April @1stMondayCrime Left For Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview @JoyKluver

On my blog today, I’m sharing the details for next month’s First Monday Crime which is taking place live on their Facebook Page at 19:30 p.m. on Monday, 4th April. Today I’m re sharing my review of the latest novel by Joy Kluver, Left for Dead. Joy is one of the authors who’ll be appearing on the panel, and I’ll have another review to share with you tomorrow for a book by another author who’ll be on the panel as well.

BLURB

The detective stared at the young woman lying on the bed. She almost looked peaceful, her face like porcelain. Despite everything she had been through, she was still beautiful.

When DI Bernie Noel hurries to Keira Howard’s hospital bedside, she knows that Keira has been lucky. Barely conscious and badly injured, at least she is alive. Convinced that Keira’s attack is the latest in a string of increasingly violent assaults on young women in the area, the next victim might not be so fortunate. So she vows to find the man who did this, and to stop him before anyone else gets hurt.

Spurring her team into action, she quickly hones in on a prime suspect. But then he suddenly dies while on police watch, and Bernie’s investigation goes into freefall. When Bernie’s superiors won’t let her take the case any further, her gut instinct tells her there’s much more to his death than meets the eye. If it was murder, who would want him dead, and why? So she determines to set out on her own to find out what happened.

But the closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her own life in danger. And with Keira finally strong enough to talk her about her attack, Bernie worries she may be at risk yet again. There’s someone out there who has killed to stay safe in the shadows; can Bernie stop another senseless death, and save Keira, before it’s too late?

MY THOUGHTS

I am really enjoying this series. Left for Dead is the latest book in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver and I really enjoyed getting back together with Bernie and her team. This time around, as well as having a complex case to investigate, Bernie is also pregnant. This has left her with a lot of complex issues in her relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. Left for Dead makes for a really intriguing addition to the series.

Bernie and her team face another complex investigation when a young woman has been found after being brutally attacked. It sparks fear that there is a serial predator at work here following a spate of similar attacks on women. It becomes a race against time to track down the woman’s attacker.

What I really liked about this book was how Joy Kluver explored Bernie’s relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. I thought this development in her character was done really well and I was wondering throughout the book how things were going to pan out for them. This made for an intriguing sub plot and now that I’ve read it’s left me wondering what’s to come in the future.

Another character who Joy Kluver introduces us to is Leigh, who is a new member of the team. Leigh has autism and I thought that Joy Kluver explored this well and sensitively in her writing. I think Leigh makes an excellent addition to the books and I’m looking forward to seeing how her character develops further.

I didn’t expect the twist which came at the end and it really drove the tension up a notch as Bernie and her team raced to bring the case to a conclusion. I thought Joy Kluver wrapped the plot up very well.

I’m really hoping that there are more books to come in this series. It really is becoming one of my favourites.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 10th January 2022

Print length: 395 pages

Left for Dead is available to buy:

Amazon UK

Appearing alongside Joy at First Monday Crime, we have Graham Bartlett, author of Bad for Good, (I’ll be sharing a review of his book tomorrow), Tony Kent author of No Way To Die, Imran Mahmood author of I Know What I Saw and Neil Lancaster author of The Blood Tide. If you would like to watch the panel which will be lived streamed on Facebook at 19:30 p.m. on Monday, 4th April, you can do so by clicking the link below which will take you through to the First Monday Crime Facebook page.

First Monday Crime

Left for Dead by Joy Kluver #bookreview #blogtour @JoyKluver @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the new novel in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver, Left for Dead.

Left for Dead: Absolutely gripping crime fiction packed with suspense (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 3) by [Joy Kluver]

BLURB

The sun is rising over the deserted park. Spring shoots have burst through the frozen ground, framing the woman’s broken body in green and gold. Their surge of relief at finding her alive quickly dissolves into fear: the man who did this is still out there. His next victim might not be so lucky…

The first time Detective Bernadette Noel sees Keira Howard, she is lying in a hospital bed fighting for her life. The police assume that she has become the latest victim in a series of brutal attacks, and after weeks of fruitless searching, they think the evidence found in Keira’s case will finally lead them to their man.

