Source: Review copy
Publication: 18 February 2021 from HQ
My thanks to HQ for an advance copy for review
There’s a serial killer on the loose.
When bodies start washing up along the banks of the River Thames, DI Henley fears it is the work of Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer. But it can’t be him; Olivier is already behind bars, and Henley was the one who put him there.
The race is on before more bodies are found.
She’d hoped she’d never have to see his face again, but Henley knows Olivier might be the best chance they have at stopping the copycat killer. But when Olivier learns of the new murders, helping Henley is the last thing on his mind . . .
Will it take a killer to catch the killer?
Now all bets are off, and the race is on to catch the killer before the body count rises. But who will get there first – Henley, or the Jigsaw Killer?
Nadine Mathieson’s The Jigsaw Man is notable for the way in which its characters come to the page fully formed with impressive back stories. It feels as if you are reading the third or fourth in a series and that the author is recapping for you. In different hands this could be clunky and irritating; here it feels assured and impressive.
Set in Deptford in South East London, this police procedural features a diverse set of characters who very clearly have a great deal to offer for future stories. D. I. Anjelica Henley is a driven police officer and wife to Rob, mother to Emma. She has recently returned to active duty in the Serial Crimes Unit after suffering severe injuries at the hands of a violent killer who is now in prison. That case got her promotion, but it also took a huge toll on her mentally and has put a strain on her marriage.
New to the station and to Deptford is DC Salmi Ramouter who was being mentored by Anjelica’s police partner, DS Paul Stanford and who is now to be put under Anjelica’s wing. He’s smart and enthusiastic but also nursing some difficult personal issues which are bound to put a strain on him as he progresses.
Mathieson builds a credible and pacy storyline with its fair share of darkness and grisly moments as a serial killer stalks the streets of Deptford. Is this a copy -cat killer? Someone who is killing in the manner of Peter Oliver, the vicious killer that DI Henley has put away? And if so why are these killings happening? Henley knows she has not made a mistake, the man she put away is the Jigsaw Killer – the one who tried to kill her and almost succeeded, and so what is going on now?
With a healthy complement of grisly body parts including severed heads, Mathieson’s serial killer is a tension driven, fast-paced novel that keeps the reader glued to the pages waiting breathlessly for the next revelation. There are some lovely twists and some great characters all of which adds to the enjoyment. The last quarter of the book felt a little too drawn out for me and lost pace somewhat as a result, but I like these characters and will certainly return for more.
Verdict: If you like your serial killers dark and gory, tension-fuelled and surprising then this book will keep you riveted as you try and work out who is killing and why and then watch open mouthed as the Serial Crimes Unit team place themselves at the heart of the danger. Recommended.
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Nadine Matheson has always been passionate about writing and storytelling. She was born and lives in London and is a Criminal Solicitor. In 2016, she won the City University Crime Writing Competition and completed the Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller Novels) MA at City University of London with Distinction in 2018.