Briefly Maiden – Jacqueline Chadwick
As the chemistry between Ali and Cuzzocrea intensifies so does the hunt for a twisted killer as they are tasked with solving a series of violent murders with links to a sinister paedophile ring in the idyllic island city of Cedar River.
In the midst of the chaos, Ali is pulled by her desire to find and save the children at the heart of the case but she is thwarted by an evil so cunning and powerful that it threatens to become the nemesis she never imagined possible: one that could bring her to her knees.
Thank you to Chris at Fahrenheit Press for the opportunity to review Briefly Maiden
In Scotland there was a generation (my generation) who grew up in awe of a Scottish chap called Dalglish – he had the nickname “King”.
There are many generations of crime fiction readers who hold a policeman called Dalglish in the highest regard.
Time for a new generation of readers to embrace a “Dalglish” – Ali Dalglish.
Jacqueline Chadwick’s feisty (and very Scottish) protagonist has been the most welcome new addition to my reading in 2017. Following a brilliant debut, in In The Still, Ali Dalglish returns in the equally brilliant Briefly Maiden.
We catch up with Ali several months after the events of In The Still. She is working alongside Inspector Rey Cuzzocre for the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Incident Squad. A brutal murder is the focus of their current investigation. The victim appears to have been linked to a paedophile ring, his body shows multiple stab wounds and the killer has removed part of his victim’s body (leaving the police in no doubt there is a sexual motive behind his death).
Readers get to follow the killer. We see more victims being identified and targeted and we learn how other members of the paedophile ring will start to take steps to protect themselves.
Ali and her colleagues will have their work cut out. Adopting unorthodox investigative procedures may be their only hope.
The Major Incident Squad play a key role in Briefly Maiden. While Ali was an outsider when we first encountered her in In The Still, she is now part of a well established team (although Ali is still not fully integrated into the mix). She is many miles away from her native Scotland and Ali stands out among her colleagues – not just because of her accent and background, but her no nonsense approach to life causes ructions between her and her colleagues. There is also the small matter of the building sexual tension between Ali and Cuzzocrea. The scenes where Ali and colleagues are butting heads with each other or are pushing ahead with the investigation were particularly enjoyable.
Not for the faint of heart. The investigation will consider the worst aspects of humanity – Jacqueline Chadwick does not shield the reader from the crimes committed or the retribution the killer seeks to dole out. What we do get to enjoy is a slick crime thriller which twists and turns throughout and a story which keeps the reader hooked,
But nothing will prepare you for the finale.
Those last few chapters are exactly why I keep reading and blogging. When I picked my jaw off the floor I immediately wanted to tell my friends they had to read Briefly Maiden. I want others to experience that rush from reading a brilliantly told story. I want to talk to them about how great Ali is and how she can steal every scene she is in. I want to see them engrossed (as I was) in a book which was both powerful and compelling.
Briefly Maiden – outstanding. I’ve not enjoyed any book as much as this for a long, long time.
Briefly Maiden is published by Fahrenheit Press and is available in paperback and digital format here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Briefly-Maiden-Ali-Dalglish-Book-ebook/dp/B0771PVW8K/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1511987257&sr=1-1&keywords=briefly+maiden