Killer on the Fens by Joy Ellis

imageDetective Nikki Galena’s dying Father has one final request: “Find Eve”

DI Nikki Galena faces a personal challenge which will stretch her to the limit. She must fulfil her father’s dying wish and discover who the mysterious Eve is.

Meanwhile a dead drug dealer is found on an abandoned airfield that the locals say is haunted. The trail of both mysteries will lead to the most shocking discovery of Nikki’s career and put her whole team in mortal danger.

Where to start with this review given the summary gives nothing much away.  Yes, a drug dealer turns up dead, yes there is the mysterious Eve to search for.  But there are also dodgy land deals, criminal gangs and the little matter of a serial killer for Nikki and her team to deal with.

The serial killer was definitely not expected when I started this book and, once I realised that was where it was heading, I had a moment where I wasn’t sure if I should have picked up a copy – mainly because serial killer novels often involve more blood, guts and gore than I like in my books nowadays.  Thankfully this wasn’t the case and my fears were put to rest.

What I got instead was a really well written book that kept me guessing throughout.  It started going down one path only to double-back and leaving me somewhere else completely.  I loved this about it and I really couldn’t guess where it was heading (well, apart from one storyline which kind of seemed inevitable but I will leave you to guess which).

I loved the setting too.  I don’t think I’ve read any books in the Lincolnshire Fens before and it comes across as a beautiful but somewhat spooky place – the landscape sounds remote and mysterious.  It definitely added to the oppressive atmosphere as the story developed.

I really liked Nikki and the rest of her team, including her partner Joe, too. They felt very real and didn’t do what detectives in some novels do which is go off with no regard for their or anyone else’s safety.  Dare I say they acted the way I would expect police to act?  That doesn’t mean they were boring – they just worked together and helped each other out.

As characters they were well developed, which may not be surprising as this is the fourth book in a series. That said, this didn’t impact my enjoyment of the book as can be the case when you come to a series late because there is too much to catch up on.  They had back stories (ones I’m very interested in finding out about) but they didn’t overshadow this storyline.  It could – and did – work as a standalone book.  So something else I liked.

In fact, I can’t say there was anything I disliked about this book – the story was compelling, the characters interesting and the pace just right for it to be a page turner.  It’s the first Joy Ellis I’ve read but won’t be my last.  I loved this book – highly recommended.


Note: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.



  1. This sounds really really good! I haven’t heard of this author but it sounds like one I would enjoy. I like serial killer stories in theory but sometimes they stray over and end up being more graphic than I like. This sounds like it strikes a good balance between suspenseful without showing to much gore. I’ll definitely be checking this one out and thanks for the heads up that I can just jump in here!


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