The Quiet Geordie :

My thoughts:

The novel opens with Detective Carter McLean and four of his friends flying in a small jet. They are flying out to Amsterdam for one of the groups Stag Dos. Within moments, the plane crashes, and Carter is the only survivor.

Jump forward 18 months, and Carter returns to work. He believes he must fulfil a task for each of his friends.

There are two main cases ongoing in the team. Carter is assigned with one of his colleagues (Detective Superintendent Marie Evans) to one – the stalking of the Superintendent’s Niece. The other case is the one Carter really wants in on, as it involves the wife of one of his friends. She has been missing for 18 months. But does Carter want to help with the case for the right reasons?

Whilst this is Book 3 in the Jackman and Evans series, it was the first I have read, and it most definitely works as a standalone. There was a character list at the back with a background on each of the characters, and I never became confused with the different voices.

I enjoyed the setting and pace of the novel. It had enough twists to keep me going, but not so many I was confused.

I look forward to reading another book by Joy Ellis soon!

Guest post by Books from Dusk till Dawn:


The DI Jackman and DS Marie Evans series

Many years ago I had the idea that I would like to create a series of books under the heading of the Marshland Mysteries. They would cover a huge area of the Fens, and involve several different divisions of the fictional Fenland Constabulary. I wanted the books to have connections and overlaps, but was told rather bluntly, that it wouldn’t work.
I didn’t believe that, but I did rethink things.
I had been considering several ideas for characters for crime novels, and in the end came down to two; DI Nikki Galena, and DI Rowan Jackman. I then wrote two full length novels, Crime on the Fens, originally titled Mask Wars, with Nikki as the protagonist, and The Murderer’s Son, using Jackman.
Nikki’s Fen Series took off, but I remembered how much I had enjoyed writing the Jackman book, and my new and quite amazing publisher Jasper Joffe, loved it too. “Always write what you love,” were his words. “So why not write another?” And that resulted in Their Lost Daughters. Now we have The Fourth Friend, and I think this one in particular, showcases the difference in the two series.
With the Jackman novels, there is always a very strong psychological element, and the tormented soul, be they hero or villain, plays a major role with considerable focus on their POV. There are often moral dilemmas for Jackman and Marie; things occur that are not dealt with within the pages of Butterworth’s Police Law, and are very difficult for police officers to deal with. Very often, I allow the two detectives to put aside the rule books, and simply react as caring and decent human beings.
To be honest, as a writer, I cannot choose between the two series as a favourite, the characters are my friends and I care about them all. But… the research for the Jackman novels really grips me. I understand a little more than some, about living and sharing a life with a loved one with psychological problems, so really hope that my portrayal of these characters has a good degree of empathy and understanding. I sincerely hope so.

Linda Strong Book Reviews: Goodreads: Linda Strong’s Reviews

Detective Carter McLean suffers from survivor’s guilt. While on a fun weekend with his four best friends, the plane crashes and kills everyone but himself. But that’s not the last he sees of his friends.

His friends visit him. Realistically, Carter does not believe in ghosts, but he sees them, always accompanied by the smell of smoke. These were all young men and they all left things undone. Carter decides to honor them by completing something each of them has left undone.

His supervisors have him sitting a desk, not knowing how he will handle the stress of dealing with victims, suspects. Even some of his colleagues worry about him. He is still under the care of a psychiatrist.

Meanwhile, the police department doesn’t shut down. Multiple cases are being handled by the team of detectives under DI Jackman. There is a missing woman who has ties to Carter. Another young woman has a stalker .. she happens to be the niece of one their supervisors.

I have read several books by this author … and by far, this is the best ever. The premise is extraordinary …. and so well written. The characters are terrific, especially Carter. I felt such compassion for him and his circumstances. There is constant movement, as the cases are investigated and how all seem related in one way or another. The ending was so surprising. I had envisioned several scenarios … but I never, ever saw this one coming.

Many, many thanks to the author and Joffee Books for the advanced digital copy of THE FOURTH FRIEND. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

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