A cracking read – and a thank you to Twitter!
“In a quiet market town in Buckinghamshire, a brutal killer strikes, shattering any illusions Detective Inspector Lizzie Archer might have had about her new patch in Aylesbury Vale being a sleepy hollow.
Disfigured in the line of duty, Archer has transferred in from the Met, hoping to make a fresh start in her life and her career. The last thing she needs is an awkward colleague, but that is what she seems to find in Detective Sergeant Dan Baines.
Baines bears scars of his own, the kind that cannot be seen. Eleven years ago, his family fell victim to a serial killer, and recently his life has fallen into fresh turmoil. Haunted by dreams and visions of his still-missing son, and confused by feelings for his murdered wife’s identical twin sister, he finds himself resenting a new boss who knows nothing about the area.
But the killer shows no sign of stopping and with no obvious connection between the victims and the body count rising daily, Archer and Baines must put aside their differences and work together if they are to stop a maniac whose appetite for slaughter seemingly knows no bounds.”
First, why a thank you to Twitter? Well, some time ago I posted my crime fiction map of the UK on the blog and author Dave Sivers tweeted to suggest including his characters Archer & Baines on the map in Aylesbury. Always keen to discover new crime fiction, especially series, I looked them up on Amazon, added them to my wish list and updated the map. I subsequently got my hands on the first two books in the series and now my only regret is that I didn’t start reading The Scars Beneath the Soul sooner.
It has everything I look for in my crime fiction: a strong, character-led story; twists and turns in the plot that give the reader a chance of guessing what’s coming but not so much that it becomes predictable or boring; a cast of characters that gives the reader a sense of being involved in the team or community; finally, most important for a series, main characters who have a dynamic and/or back story that is almost more interesting than the plot of the book.
Archer and Baines are now firmly on the list of crime fiction series I follow and I highly recommend them to other crime series fans. Although I don’t like reading consecutive books by the same author I’ve moved book two (Dead In Deep Water) up my TBR list to be read very soon.