About the book
First published on 7th September 2017 by Trapeze books
Jennifer Dorey thinks she is safe.
Following a traumatic incident in London, Jennifer has returned to her childhood home in Guernsey, taking a job as a reporter at the local newspaper.
After the discovery of a drowned woman on a beach, she uncovers a pattern of similar deaths that have taken place over the past fifty years.
Together with DCI Michael Gilbert, an officer on the verge of retirement, they follow a dark trail of island myths and folklore to ‘Fritz’, the illegitimate son of a Nazi soldier. His work, painstakingly executed, has so far gone undetected.
But with his identity about to be uncovered, the killer now has Jennifer in his sights.
Well, what a surprising little debut this was. The first in a new Jennifer Dorey series and one I shall definitely be investing in.
Journalist, Jenny Dorey, finds herself back in Guernsey living with her mother, after being involved in a dangerous and terrifying work situation, whilst trying to help someone in London. She’s working for the local paper as a reporter when she comes across a jogger who has stumbled across a young woman’s body on the shore. The authorities all think it’s suicide, apart from DCI Michael Gilbert who has his doubts but not enough to investigate (and he’s not very well liked by the force, for reasons that become clear in the story) but as Jenny starts to look more into things, she gets a feeling something isn’t quite right. Whilst researching back over the years, she finds a handful of very similar cases of drowning from suicide, over a period of 50 years. Could this small town have had a killer living among them all these years?
Michael and Jenny build up a wonderful partnership throughout this book, not just professional, but personal, too. It’s refreshing to have a Detective and a Reporter working together, instead of against. They’ve both suffered tragedies in life, Jenny with the death or her father more recently, and Michael with the death of his young daughter, Ellen, many years ago and then his divorce. I hope Michael will be alongside Jenny in the rest of the series, as I think there’s a great bond to be formed, with each one of them filling a little hole in each others lives.
The story is told in alternating chapters from Jenny, Michael, and the voice of the unknown killer – giving us an insight into his childhood, his past crimes, and the present day.
Guernsey plays a star role itself in this book. The author clearly knows it extremely well and does a great job of introducing us to all it’s history, folklore and myths, as well as the beautiful landscape itself. History and Geography were far from strong points of mine at school, and I’ve always said over the years, that from reading I’ve learnt so much more on the world and it’s history than I did back then – and this book is a prime example of that – learning, whilst enjoying a brilliant story!
The plot slowly crept up on me, then all of a sudden I was completely consumed, flying through pages, sat on the edge of my seat fearing for Jenny, and desperately trying to pin point who the killer was. In fact, I think the last time I was holding my breath like that, was when reading Sharon Bolton’s Dead Woman Walking (which is high praise indeed, as it’s one of my very favourites of the year)
The Devil’s Claw is an eerie mystery, stemming back over half a century, with characters you care for and a tight, enthralling plot – you don’t want to miss this. I’m already looking forward to the next in the series.
I would like to thank Trapeze books for providing me with an early proof of this book, in exchange for an honest and fair review.
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