Monday, 10 September 2018

Blog Tour || The Body on the Shore by Nick Louth

If you know me at all, you'll know I love a good crime book. I absolutely love losing myself in a police procedural, so I am delighted to be reviewing The Body on the Shore by Nick Louth today.


A killer is at work in the supposedly-safe commuter belt. DCI Gillard needs answers, fast...

Promising architect Peter Young is shot dead at his desk. DCI Craig Gillard is quickly on the scene, looking at what appears to be a brutal and highly professional hit: two bullets, fired with ice-cold calm.

Gillard knows that the most crucial question in solving the crime is one word: Why? Two weeks later, on the Lincolnshire coast, another body is found on a windswept beach. In this case, there is no identity for the young man, just a curious brand burned into his neck...

As the mystery deepens Gillard is plunged into a case without answers, finding himself up against dark forces, people who believe in only two things: blood and a warped code of honour. This time lives are on the line, children's lives - and his own.

Written at breakneck pace with a jaw-dropping twist you won't see coming, the suspense-filled second DCI Gillard crime thriller is perfect for fans of Robert Bryndza, Patricia Gibney and Faith Martin.

About The Author

Nick Louth is a best-selling thriller writer, award-winning financial journalist and an investment commentator. A 1979 graduate of the London School of Economics, he went on to become a Reuters foreign correspondent in 1987. It was an experience at a medical conference in Amsterdam in 1992, while working for Reuters, that gave him the inspiration for Bite, which was self-published in 2007 and went on to become the UK No. 1 Kindle best-seller for several weeks in 2014 before being snapped up by Sphere. It has sold a third of a million copies, and been translated into six languages.

Freelance since 1998, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times, Investors Chronicle and Money Observer, and has published seven other books. Nick Louth is married and lives in Lincolnshire.

My Review

I have been involved with blog tours for about a year now, and my very first one was actually a review of the first DCI Gillard novel, The Body in the Marsh. I really enjoyed that first taste of Nick Louth's writing, so I was very excited to be asked to review the next in the series. 

The Body on the Shore starts with the murder of architect Peter Young, found at his desk having been shot through his office window. DCI Gillard is trying to figure out who is behind this professional-looking hit when he is contacted by Sophie Lund, a mother of two adopted children, who is being harassed in an increasingly bizarre campaign of incidents around her home. Then another body is found - this time on a Lincolnshire beach, with a brand burnt on his neck - the same symbol that has been found on the Lund's property. Shortly after, Sophie's children go missing, and DCI Gillard, convinced the cases are connected, finds himself up against powerful, violent forces, desperate to save the children's lives - and his own.

I mentioned in my review of The Body in the Marsh how much I enjoy Nick Louth's writing style. The dialogue is believable and realistic, while the storylines are cleverly introduced in a way that gets your brain ticking but doesn't have a hint of predictability. There is a definite complexity to the way Louth writes and leaves you slowly beginning to see the plot winding together. For this book though, I honestly did not see where it was going (and that's all I'll say for fear of spoilers!). For something so intricately written, it is joyously easy to read, and I found myself more engaged with this book than any other crime book I've read recently. 

Nick Louth also seems to pick his settings very wisely. The story begins in London but makes its way to Albania. Although I've never been there, it was perfectly described and felt very authentic. There was clearly some excellent research put into this book, which helped it retain its believability and uniqueness. The settings used definitely added some tension and atmosphere to the whole storyline, and I love when that is the case.

My one tiny complaint about this book is that there is occasionally some slightly weird dialogue. I totally understand that it's meant to represent the institution of the police and their not-entirely-PC ways of talking or thinking, but there was the use of a homophobic term, and the repeated use of the term 'jail bait' to talk about teenage girls which just felt really jarring with the rest of the book. Neither was really in keeping with the rest of the book so those things have really stuck with me, which is a shame as it probably isn't what the author intended.

Overall though, this is a dramatic, gripping novel that I really enjoyed reading. I found myself falling deeper into it with every page, becoming more and more engaged with the investigation, and the action doesn't let up. A highly satisfying (and unpredictable!) ending makes this one of the best crime books I've read so far this year.

Be sure to check out the other blogs hosting The Body on the Shore on this tour!

Huge thank you to Ellie at Canelo Publishing for providing me with this copy.

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