I have the pleasure today of sharing my review for Murder in the Fens by Clare Chase as part of book-on-tour. My thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for the invite and the copy I received via NetGalley.
About the book
When the body of twenty-year-old Julie Cooper is found – her pockets stuffed full of wilting flowers – in an iron-age hill fort on the edge of the fens, Detective Tara Thorpe and her team are called in to investigate. The evidence points to an illicit affair gone wrong… but is there more to the story?
As always at the Cambridge Constabulary, the case turns personal. Detective Blake is exhausted after the arrival of a new baby with wayward wife Babette, and Tara is keen to put as much distance between herself and Blake as she can – both at the station and on the hunt for the killer. Charming rookie officer Jez is the perfect distraction… but is he a little too good to be true?
Then Tara makes a startling breakthrough when she finds an unsettling family heirloom hidden in the late victim’s bedroom – a golden statue of a sinister-looking cat with emerald eyes. As she traces its origins, Tara begins to realise that Julie’s murder is no one-off crime, but a sinister plot with its roots in a terrible secret that was covered up decades earlier.
An unputdownable page-turner, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Agatha Christie and Joy Ellis. Can be read as a standalone.
The Tara Thorpe Mystery Series:
Book 1 – Murder on the Marshes
Book 2 – Death on the River
Book 3 – Death Comes to Call
Book 4 – Murder in the Fens
Murder on the Fens is available to purchase now – Amazon
This is the fourth and final book in the Tara Thorpe mystery series and although I’ve only read books three and four, I’m sad to see it end.
When the body of a twenty year old college student, Julie Cooper, is found murdered in a historical area with her pockets filled with flowers the motive looks sexual. As the hunt begins for Julie’s killer it turns out there’s more to the case than first thought, secrets are revealed and the case isn’t quite as straight forward.
From first page to last, Murder in the Fens had me hooked and it was good to be back with Tara and the gang. This is only the second book I’ve read in the series but I feel like I’ve come to know the characters and looked forward to reading what they got up to.
I enjoyed the mix of personal and professional life that Murder in the Fens gives. Although the case they are working on is interesting it’s good to read about the characters away from the case, their thoughts, feelings and home life. I think it makes it so much easier to visualise the characters and gives you a sense of knowing them. It’s very well done.
The case had me so frustrated as a reader, some of the suspects (there’s a few) had me tearing my hair out nearly, I wanted to give them a shake and tell them to stop being so bloody awkward. It’s clear they know more than they’re letting on to but if they opened up it would make for a short story and one not quite so interesting.
Murder in the Fens is filled with twists and turns and as usual I like to play detective while reading and I went back and forward multiple times thinking I knew who-dun-it. I really would make a rubbish detective I’ve realised.
If you haven’t read any of the series it doesn’t really matter as this can easily be read as a stand alone, I have books one and two ready on my kindle but I am kicking myself that I haven’t read them in order.
I’ll definitely be recommending Murder in the Fens, it’s got a steady pace that really grips you and keeps you on your toes. It’s a story that isn’t easy to put down and I picked it up at every opportunity I had so I could find out what happened next and I’m really looking forward to seeing what Clare Chase comes up with next.
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About the author
Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries and recently signed a three-book deal with Bookouture for a new crime series set in Cambridge. The opening book, Murder on the Marshes, is available for pre-order and will publish in July 2018. The mystery follows investigative journalist Tara Thorpe as she teams up with Detective Garstin Blake to solve the murder of a young female professor at Cambridge University. The case takes them through the dark underbelly of Cambridge and in to the murky fens that surround the centuries-old city. The second and third books in the series are scheduled for publication in late 2018/early 2019.
After graduating from London University with a degree in English Literature, Clare moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies, with her husband and teenage children, presents a good happy medium.
As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.
Clare’s debut novel, You Think You Know Me, was shortlisted for the Novelicious Undiscovered Award 2012, and an EPIC award in 2015. It was also chosen as a debut of the month by Lovereading.
You can find Clare’s website and blog at Website