Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Crime on the Fens by Joy Ellis


First Line: A night wind blew along the narrow alleyway, bringing with it the smell of ozone and red diesel.

Detective Inspector Nikki Galena is tough on criminals. Too tough. Now no one in the station wants to work with her, and she's been given a final warning: make it work with her new sergeant, or she's out for good.

Her new partner, Detective Sergeant Joseph Easter, has a history of his own and has come to Nikki's patch for a fresh start. Nikki is less than enthusiastic about working with a man whose nickname is "Holy Joe," but she knows an ultimatum when she hears one.

Galena and Easter have more than enough to keep them busy. The town is being terrorized by gangs of thugs wearing identical frightening masks. As their incursions into the generally peaceful town increase, a talented female student goes missing in the marsh, and every hour they don't find her means the chance lessens of finding her alive. These two detectives have to put their pasts behind them to save her life and to bring peace back to their town.

Crime on the Fens came highly recommended by a fellow friend and book blogger, so I thoroughly expected to enjoy it. What surprised me a bit was just how much I did. When the book opens, Nikki Galena is a world class witch (you know what I really mean), and even though she has good reason to whirl through town like the Tasmanian Devil of Warner Brothers fame, I wasn't going to be able to put up with her if she remained like that for the entire book. (I don't like to root for the bad guys to kill the hero after all.) However, there's good news: Galena knows she's got to straighten up and fly right, and she's intelligent enough to know she's got to change. I do like off-the-rails characters who are capable of showing some control.

Although initially suspicious of each other (their reputations have preceded them), Galena and Easter work well together, and I enjoyed getting to know other members of the team, like Vonnie and Niall in their patrol car and Dave, whom most consider to be past his sell-by date. What's rather heartwarming to see is how the mood of the entire station brightens when Galena begins to reclaim her humanity. There's also a bonus for animal lovers reading the book: keep your eye on a spaniel named Swampy. He doesn't appear often, but his scenes are choice.

This is a fast-paced read and has an excellent multi-layered mystery. Add this to the setting and the cast of characters, and I've just savored the first book in a series that I'm definitely going to keep reading. If you're a fan of British police procedurals, give Crime on the Fens a try.


Crime on the Fens by Joy Ellis
ASIN: B01H98SG5G
Joffe Books © 2016
eBook, 285 pages

Police Procedural, #1 DI Nikki Galena mystery
Rating: A+
Source: Purchased from Amazon.


 

8 comments:

  1. So it's British, a woman detective and a dog (sigh). There goes the work I haven't done for two weeks because I've been reading one good book after another. (horrors, noncriminal fiction) I better put it on my TBR list and forget it for awhile.

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    1. Books can get lost on my TBR list, too.

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  2. It was good, wasn't it? Glad you enjoyed it as well. I haven't gotten to #2, but maybe before long. I did like the characters a lot. ;-)

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    1. I liked the characters, too-- especially when Nikki climbed down off her broom. ;-) (And anyone who may think I've been making sexist remarks should know that I'd have the exact issues if men behaved the same way.)

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  3. I like the setting and context already, Cathy. And those two characters having to work together sounds like an interesting sub-plot. Glad you enjoyed this so well.

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    1. Galena and Easter working together is a very interesting subplot. They both have their issues and have dealt with them in almost the exact opposite way.

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  4. Oh boy! You have just listed two A+ reads. I checked my Kindle and found this book has been lost in my TBR. It will be buried no longer in my TBR as I am reading it soon now. At the back of my mind, I keep thinking I want to read the 2nd book That Touch Of Ink in the Diane Vallere Mad for Mod series soon. I guess we never lack thoughts of books we want to read.

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    1. No, we certainly don't! Hope you enjoy Crime on the Fens, Lynn.

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