Sleeping Beauties (An Inspector Tom Reynolds Mystery Book 3) by @SpainJoanne ~ Irish #CrimeFiction #BookReview @QuercusFiction

Author: Jo Spain

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Published by Quercus, released on Audible September 2017

Category: Crime, Murder, Mystery, Audiobook, Book Review

The inspector frowned and examined the earth under the trees. As he scanned the glade, his stomach lurched. One, two, three, four. Five, counting the mound of earth disturbed under the tent. Somebody had cleared the earth of its natural layer and sown their own flowers

In five places

Five graves

A young woman, Fiona Holland, has gone missing from a small Irish village. A search is mounted, but there are whispers. Fiona had a wild reputation. Was she abducted, or has she run away?

A young woman has been reported missing. It’s uncertain whether Fiona Holland decided to leave of her own accord or whether it’s something else entirely. Her mother and sister are certain she wouldn’t have left her baby but in the small rural community Fiona had a reputation. 

Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds and his team are called to Glendalough, a popular tourist spot in the Wicklow Mountains National Park, where a body has been found. It’s not long before it’s clearly visible to those working the scene, this wasn’t the only grave. There were five more clearly visible when Tom realised what they were looking at. It seemed a serial killer had been, and possible may still be, operating in Ireland.

None of the bodies are that of Fiona Holland and the race is on to find her, hopefully alive. Five families were going to receive the worst news. Tom fervently hoped there wouldn’t be any more but for now he had to focus his team on identifying the remains already uncovered. 

The talk of a serial killer prompts massive amount of attention from the media and, added to that, Tom’s job isn’t being helped by Joe Kennedy, Sean McGuinness’ replacement. Tom, Shaun and their wives are longtime friends and the two men had a good working relationship. Joe Kennedy however, is insecure, more concerned with appearances and has a tendency to be manipulative to the point of hindering the team. 

The only thing that mattered right now was finding this serial killer and establishing whether or not he’d taken Fiona Holland. Kennedy should have been asking the inspector to use his friendship with Sean to avail of his experience and advice. But his insecurity and pride were more important to him than the case at hand.

More and more, Tom disliked his new boss.

There appear to be several commonalities between the victims, including abuse from violent partners and a certain reputation for what was seen as indiscriminate and casual behaviour—mostly from intolerant and misogynistic locals with outdated standards. The women are humanised by flashback snippets of their lives and how they were taken. That combined with the police procedural and the personal and sometimes distressing life events of the recurring characters gives an appealing balance to the narrative.

As with all the stories so far in this series, pertinent issues are addressed. In Sleeping Beauties it’s sexual and physical abuse and, the idea that because of their lifestyle, some women ‘get what they deserve.’ 

Jo Spain has created another well plotted, fully rounded and compelling story with several surprises along the way. The police procedural and characters are realistic and, as always, Aoife McMahon’s narration is excellent.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Hive 

About the Author

Jo Spain is the author of the Inspector Tom Reynolds series. Her first book, top ten bestseller With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller. The Confession her first standalone thriller, was a number one bestseller and translated all over the world.
Jo is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, a former political advisor in the Irish parliament and former vice-chair of InterTrade Ireland business body.
She now writes novels and screenplays full-time. Her first co-written TV show TAKEN DOWN was broadcast in Ireland in 2018 and bought by international distributors Fremantle.
Jo lives in Dublin with her husband and four young children. In her spare time (she has four children, there is no spare time really) she likes to read. Her favourite authors include Pierre Lemaitre, Jo Nesbo, Liane Moriarty, Fred Vargas and Louise Penny. She also watches TV detective series and was slightly obsessed with The Bridge, Trapped and The Missing.
Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open and all her friends have looked at her strangely since she won her publishing deal.

Author links ~ Facebook | Twitter 

4 thoughts on “Sleeping Beauties (An Inspector Tom Reynolds Mystery Book 3) by @SpainJoanne ~ Irish #CrimeFiction #BookReview @QuercusFiction

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