Today it’s my pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for A Map of the Dark by Karen Ellis, which is a gripping start to a new series.
Source: Review Copy
A girl missing
A woman, searching
A killer, planning…
A thrilling new FBI series for fans of Tess Gerritsen and Karin Slaughter.
FBI Agent Elsa Myers finds missing people.
She knows how it feels to be lost…
Though her father lies dying in a hospital north of New York City, Elsa cannot refuse a call for help. A teenage girl has gone missing from Forest Hills, Queens, and during the critical first hours of the case, a series of false leads hides the fact that she did not go willingly.
With each passing hour, as the hunt for Ruby deepens into a search for a man who may have been killing for years, the case starts to get underneath Elsa’s skin. Everything she has buried – her fraught relationship with her sister and niece, her self-destructive past, her mother’s death – threatens to resurface, with devastating consequences.
In order to save the missing girl, she may have to lose herself…and return to the darkness she’s been hiding from for years.
This was a very fast paced read. Over the Christmas period, I found myself sneaking away at times to read a couple of chapters. And once I had more time for reading I raced through the final pages. A Map of the Dark is an absorbing and an exciting start to a new series which I will certainly be keeping an eye on.
When I started reading this book I was expecting it to be more of a straightforward police procedure; however it became a more character driven book. Not that I found anything wrong with that, it was an excellent way to introduce Elsa and the trials that she has gone through in her life. Elsa’s character development is set against the backdrop of an investigation. Teenager, Ruby has vanished. Her disappearance sparks a frenzy in her local area as everyone is desperate to get involved or do something to help find her, which causes a hindrance to the investigation as much as it helps. The case pulls at Elsa’s past, and she begins to revisit her childhood, we see snatches of flashbacks from the time when she was a young girl living with her parents. This creates an element of mystery about her and as the book progressed I wanted to find out what had happened to her in her childhood. And as the investigation pushes forward, Elsa realises that Ruby’s case may be linked to other missing girls, all kidnapped by the same person who may have been operating for years.
Elsa was a fascinating character to explore, it is clear that she has been marked by her past and we see this as she struggles to come to terms with the impending death of her father, Roy who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She has a great relationship with her niece, Mel, and I thought that this was a nice touch to her character as the author explored her human side. She has a good relationship with her colleagues who she works with on the case, and I am interested to see how this will evolve in future books. It is clear that the author has spent a lot of time working out her character arc and pinning down her different faults and traits.
The second half of the novel focuses more on the investigation, and it does pick up pace. The author uses vivid imagery as she describes the final confrontation and we can see Elsa’s determination to apprehend the suspect. I absolutely loved her use of language in her description which made the setting and the action happening in the scenes feel very real.
This is a really good start to a new series which I am keen to follow. Thank you to Louise Swannell at Mullholland Books for sending me a copy of the book to review and to Jenni Leech for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
Publisher: Mulholland Books
Publication date: 11th January 2018
Print length: 320 pages
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