As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Joffe
Book, 30 May 2018. ISBN: 978-1-78931018-4 (PB)
Detective Inspector Nikki Galena is summoned to present her
department’s ongoing investigations to her new supervisory officer.Although the detective has some reservations
about working for the reputedly fast-tracked young and ambitious Superintendent
Lucien Crawford, she takes heart that her briefing should be easy in the
absence of any outstanding major crimes.When she enters the Superintendent’s office, however, she is surprised to
discover Cameron Walker, a colleague with whom she previously worked and for
whom she has affection and respect.It transpires
that Crawford is languishing in hospital after a skiing accident and Walker has
been appointed Acting-Superintendent in his stead.Galena’s delight is short-lived, though, when
her new boss relates a disturbing phone call he has just received from an old
colleague, John Carson.
Carson is a recently retired Fire Investigation Officer and
now a fire consultant.He has been
tracking a series of low-level fires that, on their own, appear to be random
acts of arson, probably committed by youths looking for kicks.The experienced fire officer, however, has
noticed certain patterns linking the apparently mundane incidents and he has
charted the gradual increase in severity of the fires which he now believes are
the work of one individual who is “doing an apprenticeship” that is leading up
to something much more serious.
It is not long before Carson’s fears are proved right and
Galen’s team of detectives are plunged into a race against time to find an
arsonist whose motivation proves as elusive as his, or her, identity.The Greenborough detectives are confronted by
an array of suspects. Leon Martin, for example, curate of Saint Saviours, admits
to knowing each of the victims when he is questioned by DI Galena, but becomes
suspiciously reticent when asked about a cult that is operating in the town –
what might he be concealing?And what of
those leading the quasi-religious group?The New Order Luciferians, as they are known, operate from the
disturbingly named Black House – could they be responsible for the rising death
toll?The victims also pose a conundrum
for the Fenland sleuths. There is no obvious connection between them, and each
is described as being thoroughly likeable, generous and without an enemy in the
world.Every new lead asks more
questions than it answers as the arsonist picks off his victims with chilling
efficiency and speed.
This well-written and fast-paced novel has just the right number
of sub-plots to create those delicious twists and turns that keep the reader
guessing.Nikki Galen is a fascinating
and likeable protagonist who had me rooting for her from the outset.The closely-knit police team around Galen are
imbued with character and energy as they strive to find the killer and I found
myself completely immersed in the pursuit.Moments of sadness and humour serve to heighten tension within the
narrative as it accelerates towards the dénouement.
the Fens is the
latest in Joy Ellis’s Fen Series.It
works perfectly as a stand-alone novel, but I am now captivated by the Fenland
detective and cannot wait to go back to the beginning of Nikki Galen’s
cases.A super read.
Joy Ellis grew up in Kent but moved to London when
she won an apprenticeship with the prestigious Mayfair flower shop, Constance
Spry Ltd. Many years later, having run her own florist shop in
Weybridge, Joy took part in a writers’ workshop in Greece and was encouraged by
her tutor, Sue Townsend to begin writing seriously. She now lives in the
Lincolnshire Fens with her partner Jacqueline and their Springer spaniels,
Woody and Alfie.
in the emergency services for twenty years first as a police officer, then as a
paramedic and finally as a fire control officer before graduating from King’s
College, London as a teacher of English in her mid-forties. She completed
a M.A. in Special and Inclusive Education at the Institute of Education, London
and now teaches part-time and writes mainly about educational issues. Dot
sings jazz and country music and plays guitar, banjo and piano as well as being
addicted to reading mystery and crime fiction.