Beneath the Ashes by Jane Isaac – 4*s



The floor felt hard beneath her face. Nancy opened her eyes. Blinked several times. A pain seared through her head. She could feel fluid. No. She was lying in fluid.

When a body is discovered in a burnt-out barn in the Warwickshire countryside, DI Will Jackman is called to investigate.

Nancy Faraday wakes up on the kitchen floor. The house has been broken into and her boyfriend is missing. As the case unravels, DI Jackman realises that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has a secret.

Can he discover the truth behind the body in the fire, and track down the killer before Nancy becomes the next victim?

My Review

A second outing for DI Will Jackman and while I enjoyed his previous appearance in Before It’s Too Late, I actually preferred this book. I found the story more engaging and felt more involved with the investigation.

When Nancy Faraday’s boyfriend goes missing after a burglary and an initially unidentified body is found in a nearby barn, the obvious assumption is that they are the same person.  However as the investigation starts it becomes clear that there are far more basic questions that need answering first namely who exactly is/was Nancy’s boyfriend, and why if it is him was he murdered.

As we follow the investigation, we find ourselves involved in an engrossing police procedural to track down who and discover why. I like the character of DI Jackman, he has his own personal problems, though this time not of the stereotypical drink and maverick tendencies variety. He is a decent man, who strives to do his best, despite the stranglehold of police initiatives and policies that seem to hinder rather than help. He has a good supportive team and it was a pleasure to be along for the ride on this case.

I enjoyed the way the plot went off along a tangent that I hadn’t anticipated and presented several red herrings along the way. It seems everyone had secrets and getting to the truth wasn’t always easy, or as relevant as anticipated. Consequently it was impossible to figure out who was responsible and why until the dramatic reveal.

If you enjoy police procedurals, with realistic, empathetic detectives and an investigation that leaves you guessing, then this is one for you.

I received an ARC via NetGalley for review purposes.

Available from Amazon UK           Amazon USA





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