After The Fire (Inspector Tom Reynolds #6) by @SpainJoanne ~ Nobody was supposed to get out alive… #Irish #CrimeFiction #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Jo Spain

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Released: June 2020 by Quercus

Category: Irish Crime Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Audiobook, Review


On a Dublin city street, packed with afternoon shoppers, a young woman appears, naked, traumatised and bearing burn marks.

Tom Reynolds, now Chief Superintendent, is no longer head of the murder squad. But when it transpires the woman escaped from a house fire started deliberately and that there are more victims, Tom is sucked in. What begins as a straightforward case of arson, soon becomes something much more sinister.

After having a quick catch up with his daughter Maria, a junior doctor, Chief Superintendent Tom Reynolds was about the leave the hospital where Maria worked, when he overheard snippets of a conversation between two porters. A naked and distressed young woman covered with burn marks and signs of smoke inhalation, was seen walking through the city centre and had been brought to the hospital.

The murder squad soon discover that the woman escaped from a house fire where there were no other survivors and it was apparent the fire was no accident. Although Tom is no longer heading the murder squad, he is drawn in to the investigation. Initially it seems like a clear case of arson, but as more is uncovered the investigation takes on much darker implications with murder, a missing baby and people trafficking.

It seems the house, in an up and coming area near to the Dublin International Financial Services Centre, was hiding a dark secret and the girl in the hospital was too scared to talk. Another girl connected to the incident was hiding out at her parents’ house.

In the bathroom, Nina sat in the tub, knees tucked up to her chest, her arms wrapped round them. She’d poured half a bottle of L’Occitane Cherry Blossom bath gel in and the white, scented bubbles covered her body as the water level rose.

Nina breathed deep, letting the steam clear the acrid taste in her mouth and the burning sensation in her lungs. Letting the water wash away the filth.

She knew her parents would want answers and she didn’t know how long she could hold them off.

What I enjoy most about this series, apart from Jo Spain’s wonderful storytelling, are the characters. Tom Reynolds is a regular, happy family man with no hang ups. Characters continue to develop and the rest of the cast are very well portrayed and likeable. Except for the one bad penny that turns up again.

The plot is intriguing, well thought through with twists and drama threaded through the police procedural aspect. Unraveling the mystery of the house fire survivor, who is scared and traumatised, and connecting her to other incidents, the murder squad open the door to a dark and dangerous world. As with the rest of the stories in the Tom Reynolds series, Jo Spain’s writing is assured and easy to read with relevant issues at the forefront.

Aoife McMahon has narrated the whole series and done a brilliant job of bring the characters to life, giving them all distinct voices and personalities.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Hive

Jo Spain is the author of the bestselling Inspector Tom Reynolds series and several international No. 1 bestselling standalone novels. Her first book, With Our Blessing, was a finalist in the 2015 Richard and Judy Search for a Bestseller.
Jo, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin, writes TV screenplays full-time. Her first crime series was broadcast on RTE in 2018 and she’s currently involved in a number of TV developments including adaptations of her own novels. Jo is working with Dynamic L.A., True North & Mystery Productions Iceland, Yellow Films Finland, West Road Pictures England and NDF Germany.
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 Jodi Picoult. She also watches TV obsessively.
Jo thinks up her plots on long runs in the woods. Her husband sleeps with one eye open.

Author links ~ Facebook | Twitter

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