Four friends. A house full of secrets. And a killer picking them off one by one…
‘She tried to break her fall, twisting desperately, but there was nothing to catch hold of, nothing with which she could stop herself. Her single scream cut through the night air.’
One hot summer night, a young woman falls from a rooftop to her death. Detective Alex King is called to the quiet terraced street.
The victim, Keira North, was twenty, happy and carefree. It seems like an accident, but there’s broken glass on the carpet, and witnesses overheard an argument. Could someone have wanted her dead?
Keira’s friends don’t seem as helpful as Alex would expect and the post-mortem reveals that Keira was hiding a secret: she was five months pregnant. Alex’s team soon finds that all of Keira’s closest friends have secrets that someone might kill to keep.
As Alex realises Keira might be just the first victim on a list, her leads take her a bit too close to home. With her own demons to fight, can Alex catch the killer, before someone else dies?
The First One to Die is a heart-stopping and shocking detective thriller that will have you gripped until the very last page. Perfect for fans of Patricia Gibney, Angela Marsons, and Val McDermid.
The First One To Die was published on the 15th November 2017 by Bookouture. Many thanks to Bookouture for having me on the blog tour and providing me with my copy of the book via NetGalley for this review.
I absolutely loved Victoria Jenkins’ first book, The Girls In The Water so was thrilled to find out there was a second book out so soon after the first one and I couldn’t wait to get my DI Alex King and DC Chloe Lane fix!! I would definitely recommend reading book 1 so you understand the back stories of Alex and Chloe, and how they came to be such firm friends.
** Spoilers ahead in respect of book 1 **
In The First One To Die, Alex and Chloe are living in a harmonious house share after Alex took Chloe under her wing at the end of The Girls In The Water. Chloe is 6 months into a relationship with Scott however she is still carrying her demons which are preventing her from truly getting close to him.
The book opens with a chilling prologue (I love a good, teasing prologue!!); an incident between two women which has dire results. This prologue was so confusing as it was written in a very vague way as to who the women were – this pricked my interest further as we have no idea what happened prior to this event, when or where it’s taking place. A great start!! The book starts as it means to go on and throws the reader straight into the action. A party is in full swing at a student house and a young girl, Keira, ends up dead seemingly falling from her bedroom window – however the reader knows that she was pushed. It would be easy to dismiss this as an accident considering the alcohol that’s being consumed however Alex doesn’t believe it’s that clear cut and is determined to find out what happened. Then things start happening to the other housemates….
This book is fantastic, the pace is incredible whereby the team are trying to follow up so many different inquiries and trying to understand if and how they are interlinked. The rapport that Alex and Chloe built in book 1 is still there, they are firm friends despite their age and personality differences. I thoroughly enjoyed being back in their company again!
Alongside the investigation, Victoria Jenkins also shares with the reader the personal side of Alex whereby her mother is in end-of-life care. The balance between Alex the DI and Alex the grieving daughter are brilliantly crafted by the author – showing how Alex continues to carry on with work as an escape from her mother’s condition and because of her passion and drive in getting justice for Keira.
This book is truly a difficult one to put down once you’ve started reading it, a fabulously complex investigation with twists, turns and the occasional red-herring!
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 the series will be published in late 2017.