The Safe Word ~ An Eleanor Raven #1 by Karen Long #TuesdayBookBlog #Thriller @KarenLongWriter

  • 20811503Author : Karen Long
  • Published: January 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Category: Thriller, Suspense, Police Procedural, Crime
  • four-stars

There are rules that every player of every game must abide by, no matter how dangerous the sport.

Toronto has become the backdrop to a macabre set of artistic installations: women kidnapped, tortured and horrifically displayed by a killer with a vision.

Excellent debut and first book in the Eleanor Raven thriller series. Detective  Inspector Raven is a paradox, a tough and very competent police officer with a potentially very dangerous, complex private life, which could leave her vulnerable and in jeopardy….especially if there is the slightest lack of caution.

The story centres around a succession of gruesome serial killer murders. A woman is found hanging from a hook and when the second murder is discovered in similar circumstances, it’s obvious the victims are deliberately posed. As Eleanor and her team, including her new and unappreciated partner, Detective Laurence Whitefoot, who is an excellent foil for Eleanor, delve deeper into the cases, they find themselves steered into the dark underbelly of Toronto’s deviant sexual practices.

“Hmm. Well I would help if I could,” said Gary cautiously sipping his tea. “But all my girls and boys just have fun and no-one really gets hurt.” He smiled encouragingly at them.

Eleanor leaned towards Gary, lowering her voice so much that both he and Whitefoot had to strain to hear her. “But someone did get hurt Gary and as a man who makes his living from these little games, I expect you to furnish me with some information. Rapidly.”

The story includes everything a good crime novel should; a fast paced gripping storyline, a complex and intelligent main protagonist and a great supporting cast of credible characters. I hope their back stories will explored more in forthcoming books, and I’d like to see how relationships evolve. An added extra is a fabulous, havoc creating German Shepherd called Monster!

A very well crafted and suspenseful plot, told from several perspectives including the killer’s, builds the layers and brings them together nicely, as we rattle along to a gripping and chilling conclusion that had me on the edge of my seat. 

The only real problem I had was the lack of paragraphs in the kindle edition, making it slightly confusing when the narrative jumped from scene to scene without warning, and some punctuation issues, but it wasn’t enough to put me off. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have the next one lined up.

About Karen Long

7829726Karen Long was born and raised in the English Midlands, read English Literature and Drama at Bangor University and later on studied Neurobiology with the Open University. She began her working life as a secondary school teacher but took up full time writing ten years ago. She has written numerous screenplays and is currently working on the second novel in the ‘Eleanor Raven’ series. Her first novel, ‘The Safe Word’ was published in January 2014 and was inspired by several stays in Toronto, Canada.

She is an enthusiastic traveller dedicating considerable time to pursuing her lifelong obsession with the natural world. There is nothing too slimy, too scaly, too dangerous or toxic for her not to want to observe and photograph it badly. Her particular love is for the crow family and she has looked after and rehabilitated numerous rooks, magpies, carrion crows, jackdaws and raven.

She lives in rural Shropshire with her filmmaker husband, three children, three dogs and a small disabled crow.

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