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The Devil’s Claw by Lara Dearman

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A My Chronicle Book Box review of The Devil's Claw by Lara Dearman.

This is the debut novel of Lara Dearman and is a tense crime thriller set on Guernsey, the Channel Island on which Dearman and the book’s protagonist grew up. Journalist Jennifer Dorey has returned to the island to regroup after a trauma but soon finds herself on the trail of a serial killer who has evaded capture for decades and in even greater danger.

This book was included in our February 2018 Crime & Mystery book box.

Read on for the full My Chronicle Book Box review...

My Chronicle Book Box Review:

This novel is set on Guernsey, on of the Channel Islands and the setting plays a key role. I love the setting and learning about the history of the island that was occupied by the Nazis during world war II. This experience is part of the very fabric of the island and islanders if Lara Dearman’s novel is anything to go by.

I often enjoy thrillers set on islands, such as the Scottish islands which have been in vogue recently, for the sense of close community and inescapability which lend well to tense story telling. Lara has taken this further here to great effect, bringing in the local folklore and myths of the island to add to the atmosphere.

Jennifer Dorey grew up on Guernsey and after a trauma in London she has returned to her mother and her childhood home to regroup. Working as a journalist at the Guernsey News she is on the scene when she hears a scream when covering a fireworks display, and the dead body of a young woman is found. At first glance, it seems to be suicide but something doesn’t feel quite right to her investigator instincts and she feels compelled to look into the matter further.

Jennifer teams up with DCI Michael Gilbert, on the verge of retirement and with his own chequered past. Together they try to track down a killer who appears to have been killing for decades without arousing suspicion.

The point of view alternates and we also get the point of view from the un-named killer providing background to his life and psyche. He really is a chilling character - calculating and methodical and now has Jennifer in his sights!

I would say the book is written with the intent that it will be the first in a series and I can’t wait to read more of Jennifer, Michael and Guernsey.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 30 November 2017

Publisher Synopsis:

‘Enthralling, compelling, mysterious’ Lisa Hall, author of TELL ME NO LIES

AN ATMOSPHERIC NEW CRIME SERIES SET IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS

Following a traumatic incident in London, Jennifer Dorey has returned to her childhood home in Guernsey, taking a job as a reporter at the local newspaper.

After the discovery of a drowned woman on a beach, she uncovers a pattern of similar deaths that have taken place over the past fifty years.

Together with DCI Michael Gilbert, an officer on the verge of retirement, they follow a dark trail of island myths and folklore to ‘Fritz’, the illegitimate son of a Nazi soldier. His work, painstakingly executed, has so far gone undetected.
But with his identity about to be uncovered, the killer now has Jennifer in his sights.

‘Dark, haunting and full of twists’ – Chris Whitaker, author of ALL THE WICKED GIRLS

‘A twisty thriller set in Guernsey and populated with great characters.’ – Olivia Kiernan, author of TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE

‘A gripping thriller set in Guernsey. I loved it!’ – Karen Hamilton, author of THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND

‘Darkly atmospheric, nail-bitingly tense, intrigue-packed – a real crime fiction must read!’ Stephanie Marland, author of MY LITTLE EYE

‘Atmospheric and tense. Superb!’ Isabel Ashdown, author of LITTLE SISTER

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