Skip to main content

More titles to consider

Shopping Cart

You're getting the VIP treatment!

Item(s) unavailable for purchase
Please review your cart. You can remove the unavailable item(s) now or we'll automatically remove it at Checkout.
itemsitem
itemsitem
Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
5 Stars
3 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
5 reviews have 4 stars
3 Stars
0 reviews have 3 stars
2 Stars
0 reviews have 2 stars
1 Star
0 reviews have 1 stars

Share your thoughts

You've already shared your review for this item. Thanks!

We are currently reviewing your submission. Thanks!

Complete your review

All Book Reviews

  • Good mystery but gaps in backstory

    Took awhile to come together & questions remain🤔 3.5-4🌟stars I am a big fan of murder mysteries set in the British Isles and this one takes place in the Thames Valley near Oxford and Windsor. The murder mystery and the subplots involving former lover Michael and Jess's search for teen Angelica were good and kept me guessing but I had some issues with the structure of this story and what it left out. This is the first book in a new series but it reads like a follow-on book with much of the backstory provided in incomplete dribs and drabs. I was initially confused but after waiting for explanations that never surfaced (like why and how Michael was injured, why Michael and Jess broke up and what case they were involved in the previous year with DI Leo George), I was miffed by the little hints and allusions that never answered my questions about their joint history. Add to that that main character Jess was borderline likable for me. She's into foolish, risky behavior. She's got a string of men interested in her and seems quite content not having to choose. In fact, a good part of the story focuses on her love life rather than the cases. As for her investigative abilities, it seems mostly a case of luck rather than real work or intuition. And, in general, the story does not spend much time on the details of the police investigation. Now that I am familiar with Jess and the main people in her life, especially Michael and Leo, I do want to read the next story in the series. But I feel Black River leaves plenty of holes in their recent past that still need to be filled. Thanks to publishers Harper Collins/One More Chapter and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of the book; this is my voluntary and honest review.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Wonderful New Series

    Black River by Joss Sterling is a light, hard-boiled mystery with lots of action and suspense as well as a fun dash of humor that all come together into an enjoyable, fast-paced read. What I Loved Most of all, I adored the primary characters. Jessica Bridges is a fledgling PI who does temp work on the side. When we meet her, she is staying with a woman and her two children somewhat illegally. She has not declared her residence, insisting that Cory is a friend (even though they did not start the arrangement that way). I'm not familiar with the English law that makes this an issue, but it is referred to multiple times. She describes herself as recklessly impulsive, and this is where the fun begins. She has a penchant for getting herself into laugh out loud situations that are delightfully fun to read while building the suspense that makes the book hard to put down. Her two sidekicks are DCI Leo George and psychologist Michael Harrison. They together lead the official investigation while helping Jess solve her case, which gets mixed into it. Leo is a straight-laced cop who does everything by the book and is highly respected within the police community. He loves gardening and has named a "pet" carp who lives in a small pond in his garden, Goldemort, showing us a lighter, funnier side to this policeman. He is an excellent foil for Jess, who is his opposite in so many ways. Michael Harrison is a psychology professor at a local college and was Jess's live-in boyfriend for five years. They have long since parted ways but remain good friends. Michael gives the reader insight into the inner workings of many characters' minds throughout the story. All three perspectives work so well together to create an account that is fast-paced, full of action and suspense, and brings the reader a good dose of fun to offset the wickedness and evil that is being investigated. I loved that the point of view used with Jess's chapters are in first-person narration while Leo's and Michael's are in third person limited narration. I've seen this technique used once before, and I love how it provides multiple perspectives while avoiding the confusion that often comes with multiple narrators. Three mysteries are going on at one time, and I loved how that keeps the pace speeding along. The puzzles are loosely connected but still managed to stay very distinct as the story progressed, never once creating the confusion that can come when you have potentially too much of a good thing going on in a story. To Read or Not to Read This incredible new series for people who enjoy a lighter hard-boiled mystery will grab on to and never look back.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Welcome to your new favorite character!

    Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter for this advanced reader's copy of Black River by Joss Stirling. What a great start to what I hope is a long series of books about my new favorite private eye/temp worker, Jess Bridges. This is the first book in the series, giving you an introduction to Jess and the major players in her life and love. Among them are Drew (a maybe ex), Cory (don't call her a landlord), and Michael (the one that let Jess get away). There are other characters as well but these are the three that I hope pop up again in future books. In this installment Jess finds a dead body while illegally skinnydipping, beginning a series of scary encounters that could be happenstance or something more sinister. Along the way Jess meets a wild swimming enthusiast and a police inspector who is all business. Or is he? That is one of the many tantalizing questions that you will get to ask yourself while you read this book. For fans of thrillers, mystery, and suspense novels, this one is right up your alley!

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Black River - An interesting new crime series

    In University Park, Oxford, a book club of mum’s drinking wine, catching up with each other and pulling to pieces a book by Jago Jackson called Wild Swim, were sitting. The book included some lovely spots for swimming and had Parson’s Pleasure, where they were. Jess decided she was going for a swim, naked. The others left, so it was her and Cory. Jess entered the icy water and swam out, it was invigorating. She saw Cory chasing a dog that had stolen her clothes. Jess got out on the other riverbank where there was a punt tied up. She was looking for something to cover herself with but found a dead body instead! Then, as the bushes rustled, a man appeared, coming her way. She screamed, loudly. The police arrived and started investigating. Her saviour was Jago Jackson and the dead man was Kenneth Kingston, bursar at Linton College. SOCO were going over the punt and boathouse. DI Leo George was questioning Jess Bridges. She was working for a temping agency but, also, trying to build up her personal investigation business as well. Ruby Lonsdale was out on her training run but she was running late. She’d arranged to meet her boyfriend, Danny, at the Perch. When she reached it, Danny wasn’t there. She checked Find Friends, he was close but not in sight. She rang him and could hear a vibration close by. She found his phone on the verge. A man said he may have seen a jogger further down the road, Ruby sets off. DI George was called to the scene after Ruby and Danny had been found by a dog walker. Ruby was naked and Danny was fully clothed but had been slung in the water. The killer had hit them on the head. What were his motives for killing the victims? How did he pick his targets? Why the change to the method of killing? Was Jess Bridges or Jago Jackson linked to this? I really enjoyed reading this book which is the start of a new series by Joss Stirling. Jess Bridges seems a very lively character and seems to have a lot to offer along with DI Leo George. I found it quite easy to read and it’s set in Oxford so it has a good setting.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Very Good

    Black River is the first instalment in Joss Stirling's new series set in Oxford featuring thirty-one-year old PI Jess Bridges. I always love to read any crime series from the first book and this one has definitely started with a bang. When Jess decides to go wild swimming in the Thames she gets herself into a pickle. Her clothes are stolen by a dog and then she comes across the dead body of an Oxford academic - Dr Kenneth Kingston. Following this, she is grilled by the detective in charge of the investigation, DI Leo George, and it's obvious that Dr Kingston's death wasn't an accident. This was an absorbing, witty and riveting read with a plot that gripped me. The pacing was swift even as characters were introduced, and I was racing along to find out what would be occurring next. Joss Stirling has rewarded the reader with her chaotic, fun and reckless main character and I was rooting for Jess all the way. An action-packed, rousing and atmospheric story with a surprising, clever ending, I can't wait to see what treats will be in store when book two, White Horse is released. I'm very much looking forward to seeing Jess evolve and mature. Very highly recommended. Thanks to NetGalley, One More Chapter and the author, Joss Stirling for the complimentary advanced copy. This is my honest and totally voluntary review.

    Thanks for your feedback!

    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices:

  • DESKTOP
  • eREADERS
  • IOS
  • ANDROID
  • TABLETS