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    outstanding

    I discovered Beatrice Stubbs, accidentally as part of a collection, which meant I started reading #2 in the series. I enjoyed that so much I bought the box set and fed my completest compulsion by reading Behind Closed Doors, re-reading Raw Material. It’s stood up unusually well to what’s been a relatively recent re-read. I’m currently on #3 Tread Softly. My favourite thriller / procedural novel type has a strong female lead. One that is convincingly human and real, who isn’t the classic maverick detective, but works as a cog in a team, supporting her colleagues, just like in real life. Oh, and she needs to have some flaws. I need them to be written honestly, with interactions, opinions and emotions that echo people I know. As a bonus I’d like to find them entertaining enough to spend time with in person (it’s fiction; I can pretend she’d want to spend time with me). Beatrice has all this in spades. So, JJ Marsh can create the perfect (in her imperfections) character, but can she write plot? Or create a sense of place? Or suspense? Yes. This she can do, excellently. Beatrice’s partner works and lives in Devon. Rather close to me as it happens. I can vouch for the sense of place. Plot? Suspense? Well. The first novel has a serial killer that would appear to be acting as an assassin, and doing so with a sense of morality. Despite the majority of the killings having happened already, there is another in the planning. Spoiler alert – I wasn’t sure who the target was going to be and I stayed up later than I should have at night, and neglected my jobs in the morning to try and squeeze precious moments of extra reading in. Always a good sign. I wasn’t disappointed. I’ve already recommended this series to a couple of people, and I’m really pleased to know there are a few more novels already completed I can buy when I complete this set. In case you are interested - I give 5 stars to books I want to reread and often buy as gifts after reading AND want to buy the whole of the author's back catalogue, 4 to ones I immediately want to buy the entire back history and 3 to books I enjoy but don't quite meet those criteria. If something doesn't at least meet a 3 star, then I won't review it - I don't have the skill or the talent to write so who am I to criticise someone who does
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