Under the Ice (DCI Jansen) by Rachael Blok
|Under the Ice (DCI Jansen) by Rachael Blok|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: The first book in what I'm hoping is a new police procedural series is a compelling read. Cracking stuff.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: November 2018|
|Publisher: Head of Zeus|
|External links: Author's website|
It's eleven days to Christmas and the cathedral city of St Albans is looking particularly festive with a covering of snow, but this belies the atmosphere: the body of a young girl has been found frozen in the local lake. DCI Jansen's only lead comes from Jenny Brennan - but can you put any credence on statements made by the sleep-deprived mother of a four month old child, particularly one who claims to have seen visions? Can you believe her statements that she's been sleep-walking in the middle of the night when she find evidence that the police have missed? When another girl goes missing the tiny city is in melt-down and for Jenny it all seems close to home. Far too close to home.
I'm a sucker for a decent police procedural and it was obvious before I was more than a few pages in that this one was going to be more than decent. Debut novelist Rachael Blok has a real talent for evoking location. It might have been August when I read the book, but I was shivering as I read the scenes by the lake. Blok lives in St Albans and some parts of the city are clearly recognisable whilst other parts are Blok's own slightly blurred creation. The whole makes for an excellent setting.
DCI Jansen's Dutch by birth and he's considering moving back to Rotterdam, but he's clearly invested in the local community, particularly through his wife and two daughters. He's a good policeman and as a character mercifully free of the disturbing traits (alcoholism, insubordination, infidelity...) so often exhibited by fictional detectives. He and his team are believable and I'd like to hear more from them. The star of the show though is Jenny Brennan. I could feel her lack of sleep, her frustrations. I knew all I needed to know about her life as husband Will enquired Have we written Christmas cards for my family? He's basically a decent man but his way of coping with being a new father is to work hard at the office, feeling that it's good that his commute is only an hour each way.
The plot is good. My only reservation is that at one point I did wonder if I was reading fantasy - which would have made me very cross. I shouldn't have worried though - Blok's hands are capable and I only worked out the identity of the murderer a couple of pages before it was made obvious. I'd planned to read the book over about a week: it lasted thirty-six hours and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
If this book appeals then you might also enjoy Beau Death by Peter lovesey.
You can read more book reviews or buy Under the Ice (DCI Jansen) by Rachael Blok at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Under the Ice (DCI Jansen) by Rachael Blok at Amazon.com.
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