I’m delighted to taking part today in the blog tour for Last Seen by Joy Kluver. Many thanks to Noelle at Bookouture for my blog tour invite and review copy of the book.
‘A little girl is missing from under her mother’s nose. She’ll be scared and vulnerable – if she’s still alive. But no one is helping us search. No one wants to give us information. No one even seems surprised. What’s going on?’
Detective Bernadette Noel came to this quiet rural corner of south-west England from London to lie low after a high-profile prosecution led to death threats against her family. But she has barely settled in when the call comes. A woman’s voice, shrill with terror and thick with tears: ‘Help – it’s my daughter, Molly – I only had my back turned for a minute… She’s gone!’
A child abduction is about as far from lying low as it gets, and her boss wants to assign a different detective. But there’s no way Bernie’s not taking the case – she can’t miss this chance to prove herself.
Five-year-old Molly Reynolds has been snatched from the playground in the village where she lives. Normally in cases like this the community is an asset – eager to help search and full of local knowledge. But although Molly’s mother Jessica is in anguish, the other villagers don’t seem to want to know.
As details emerge, Bernie discovers a possible link to a shocking crime that has never been solved, and which the locals have never forgotten. But what exactly is the connection to Molly’s abduction? Cracking a cold case is the only way to find out – and meanwhile time is running out for Molly.
A dark and compelling crime thriller that will have you reading late into the night. If you like Val McDermid, D.S. Butler or Angela Marsons, you’ll love Joy Kluver.
Wow! What a fabulous start to this new police procedural series by Joy Kluver! By the time I got to the end of Last Seen I was desperate to read more about DI Bernie Noel and her backstory as well as wanting to see how things will develop with the other characters we met throughout Bernies investigation into the disappearance of a five year old girl.
There’s a chilling start to Last Seen as five year old Molly is abducted by an unknown person from her local park. Bernie and her team have an uphill struggle trying to get any help from the local community, making the investigation even more difficult for them. There are so many wonderful character creations here especially the team working with Bernie. DC Matt Taylor and DS Kerry Allen bring an authenticity to the procedures and then there’s the FLO DS Dougie Anderson…I’m interested to see where the relationship with him goes and whether or not it will cross the line between professional and personal. I’m not sure I completely trust him and he certainly didn’t help himself here but time will surely tell?!
The case itself was a twisty one, full of surprises around every corner with a shocking and unexpected conclusion! It was cleverly crafted and deftly plotted from start to finish with an addictive storyline full of human interest. The small town mentality was perfectly portrayed and Joy Kluver manages to get all her characters into your head so that they feel almost real-especially the detectives. In fact, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a police procedural as much as I loved this one for a very long time.
I can’t recommend Last Seen highly enough! It’s a brilliantly written, addictive read and I seriously can’t wait to read more about Bernie Noel!
Joy Kluver has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. More recently she’s been escaping the madness of motherhood by turning her hand to crime novels. A book blogger, she’s also part of the First Monday Crime team and if you’ve been to any of their events it’s likely you’ve eaten one of her cookies. She also organises author talks for her local library. Joy lives in SW London with her husband and three children. ‘Last Seen’ is her debut novel and the first book in the DI Bernadette Noel series.
Joy is represented by Anne Williams at the Kate Horden Literary Agency