Follow Me To The Edge by Tariq Ashkanani

Today Mandie is sharing her review of Tariq Ashkanani’s second novel, Follow Me To The Edge. Mandie loved Welcome to Cooper, so has been itching to read this book. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 08 March 2022
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

About the Book

Rookie detective Joe Finch knows better than most what tragedy looks like. But trying to solve the brutal murder of an entire family? Just another day in Cooper.

Even for the sleazy backwater of Cooper, Nebraska, the multiple murder of an entire family, brutally bludgeoned to death in their beds, is big news.

Detective Joe Finch, raw with guilt over his partner’s traumatic shooting during a routine traffic stop, hopes the case will at least focus his mind. But then he discovers that the crime scene is the house he grew up in, and the ghosts of his own tragic childhood come rushing back to confront him.

As Finch dredges the corrupt and criminal mires of Cooper in a desperate search for the truth, the only certainty is that everyone there is lying. Caught between greedy politicians, a violent cartel boss, an ambitious reporter and a sinister cult lurking in the cornfields on the outskirts of town, Finch is soon out of his depth.

In a town where the law exists only to be bent or broken, can Finch steel himself against entrenched evil and the haunting spectre of his past—and live to serve justice in Cooper?

Mandie’s Thoughts

When you find an author who delivers a unique and challenging debut you often wonder if/how they will be able to follow it. Tariq Ashkanani’s first book Welcome to Cooper was a dark and thrilling read that was one of my favourite books in 2022 so I was really looking forward to Follow Me to the Edge and once again finding myself back in Cooper with Detective Joe Finch. This may be the second book in the series but rather than going forward we are taken back to when Finch was a fairly new detective and has not yet become jaded by his job. 

When Finch is called to a crime scene where all occupants of the house are brutally murdered it is not only the investigation that he is dealing with but also memories from the past as the murders took place in his childhood home, somewhere that does not hold many pleasant memories for him. Added to this he is forced to work with a new partner, something he is not happy with after what happened to the last partner he had.

I loved getting to see the officer Finch started out as and events that potentially helped shape the officer he became later. He is clearly struggling with the case and his memories as nothing seems to make any sense as to why the family was targeted. What you do learn is that he will do anything for the ones he feels responsible for even if it costs him. 

The investigation is broken up by chapters that follow an unknown woman called Laura and it is uncertain until near the end what she and the life she leads has to do with the murdered family. It is down to the skill of Ashkanani’s writing that these two seemingly unconnected stories are woven together so well and give the reader and Finch answers they have been searching for from the start. They say that pacing can make or break a book and the pacing of this one is spot on. Its not fast paced as that is not what you want, you want the slow build of the clues and the slow pace of the town to add that extra dimension to the complex characters and plot.

Would I recommend Follow Me to the Edge?? Absolutely and to answer the question at the beginning of this review, Tariq Ashkanani produced the perfect follow up to Welcome to Cooper and a series that is dark and brilliant and leaves you wanting to find out more about Cooper… even if you might not want to visit it.

About the Author

Tariq is a solicitor based in Edinburgh, where he also runs WriteGear, a company that sells high-quality notebooks for writers, and co-hosts WriteGear’s podcast Page One. He had no formal writing training or consultation prior to writing his first thriller, Welcome to Cooper. This is his second novel.