Monday 13 June 2022

The Lost Ones by Marnie Riches #BooksOnTour #TheLostOnes @Marnie_Riches @bookouture #BookReview


The girl is sitting upright, her dark brown hair arranged over her shoulders and her blue, blue eyes staring into the distance. She looks almost peaceful. But her gaze is vacant, and her skin is cold…

When Detective Jackie Cooke is called to the murder scene, she is shocked by what she sees. Missing teenager Chloe Smedley has finally been found – her body left in a cold back yard, carefully posed with her bright blue eyes still open. Jackie lays a protective hand on the baby in her belly, and vows to find the brutal monster who stole Chloe’s future.

When Jackie breaks the news to Chloe’s heartbroken mother, she understands the woman’s cries only too well. Her own brother went missing as a child, the case never solved. Determined to get justice for Chloe and her family, Jackie sets to work, finding footage of the girl waving at someone the day she disappeared. Did Chloe know her killer?

But then a second body is found on the side of a busy motorway, lit up by passing cars. The only link with Chloe is the disturbing way the victim has been posed, and Jackie is convinced she is searching for a dangerous predator. Someone has been hunting missing and vulnerable people for decades, and only Jackie seems to see that they were never lost. They were taken.

Jackie’s boss refuses to believe a serial killer is on the loose and threatens to take her off the case. But then Jackie returns home to find a brightly coloured bracelet on her kitchen counter and her blood turns cold. It’s the same one her brother was wearing when he vanished. Could his disappearance be connected to the murders? Jackie will stop at nothing to catch her killer… unless he finds her first…

The Lost Ones by Marnie Riches was published in paperback by Bookouture on 1 June 2022 and is the first in the Detective Jackie Cooke series. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Books on Tour Blog Tour 

Oh my goodness! Standing ovation for Marnie Riches and her newest creation; the amazing, ass-kicking Detective Jackie Cooke.

I read this over two days and it has shot into my best books of the year list, with no doubt at all. It is everything that I love in crime fiction; a compelling, heart pounding beginning, followed by a cleverly complex plot and headed up by a wonderfully created lead character. 

Set in Manchester and introducing readers to Detective Jackie Cooke, this is a serial killer chase like no other, and Jackie is Detective like no other too. She's almost seven months pregnant, she has nine-year-old twin boys and a husband who is as much use as a chocolate fireguard.  Her own back story is as intriguing as the case she is working on. She is haunted by her younger brother Lucien who went missing when he was just ten-years-old. Disappeared from a playground in the blink of an eye, never to be seen or heard of again. Lucien's case is her spur, the reason that she is a police officer and she imagines his voice, telling her what to do every day. 

And, what a case she's on! Bodies are being found, but not full bodies. There are bodies with limbs missing, there are severed heads, some are recent deaths, some have been dead for years. It's perplexing and upsetting, especially as Jackie makes the connection that all of the victims are vulnerable people, starting with young Chloe Smedly; a girl with Downs Syndrome - the same condition that her brother Lucien had. 

Jackie is not the only fabulous character here. Riches has created a team of eclectic police officers and admin staff that will delight readers. From Nick, the pathologist, to Clever Bob, the IT guy, each and every one of them is a delight to discover. Jackie is not without her enemies though and I cheered every single time she managed to get a wise crack in there, a touch of passive aggression never hursts, does it? 

It's a highly complex case, and so very cleverly put together. Marnie Riches was most certainly several steps ahead of me at all times, delivering surprise and shock, one after another, until I thought I would stop breathing! 

I utterly loved this. It's dark, it's dangerous and often violent. It is written so well, and just hooks the reader along until the shocking, tumultuous ending that is so satisfying. 

Bring on the next book, I cannot wait to read more about Jackie Cooke. Highly recommended. 

Marnie Riches grew up on a rough estate in north Manchester. Exchanging the spires of nearby Strangeways prison for those of Cambridge University, she gained a Masters in German & Dutch. She has been a punk, a trainee rock star, a pretend artist and professional fundraiser.

Her best-selling, award-winning George McKenzie crime thrillers, tackling the subject of trans-national trafficking, were inspired by her own time spent in The Netherlands. Marnie is also the author of 'Born Bad' and 'The Cover-Up' - the critically acclaimed books in her Manchester gangland series - as well as 'Tightrope' and 'Backlash', which feature beleaguered PI, Bev Saunders and computer-whizz sidekick, Doc, who bring to light the criminal misdemeanours of the Northwest's great and good.

'The Lost Ones' is the first story in Marnie's new DS Jackson Cooke police procedural series, where determined Jackie must balance the demands of being a mother with the hunt for a warped serial killer, who preys on the region's most vulnerable citizens.

When she isn’t writing gritty, twisty crime-thrillers, Marnie is a Royal Literary Fund Fellow, teaching at Cambridge University's postgraduate researcher unit and also tutors the Faber Novel Writing Course. Marnie writes historical sagas under the pseudonym of Maggie Campbell.

Twitter @Marnie_Riches

Instagram @marnie_riches

No comments:

Post a Comment