Title: The Girls in the Water
Author: Victoria Jenkins
Date of publication: August 3rd 2017
Format: Digital Review Copy
Number of pages: 328
When the body of Lola Evans is found in a local park on a cold winter’s morning, Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane are called in to lead the hunt for the killer.
Days later, a second girl goes missing. It seems the two shared a troubled history, and were members of the same support group. Who is the monster preying on these vulnerable girls?
As the detectives start to piece together the clues, Chloe realises that she too is in danger – as she uncovers secrets about her own brother’s death which someone will kill to keep hidden.
Alex and Chloe are determined to find the killer before more lives are lost…
Cover love, here we meet again! I have a thing for anything red. Shoes, blood, titles. And this beautiful contrast of blue and red grabbed my heart. And for once, I was starting a detective series with the first installment! What more could I ask for?
When you read as many crime as I do (or more for some of my blogger friends!!!) you discern a certain pattern. A gripping prologue, complicated detectives, grisly murders. This is what you are looking for. Welcome to The Girls in the Water! The book checks off all the boxes!
And you know what? It adds something more. Something that makes you coming back again even when a niggle appears. Something you are keen to explore. I’m talking about the relationship between the two detectives working together on this wet case!
I’m used to strong characters with complicated lives, and neither Alex nor Chloe escape this description. One older, one younger, both plagued by a past that is clinging at their heels.
While we do get a real team effort here and get to meet different persons, the focus is definitely on those ladies and I couldn’t have been happier about it.
It wasn’t hard imagining them grabbing something to it, discussing the progress they were making, but beyond this was building a stronger connection. Alex, as a DI, had decisions to make and Chloe, young and promising DC, was the fresh breeze and clear eyes every intricate inquiry requires. Subtly, the author hinted at a relationship that was stronger than one of simple colleagues’. Alex’s need to protect Chloe, Chloe’s will to find answers by herself without disrespecting her superior. The way some things were natural between them and others so difficult reminded me of the bound between a mentor and a student. That pride, that fear to disappoint, that protective feeling, that need to prove oneself. The trust, stuck between the work, the heavy background of each women, and their personalities. It is absolutely refreshing to find such a female friendship in a crime series!
The fact that this special and original point completely blends into the investigation and adds to it one thin layer after another makes this story so compelling. I will admit that while the plot was interesting and well-crafted, my attention was captured by the characterization and an unhealthy curiosity as to what was going to happen to those women!
Weirdly, none of the facts you learn about her make them very likeable, but as I neared the book, I found I was being less harsh on them. Yes, I still did find Chloe a little bit childish, but her intentions were good. I warmed up a little to Alex in her big house, all alone. Loneliness is something their career often brings, but there are different kinds of loneliness and Alex and Chloe were both stuck in a glass bowl for different reasons. So I can’t say I love them, but I do admire what the author managed to do and I am so thankful to see women sticking together instead of hating each other!
I might have noticed something happening, catching a hint here and there about where the story was going, but I was far from discovering what the author had planned. The investigation dragged a little at some point and I remember thinking Alex King did not really act as a seasoned detective, but at least she wasn’t jaded with her job! The victims and the killer took a backstage place for me, as Chloe’s own thread took more and more room and nothing seemed to progress until a certain point was reached. Still, the stories were believable, the cruelty and blood very present, and the case was good enough to satisfy readers looking for a crime story that doesn’t require too much work on their part!
The Girls in the Water is a promising first book in a series that brings a refreshing and needed angle on its detective characters.
I would like to thank Kim at Bookouture for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour!
Check the other stops on the tour!
Victoria Jenkins lives with her husband in South Wales, where she writes crime fiction and teaches English. The Girls in the Water is her debut novel, the first featuring Detective Inspector Alex King
and Detective Constable Chloe Lane. The second book in theseries will be published in late 2017.