The Guilty Ones by Joy Ellis

The Guilty Ones Joy EllisWhen DI Jackman’s sister-in-law commits suicide, his family finds it hard to believe.  She was a loving wife and mother and didn’t seem to have any real cares in the world.

His partner, DI Marie Evans, finds it so hard to believe she becomes convinced not all is as it first appears.  It’s a belief that becomes a reality as first one then two more suicide victims are found, neither of which are quite what they seem.

It looks like someone has come up with a very clever way of committing murder – by getting his or her victims to do it themselves. It’s also a very clever idea of a book, one I enjoyed as I watched the police scramble to figure out just who was behind some rather vicious attacks on seemingly innocent people.

And here is where I come up with a dilemma when reviewing this book.  I did enjoy it, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed Ellis’ other books so I am struggling a bit with where to place it on my scaling of loving and liking.

What I liked – a lot – was the plot, and the idea of a different type of psychopath on the loose in the Lincolnshire Fens, a place that sounds beautifully atmospheric.  What I didn’t like as much was the characters.  I kept comparing them to Nikki Galena in the other Joy Ellis series I have read.  I love Nikki and Marie Evans just didn’t make the same connection with me.

Reading this book, I felt a little like my characters were going through the motions and I couldn’t quite get past it.  It might be because this is the forth book in the series – there were a lot of references to the past which I didn’t know about – and so there is too much water under the bridge.  I wonder how I would feel if I started at book one?

Whatever the reason, it left me feeling a little flat when I was done.  I wanted more than I got here, which is a shame. It was a good book that, with the storyline, could have been great.

Emma x

About the book….

The most difficult case of Detective Jackman’s life. Who are the guilty ones and is anyone really innocent?

Jackman’s sister-in-law Sarah disappears to London and throws herself into the river. What drove her to this? She was a woman with a seemingly happy home life and two beloved sons.

DI Jackman and DI Evans dig into Sarah’s life. And Jackman realises he knew almost nothing about his sister-in-law’s past.

Then, they discover a woman in a neighbouring village died in similar circumstances.

What is the connection to a convicted murderer whose family are convinced he is innocent? Who is really pulling the strings?

DI Jackman and DS Evans of the Fenland police face a battle against their most dangerous and deadly adversary. And in a case so close to home can Jackman keep his feelings under control?

Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Joffe Books
Publication date: 14th March, 2018
Genre: crime, mystery, thriller, police procedural
Rating: 3.5 out of 5


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



  1. An interesting premise, but it’s always tough if you don’t feel a connection with the characters. Maybe as you say this is a series that needs to be read in order.


  2. What?!? I didn’t know she had a new series!!! To bad you didn’t like it as much as the other series but its hard ro beat. I must try this though!! 😁


  3. It’s always a disappointment when you don’t bond for whatever reason with the main characters. I’ve acquired a copy of Willnot and as soon as I’ve finished reading A Pair of Docks, I’ll drop you a line:))


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