The February list for the #allthebookreviews duo seems to be never-ending, and we’re both completely ok with that!
Thanks to Crooked Lane Books for the copies in exchange for our honest reviews.
THE DEVIL’S CLAW – Lara Dearman (out now!)
Chandra’s Thoughts: 3/5 stars
Jennifer Dorey returns to her hometown of Guernsey as a reporter for the local newspaper. A drowned woman on a beach, a new alliance with DCI Michael Gilbert and a pattern that has emerged over years of deaths in this town, the determination to find this killer is fierce. How does someone who has been killing for this long actually get away with it?? As she gets closer to the truth, her life becomes more and more endangered.
A promising first in a series book that brings in the journalist side to crime solving along with a bit of police procedural. I found the characters to be compelling. Jennifer is extremely complex as a traumatized woman who comes home to try and start over. Michael is also a complex character dealing with alcoholism and religion. The author does a fantastic job of introducing these two and I did find their interactions probably the most enjoyable throughout the novel.
The unknown narrator was also deliciously creepy and the author allows us to freefall into his relationship with his mother and his past – giving us some empathy for this cold blooded killer.
The author certainly knows how to bring a story to a page. While the executions and storylines were fantastic, it lacked a certain edge I like in these types of book. While it kept my attention, it didn’t keep me captivated. I think I will definitely be the minority opinion in this. I certainly think it will be a hit amongst most crime fiction lovers and am curious where the author will go in this series.
My Thoughts: 4.5/5 stars
The start of a new crime series, but from the perspective of a journalist. THE DEVIL’S CLAW by Lara Dearman is a page-turning read as Jennifer fights to find the killer before he finds her.
Jennifer Dorey moves back home to Guernsey after a traumatic event in London. She takes a job as a reporter for their local newspaper. When a woman is found on the beach – death by drowning – Jennifer begins her research and discovers that this is similar to deaths that have been occurring over the last half century. With DCI Michael Gilbert, they venture through folklore, island myths, and the dark history from when Nazi occupation took hold. Will they be able to stop this killer that has been running loose for 50 years?
I loved the snippets of history mixed into this psychological thriller. You get a peek into the Nazi occupation and what happened in Guernsey. How this played a role in the investigation was woven expertly by Dearman. Jennifer is a great lead character – a journalist trying to recover from a traumatizing event. I am very curious to see where she is taken as the series progresses. The dynamic between Jennifer and Michael was great. They played off each other well and you got to see each of them develop as the story progressed.
To some, this might start out a little slower than you’re wanting for a psychological thriller, but it picks up and doesn’t stop. The unknown narrator was eerie and when the final reveal came the tension was at an all time high. How can a serial killer go unpunished for FIFTY years? The added folklore element made this a more unique read and helped bring us into the mind of this killer.
Overall, if you want a great psychological thriller that isn’t from the perspective of a police officer, then you’ll love the start of the Jennifer Dorey series. I liked the uniqueness of this thriller and can’t wait for more from Dearman!
Is this on your TBR for 2018?