When a suspect is caught the case looks closed, but Bernie isn’t convinced. Keira may have the same markings as the other women, but she doesn’t meet the profile – the random attacker let his victims go. Keira’s attacker had intended to kill. The witnesses – Keira’s closest friends – are all telling different stories, and the discovery that Keira was hiding a secret pregnancy suddenly makes everything a lot more complicated.

When a crucial witness goes missing, Bernie’s gut instinct is proven right – so why won’t her superiors let her investigate? They may have caught a guilty man, but a potential murderer still walks free. Then when their prime suspect is suddenly killed on police watch, Bernie’s situation becomes much more dangerous.

The closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her life at risk. And the only people she can rely on to make it out alive might be those she can no longer trust.

MY THOUGHTS

I am really enjoying this series. Left for Dead is the latest book in the DI Bernadette Noel series by Joy Kluver and I really enjoyed getting back together with Bernie and her team. This time around, as well as having a complex case to investigate, Bernie is also pregnant. This has left her with a lot of complex issues in her relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. Left for Dead makes for a really intriguing addition to the series.

Bernie and her team face another complex investigation when a young woman has been found after being brutally attacked. It sparks fear that there is a serial predator at work here following a spate of similar attacks on women. It becomes a race against time to track down the woman’s attacker.

What I really liked about this book was how Joy Kluver explored Bernie’s relationship with her boyfriend, Dougie. I thought this development in her character was done really well and I was wondering throughout the book how things are going to pan out for them. This made for an intriguing sub plot and now that I’ve read it’s left me wondering what’s to come in the future.

Another character who Joy Kluver introduces us to is Leigh, who is a new member of the team. Leigh has autism and I thought that Joy Kluver explored this well and sensitively in her writing. I think Leigh makes an excellent addition to the books and I’m looking forward to seeing how her character develops further.

I didn’t expect the twist which came at the end and it really drove the tension up a notch as Bernie and her team raced to bring the case to a conclusion. I thought Joy Kluver wrapped the plot up very well.

I’m really hoping that there are more books to come in this series. It really is becoming one of my favourites.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 10th January 2022

Print length: 395 pages

Left for Dead is available to buy:

Amazon UK

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR

Left For Dead - BT Poster

Broken Girls by Joy Kluver #booksontour @JoyKluver @bookouture

On my blog today, I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Broken Girls by Joy Kluver. With thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Broken Girls: A totally addictive and unputdownable crime thriller (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 2) by [Joy Kluver]

BLURB

Brambles catch her dress, scratch her legs, pierce her feet. To escape, she’d had no option but to go barefoot. They’d been laughing together a few minutes before, but things can change in the blink of an eye…

The woman is dark-haired and young, judging by the short red dress. Any other signs of her identity have been erased during her long wait to be found, but it’s clear she was strangled: this was a passionate and personal murder.

D.I. Bernadette Noel knows that every second counts if she is to catch this killer, but she has no leads – until the discovery that the dead woman’s rings match a stolen property report, and the rings’ owner mentions Rosa, her missing nanny.

Just when Bernie and her team think they’re getting somewhere, a shocking discovery about Rosa – and the news that another young girl has been abducted – changes everything the team thought they knew about the case.

Laura is only twelve, and her parents are beside themselves with worry – but Bernie has an additional fear. Laura’s home is right next to the woods where their murder victim was found: are the cases connected?

When Bernie notices similarities between descriptions of the man last seen with Rosa and someone Laura was messaging online, these fears grow stronger. But they still have no clear leads as to the identity of the culprit.

With few options left, and time running out, she makes a desperate plan to trap the predator. But any mistakes will mean another innocent life lost…

MY THOUGHTS

I loved Joy Kluver’s debut novel, Last Seen when I read it earlier in the year, but I think Broken Girls, the second book in the series, is even better. This is a solid police procedural, and I read it in a few greedy gulps, desperate to know what was going on and who the killer was. It gets a very easy five stars from me.

Detective Bernadette Noel is back, and this time she is investigating a horrific murder. A young woman’s body has been found, but it is impossible to identify her. Bernie and her team have very few things to go on, and as the investigation progresses, they come up with a possible identity. But this case is far more complex than they first thought.

