Happy publication day to Jane Isaac for her new book After He’s Gone. This is a new series for Jane featuring Family Liaison Officer DC Beth Chamberlain. But before I tell you my thoughts, here’s the blurb.
A refreshing female protagonist with guts and a heart…I was gripped.’- Ruth Dugdall
‘The safety catch on the Glock snapped as it was released. Her stomach curdled as she watched the face of death stretch and curve. Listened to the words drip from his mouth, ‘Right. Let’s begin, shall we?’
You think you know him. Until he’s dead. When Cameron Swift is gunned down outside his family home, DC Beth Chamberlain is appointed Family Liaison Officer: a dual role that requires her to support the family, and also investigate them. As the case unfolds and the body count climbs, Beth discovers that nothing is quite as it appears and everyone, it seems, has secrets. Even the dead…
I’ve had the privilege of meeting Jane Isaac quite a few times now and I can honestly say, she’s one of the loveliest Crime writers (I mean, they’re all lovely) that I’ve met. She’s kind, friendly and very encouraging to wannabe writers like myself. But now that I’ve read the Prologue for After He’s Gone, I’m wondering if I got Jane all wrong. It’s one of the scariest and gripping prologues I’ve ever read. The wonderful phrase from the blurb above is from the prologue – ‘Her stomach curdled as she watched the face of death stretch and curve’ – stunning.
Jane has written two other police procedural series – DCI Helen Lavery and DI Will Jackman. I enjoyed both of those, especially DI Jackman. Has Jane managed to produce another great fictional cop? In a nutshell, yes. I loved DC Beth Chamberlain. She’s new to being a FLO and clearly has a lot to learn still. She’s got plenty of enthusiasm and throws herself into her work – quite literally on several occasions. She has an interesting back story with her sister and niece and then there’s her relationship with DS Nick Geary that she needs to keep quiet. Lots to build on in the future.
As well as seeing the story from Beth’s viewpoint, there are two other women who are connected to the murder victim – Monika and Sara. The story twists between the three women as secrets are revealed.
As I said, I’ve always enjoyed Jane Isaac’s novels but this one is a little bit different somehow. I’m still trying to put my finger on it but it feels as though Jane has stepped up a gear with this book. Maybe it’s because Beth is a DC and they tend to see more of the action and less of budget spreadsheets than a DI or a DCI. I do hope that Jane has more stories for Beth (and also for Will Jackman – perhaps they could meet?). A fantastic start to a new series.
You can buy After He’s Gone here.
About the author
Jane Isaac is married to a serving detective (very helpful for research!). They live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane’s debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.’
The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as ‘Thriller of the Month – April 2014’ by E-thriller.com and winner of ‘Noveltunity book club selection – May 2014′.
Jane’ s sixth novel, After He’s Gone, features Family Liaison Officer, DC Beth Chamberlain and will be released in June 2018. The second Beth Chamberlain novel will follow later in 2018.
Jane loves to hear from readers and writers. You can reach her via her website at http://www.janeisaac.co.uk