Broken Girls by Joy Kluver

Today it’s over to Mandie who is sharing her thoughts on the second book in the DI Bernie Noel series by Joy Kluver, Broken Girls. I reviewed the book way back on its publication in 2021 – can’t believe it was that long ago! You can find my review here. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Owned Copy
Release Date: 27 July 2021
Publisher: Bookouture

About the Book

Brambles catch her dress, scratch her legs. She has no option but to go barefoot if she’s going to escape. They’d been laughing a few minutes before, but things can change in the blink of an eye…

The woman is young, judging by the short red dress, and dark-haired. Any other signs of her identity have been erased during her long wait to be found, but it’s clear she has been strangled: this was a vicious and personal murder.

D.I. Bernadette Noel knows that every second counts if they are to catch this killer, but they have no leads – until the discovery that the dead woman’s rings match a stolen property report, and the rings’ owner mentions a missing Italian au pair.

Then a shocking discovery about their victim – and the news that another girl, also young and dark-haired, has been abducted – changes everything the team thought they knew about the case.

Piecing together witness statements, Bernie notices key similarities between the description of the person last seen with their murder victim, and someone the missing girl was messaging online. She is convinced they’re looking at the same perpetrator – and if that’s the case, Bernie’s job is no longer just to catch a killer: it’s to save a life.

With few options left, and time running out, she makes a desperate plan. She’ll risk everything on one shot to force their suspect’s hand and push him into making a mistake. But traps need bait – and if her plan fails, a third girl could die…

A gripping crime thriller with a nail-biting climax. If you like Angela Marsons, Susie Steiner or D.S. Butler, you’ll love Joy Kluver.

Mandie’s Thoughts

Broken Girls is the second book in the Detective Bernadette Noel series and one that has been on my TBR pile for quite a while. When the body of a young woman is found by someone out walking their dog, D.I. Bernie Noel is called in to investigate. With no clues to her identity or why she was killed Bernie is not sure how she is going to solve the case.During the investigation the sister of the person who found the body goes missing and Bernie is then tasked with investigating her disappearance instead. 

Bernie is one of those characters that grows on you and this is partially down to the fact that she now seems more settled in her role and with the team she works with. She is having to deal with a boss who does not seem to rate her skills, but this does not put her off trying to solve the case of the missing girl or that of the murder victim. I could totally understand Bernie’s frustration when she is not believed about the cases being linked but I admire her determination to continue with her investigations against the wishes of her superiors. Her partner DS Kerry Allen is someone she can rely on and is someone you can warm to and relate to at the same time. 

This book has quite a few twists and turns that will have you guessing to the end about who is responsible and why. With the main theme seeming a little darker this time the pacing of the book has you racing through the pages, appealing to your curiosity and determination to find out who is behind it all. With the story told completely from Bernie’s perspective we are given more of an insight into her thoughts and feelings and for me this is what makes her more of a believable character this time round. 

Although this is part of a series you can easily pick up book 2 without feeling you are missing anything that would detract from enjoying it. With only 1 more book in the series to go (for now) I am looking forward to see what author Joy Kluver has in store for D.I. Bernadette Noel next.

About the Author

Joy Kluver has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. More recently she’s been escaping the madness of motherhood by turning her hand to crime novels. A book blogger, she’s also part of the First Monday Crime team and if you’ve been to any of their events it’s likely you’ve eaten one of her cookies. She also organises author talks for her local library. Joy lives in SW London with her husband and three children.

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