Author – Karen Long
Published – 2014
Genre – Crime fiction
I seem to be reviewing a few second novels at the moment and this is another where the author seems to have no issues with that ‘difficult second book’. This is the sequel in Long’s series featuring Eleanor Raven, following hot on the heels of The Safe Word.
Taking place six months after the end of The Safe Word, Raven is still recovering from the mental and physical injuries she suffered and is grudgingly undergoing therapy. She is called to a case where a body has been discovered during a fire at a landfill site, but rather than being a dump site for a murder victim, the body is in an unusually well-preserved state.
Although I would normally prefer the point of view to stick with those carrying out the investigation rather than follow the subject of it, I actually quite liked the approach here. Knowing what the villain was up to and following the police activity added more tension. It’s good to see the police team together and Raven’s colleagues provide a good foil for each other and of course there’s always Monster (the dog) for some lighter moments.
I have seen a few people commenting on the more gruesome aspects of the book, and it’s certainly a feature of both titles. While some of the descriptions make fairly uncomfortable reading, I didn’t find it particularly horrific – but then different things disturb people in different ways. A quibble of mine would be the inevitability of seeing Raven end up in peril herself towards the climax of the book – let’s hope if she gets a third outing she can avoid any life-threatening situations!
As with her first book, The Vault is published through Amazon’s CreateSpace programme. I’d be curious to know if Long tried the traditional publishing route because her books really stand up well against titles you can get from any of the big names.
Thank you to the author for the review copy. You can see another point of view on Crime Thriller Fella’s blog.