Left For Dead by Joy Kluver @bookouture

The detective stared at the young woman lying on the bed. She almost looked peaceful, her face like porcelain. Despite everything she had been through, she was still beautiful.

When DI Bernie Noel hurries to Keira Howard’s hospital bedside, she knows that Keira has been lucky. Barely conscious and badly injured, at least she is alive. Convinced that Keira’s attack is the latest in a string of increasingly violent assaults on young women in the area, the next victim might not be so fortunate. So she vows to find the man who did this, and to stop him before anyone else gets hurt.

Spurring her team into action, she quickly hones in on a prime suspect. But then he suddenly dies while on police watch, and Bernie’s investigation goes into freefall. When Bernie’s superiors won’t let her take the case any further, her gut instinct tells her there’s much more to his death than meets the eye. If it was murder, who would want him dead, and why? So she determines to set out on her own to find out what happened.

But the closer Bernie comes to discovering the truth, the more she is putting her own life in danger. And with Keira finally strong enough to talk her about her attack, Bernie worries she may be at risk yet again. There’s someone out there who has killed to stay safe in the shadows; can Bernie stop another senseless death, and save Keira, before it’s too late?

An utterly compelling crime thriller full of twists and suspense, perfect for fans of Val McDermid, Angela Marsons and Cara Hunter.

Left For Dead was the perfect book to keep me during during my recent (and ongoing!) self isolating due to Covid. My concentration levels haven’t been great so I needed a book that would really grab me and this series by Joy Kluver is one of the best crime series out there at the moment! Honestly, it’s absolutely brilliant-gripping, current and with a protagonist that is crying out to be transferred to the small screen. I really hope that this series is picked up for tv as I think Bernie Noel deserves a wider audience.

This is the third instalment of the DI Bernadette Noel series and every book is an absolute pleasure to read. I love seeing how Bernie’s personal life progresses from book to book but there’s also a very distressing crime for her to solve in Left For Dead. As the title suggests, a girl has been attacked and her life is hanging by a thread so Bernie is brought in to solve the case. She’s also helped by a character I became very fond of due to…well, I don’t want to explain further but I will say that their personal circumstances were perfectly described by the author and I loved the fact that they featured in this investigation (hopefully raising awareness of inclusiveness in the police force too). In fact, characterisation is one of the authors strengths in these books as I became really involved in the lives of all the characters who appear in these books. They are brought to life with just a few choice phrases and that’s one of the main reasons I love these books. Crime novels really have to stand out for me to keep me following a series and very few make the cut due to protagonists not being engaging or intriguing enough for me to stay with them but Bernie Noel always hits the spot and I love catching up with her.

Left For Dead kept me thoroughly entertained and on edge the whole time I was reading it. There were plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep me engrossed and not get too complacent about finding out who had attacked Kiera or why. I can highly recommend it as a stand alone but feel you’d get even more from it if you’ve read the first two books in the series. And fingers crossed for book 4 and a tv adaptation in the future!

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

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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