Joy Kluver has brilliantly weaved together a very twisty case for Bernie to get to grips with. You can see how desperate she is to get to the bottom of what has happened and to make sure that this young woman gets justice. She is very moved by what has happened to the young woman and she is absolutely determined to get to the bottom of it. Although I think it always helps to read earlier books in a series, it’s possible to read this book as a standalone. I think Bernie is definitely growing as a character. She is very likeable, and I was rooting for her to get to the bottom of things.

The case is very complex, and I had no idea who the culprit was and what had happened to the young woman who was found. I thought that Joy Kluver built on the setting really well, and I loved the detail she put into her book. She brings it to life really well, and I loved the extra detail that was added, particularly the ghost story, which gave me goosebumps as I was reading it.

Broken Girls is an excellent addition to this series, and I’m really looking forward to the third book. Joy Kluver is fast becoming a favourite new author of mine. If you haven’t yet started this series, then you really need to. Top stuff!

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 27th July 2021

Print length: 350 pages

Broken Girls is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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Last Seen by Joy Kluver #blogtour #bookreview @JoyKluver @bookouture

I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for the debut novel by Joy Kluver on my blog today, Last Seen. With thanks to Noelle Holten from Bookouture for inviting me to take part.

Last Seen: An absolutely gripping missing child crime thriller (Detective Bernadette Noel Book 1) by [Joy Kluver]

BLURB

‘A little girl is missing from under her mother’s nose. She’ll be scared and vulnerable – if she’s still alive. But no one is helping us search. No one wants to give us information. No one even seems surprised. What’s going on?’

Detective Bernadette Noel came to this quiet rural corner of south-west England from London to lie low after a high-profile prosecution led to death threats against her family. But she has barely settled in when the call comes. A woman’s voice, shrill with terror and thick with tears: ‘Help – it’s my daughter, Molly – I only had my back turned for a minute… She’s gone!’

A child abduction is about as far from lying low as it gets, and her boss wants to assign a different detective. But there’s no way Bernie’s not taking the case – she can’t miss this chance to prove herself.

Five-year-old Molly Reynolds has been snatched from the playground in the village where she lives. Normally in cases like this the community is an asset – eager to help search and full of local knowledge. But although Molly’s mother Jessica is in anguish, the other villagers don’t seem to want to know.

As details emerge, Bernie discovers a possible link to a shocking crime that has never been solved, and which the locals have never forgotten. But what exactly is the connection to Molly’s abduction? Cracking a cold case is the only way to find out – and meanwhile time is running out for Molly.

MY THOUGHTS

Last Seen is the debut novel by Joy Kluver, and it’s a book I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while now. It is the start of what I hope will be a long-running series featuring Detective Bernadette Noel.

Detective Bernadette Noel has recently been appointed to a town in Wiltshire under something of a cloud. She was previously working with the Metropolitan Police, so what was the reason behind her move to Wiltshire? Not long after she is reassigned, she is thrown into a high profile investigation when five-year-old Molly disappears. But why do none of the locals want to help in the search?

Joy Kluver has created such an intriguing premise in her debut novel. Usually, and especially in the case of a missing child, the public wants to help. There are searches organised, and people are ringing the police hotline constantly with sightings to report. But in this case, the police aren’t getting anything. When they carry out house to house enquiries, they are met with hostility, with the door practically being slammed in their faces. People are also very reluctant to put up missing posters. What is going on here? It made me really dislike the residents of their town. Couldn’t they see that this was about bringing Molly, an innocent girl home?

The investigation is a complex one, and Joy Kluver cleverly weaves everything together. The investigation does start off quite slow, particularly when people are unwilling to help, but it gradually gathers pace. There are some shocking reveals as the police look into the past of the victim’s family. It’s then that they begin to understand why the locals don’t want to know. I really wanted to find out the reason behind this.

I liked the friendships between Bernie and her team, and I think Joy Kluver builds on this really well as the novel progresses. It’ll be interesting to see how this develops as the series moves on from here.

This is a fantastic start to a new series, which I’m sure will keep readers coming back for more.

Publisher: Bookouture

Publication date: 26th March 2021

Print length: 358 pages

Last Seen is available to buy:

Amazon UK

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