with subtle and not so subtle humour to balance out the dark deeds being undertaken, Marnie Riches always delivers. That is absolutely the case with The Silent Dead, in which the author takes a look into the very murky waters of the dark web and the thoroughly heinous incel movement. It’s a case with a personal connection for Detective Jackie Cooke, but one she is determined to get to the bottom of, no matter what objections she may face from her superiors.

I really like the character of Jackie Cooke. She is not your average Detective, neither bow beaten by the job or young and over enthusiastic to make her mark. She is a seasoned Detective who has put family before career, as much as that is ever possible for a police officer, but who has a steely determination that means she will not give up, not matter what the dangers. And this case is pretty dang dangerous, with a killer who sees women as the enemy. With Jackie front and centre of the investigation, it’s not going to be long before the stakes are raised and the tension, and threat, start to escalate. But, if you have read book one, you’ll know Jackie has form for getting herself into dangerous situations, not always willingly, but that she never gives up. She’s a fabulous protagonist, someone you can’t help root for and someone it’s great to spend a few hours with her and her partner, Dave Tang, who manages, sort of, to keep Jackie in check.

This is a very complex story, one which keeps you guessing right to the end. I love the way that the author slowly pulls us into the story, setting up that very ominous feeling from the beginning. You know that something bad is going to happen, it’s the what and when that really takes you by surprise. And the more we learn about the victim, and the murder, the darker and more twisted the case becomes. Despite that fact that you may think you know where Marnie Riches is taking us, she delights in leading us up a number of blind alleys along the way, keeping the killer hidden in plain sight. The further the story goes, the creepier it all gets, without taking readers too far into the darkness, and balancing the more loathsome aspects of the case with that special blend of humour. Who knew Scotch Eggs could make such an impact?

As the story picks up, the broader the case becomes and the faster the pacing as the author takes us ever closer to the edge. And when you read the book you’ll note that this statement is every pun intended. It’s a really high stakes, tension and action laden ending, with threat levels of the scale, just the way I like it. It’s one of those edge of the seats, adrenalin pumping kind of conclusions that Marnie Riches is so good at, and that is guaranteed to keep you turning those pages.

If you like a mixture of police investigation, humour and contemptible antagonists in your fiction, then this is definitely a book you want to be getting your teeth into. Fast, fresh, fun and packed with tension, it is definitely recommended.

About the Author

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in north Manchester. Exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University, she gained a Masters in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser.

Her best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime thrillers were inspired by her own time spent in The Netherlands. Dubbed the Martina Cole of the North, she has also authored a series about Manchester’s notorious gangland as well as two books in a mini-series featuring quirky northern PI Bev Saunders.

Detective Jackson Cooke is Marnie’s latest heroine to root for, as she hunts down one of the most brutal killers the north west has ever seen at devastating personal cost.

When she isn’t writing gritty, twisty crime thrillers, Marnie also regularly appears on BBC Radio Manchester, commenting on social media trends and discussing the world of crime fiction. She is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Salford University’s Doctoral School and a tutor for the Faber Novel Writing Course.

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