“KISS THE GIRLS
A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals – the latest victim of ‘The Lover’. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out.
AND MAKE THEM DIE…
As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in their own hands – to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group.
As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they’re being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim – Clementine – firmly in his sights.”
I am thrilled to welcome you to damppebbles today and to my stop on the My Little Eye blog tour which I share with one of my favourite book blogs, Bibliophile Book Club. My Little Eye is the first book in the Starke and Bell series written by Stephanie Marland. Sshhh, don’t tell anyone but Stephanie Marland is actually a pen name for another favourite of mine (that’s author AND blogger), Steph Broadribb! Steph writes the breathtakingly good Lori Anderson series, published by Orenda Books. Writing as Stephanie Marland her latest series, featuring Clementine Starke and Dominic Bell, is published by the fabulous folk at Trapeze Books. Of all the books in all the world, this one was pretty much at the top of my MUST READ list.
I’ve been SO excited about getting around to reading My Little Eye, and I really enjoyed it. Knowing that this author (in her other guise) writes one of my very favourite crime series, I was looking forward to seeing how she would write these new characters, the more ‘local’ setting (for us Brits!) and exactly how different it would be to her very distinct Lori Anderson series. And it was just that; very very different. Great different. You can’t really compare the two but they’re both as equally marvellous as each other.
We meet Clementine Starke, a PhD student in psychology, specifically human-computer interaction. Yeah, I scratched my head at that too. Basically, Clementine likes to study how we present ourselves online; the lies we tell, the *cough* truths we omit. The reader soon discovers that Clementine Starke has other dark secrets as well which Marland manages to adeptly tease us with as the story progresses. Starke is part of a London-based forum of true crime addicts. True crime addicts who believe the police are incompetent, corrupt and generally inept. True crime addicts who are out to solve a murder, to beat the police in cracking the case. And oh boy, what a case they have chosen to crack! The Lover is London’s latest serial killer. When a second victim is found, Starke’s group closes rank and start their own investigation. DI Dominic Bell is the lead detective tasked with apprehending The Lover. Bell is struggling with his own demons though, including an Internal Affairs investigation into his last case. Can Bell piece the clues together before it’s too late and The Lover takes another victim? How far will Starke go before she realises she’s in too deep…?
I absolutely loved Starke and I loved Bell. I’m fascinated to see where Marland is going to take the second book as, although it sounds from the blurb like Bell and Starke are a team, they really aren’t and only come to meet towards the end of the book. He is a senior police officer, she is a PhD student who prefers to spend time inside her flat in her own company.
I did see where the plot was heading but I didn’t really care as I was enjoying the book so much. I love a serial killer thriller (more than any other crime thriller, really) and it was great to have what felt like a modern-day amateur sleuth take on the big guys, the serial killers. The addition of a competent but distracted detective worked an absolute treat for me and I’m really excited to read the next instalment in this series for that reason.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. It’s a twisty, modern day take on a serial killer thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed. Fast-paced and addictive, I’m left wanting more. They’re an unlikely duo but oh my gosh, they work. I just hope they don’t do something daft like fall in love…*shudder*
And for the record, Radiohead aren’t ‘old’.
Four and a half stars out of five.
I chose to read and review an ARC of My Little Eye. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
My Little Eye by Stephanie Marland was published in the UK by Trapeze Books | Orion Publishing on 5th April 2018 and is available in paperback, eBook and audio formats (please note, the following Amazon and Waterstones links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Waterstones | Goodreads |
Stephanie Marland has worked in the University sector for over ten years and published research on how people interact and learn together in virtual environments online. She’s an alumni of the MA in Creative Writing (Crime Fiction) at City University London, and an avid reader of all things crime fiction, blogging about books at http://www.crimethrillergirl.com. Steph also writes the Lori Anderson action thriller series (as Steph Broadribb) for Orenda Books, the first book Deep Down Dead is out now.