Recent Events

Wednesday 19 January 2022

‘The Nesting Place’ by Jacqueline Harrett.

Published by Diamond Crime,
24 November 2021.  
ISBN: 978-1-83840267-9

Five young women, Megan, Siobhan, Bethan, Ashia and Sophie spend the weekend at the house which gives its name to the novel:  Nythfa -The Nesting Place.  They have known one another for some years, a couple from junior school and are getting together before Megan goes to Australia.  On the last night of their reunion, Megan disappeared – her friends report her missing and the following day a dog walker finds her body lying in a field.

D I Mandy Wilde and D S Josh Jones are assigned to the investigation.  Megan’s post-mortem reveals that, apart from a large amount of alcohol and some food, there were also traces of an antipsychotic drug which did not mix well with alcohol– side effects might include drowsiness, confusion and hallucinations, and she could well have become unstable, mentally and physically. 

As they investigate the incident, Mandy and Josh become aware of tensions between the remaining young women and find it difficult to get any explanation from them as to what had led to Megan being found dead in such circumstances.  The interviews gradually reveal the events of the evening and trace each woman’s relationship with Megan back to its early roots, casting light on what had happened and why.

Mandy and Josh have other problems, both professional and personal, to deal with.  They discover that their boss, Superintendent, Ross Withers, is Sophie’s godfather and he wants the case to be cleared up as quickly as possible.  Josh needs Mandy’s support as he tries to cope with separation from his wife, who does not understood the reality of police work.  Mandy is having her own issues with her niece, Tabitha, who has lived with her since the disappearance of Tabitha’s mother (Mandy’s sister).  Tabitha’s loyalty to a friend gets her into a frightening situation.

This is a well-told story, with depth and tension.  It examines the ways in which friendships and relationships can flourish and founder.  The characters and the events are believable and, on their first outing, Mandy and Josh work well together as a team.  The author will gain fans with her debut novel.

Reviewer: Jo Hesslewood

Jacqueline Harrett was born in Northern Ireland, Jacqui has settled in Cardiff with her husband, a cat with OCD and a bad-tempered tortoise called Speedy. Her grown up children live close by and attempt to keep her in check – with varying degrees of success. A former teacher with a passion for oral storytelling, she has also written books for teachers and published collections of short fiction in anthologies and online.
Jacqui joins Diamond Crime with a classic police procedural, The Nesting Place, introducing South Wales detective, D.I. Mandy Wilde.


Jo Hesslewood.  Crime fiction has been my favourite reading material since as a teenager I first spotted Agatha Christie on the library bookshelves.  For twenty-five years the commute to and from London provided plenty of reading time.  I am fortunate to live in Cambridge, where my local crime fiction book club, Crimecrackers, meets at Heffers Bookshop .  I enjoy attending crime fiction events and currently organise events for the Margery Allingham Society. 

No comments:

Post a Comment