I am not much of a one for doing blog tours – the added stress of getting a post up on a particular day has never appealed to me – and, in fact, this is my first. But, it’s for an author who has become one of my firm favourites in the past year, ever since reading book four in her Nikki Galena series (Killer on the Fens), so I decided to ignore my unwritten rule and take part. I am pleased to report it was the right decision as this was a great book, possibly the best one yet.
Here’s what it’s about…
A SKELETON IS UNEARTHED FROM A SHALLOW GRAVE IN THE CHURCHYARD. BUT THIS WAS NOT AN OFFICIAL BURIAL. THE VICTIM WAS MURDERED DECADES AGO.
At the same time, Detective Nikki Galena and her team are investigating the brutal slaying of local businesswoman Madeline Prospero. She was a member of an exclusive and secretive drinking club called The Briar Patch. But they’ve got no suspects and no one is telling them the truth.
Meanwhile, the buried skeleton leads them on a trail to the village of Quintin Eaudyke. This is a troubled place. In the late seventies and eighties a reign of terror and abuse was unleashed on the close-knit population.
When more women from the The Briar Patch come under threat, Nikki faces a race against time to stop the killing. Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the heart-stopping ending.
DI Nikki Galena: A police detective with nothing left to lose, she’s seen a girl die in her arms and her own family destroyed. She’s tough on criminals but fiercely loyal to her team.
DS Joseph Easter is the squeaky-clean new member of the team. But his nickname “Holy Joe” belies his former life as a soldier. He has a daughter and an ex-wife who wants his attention.
The Lincolnshire Fens: great open skies brood over marshes, farmland, and nature reserves. It is not easy terrain for the Fenland Constabulary to police, due to the distances between some of the remote Fen villages, the dangerous and often misty lanes, and the poor telephone coverage. There are still villages where the oldest residents have never set foot outside their own farmland and a visit to the nearest town is a major event. But it has a strange airy beauty to it, and above it all are the biggest skies you’ve ever seen.
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW
Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.
As always, the book opens with Nikki getting thrown into the deep end, with two cases (one for a thirty year old murder) on at the same time and hardly any clues to get her going. Thankfully, her team are as tenacious as she is and attack both cases with no other option but to solve them. Before they do though, they find themselves “down the rabbit hole” with red herrings galore and enough twists and turns to make their – and my – head spin.
One of the things I loved was that as the novel progresses these seemingly unrelated stories come together and everything starts to make sense. None of it feels forced though, which can easily happen when weaving threads together and I was a left with a “well that was obvious feeling at the end”, even though none of it had been (if that makes sense?).
Another thing I loved was the characters. I have sung my praises of Nikki in other reviews – she is kind, caring, but also not afraid to be tough to get the job done – even if that means upsetting friends and her wider team. She has a back story which slowly came out over the last few books I read and there wasn’t much of that here, meaning this story can easily be read as a standalone.
What this also means is as her back story has became less front and centre, her team have had the chance to shine. As the story is told in the third person you get to hear all their voices and thoughts, helping make them real In the last novel (Captive on the Fens) it was Cat that really came through as her own person – and remains one here – but now we really get to known WPC Yvonne Collins, who has been on the force a long time and seems to know everyone in the area and a lot of their secrets.
Secrets are big in Buried on the Fens – their are lots of them and people seem willing to die in order to keep them. Nothing is quite as it seems – my favourite type of book. This all adds to the tension, which ratchets up page by page, chapter by chapter to what is a pretty good climax of a pretty good book and one I loved. A recommended read!
About the author
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, Ellis took part in a writer’s 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.
Other books in the series
I received a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All thoughts, feelings and opinions are my own.