The Safe Word

the safe word

The Safe Word
by Karen Long

There are rules that every player of every game must abide by, no matter how dangerous the sport.

Toronto has become the backdrop to a macabre set of artistic installations: women kidnapped, tortured and horrifically displayed by a killer with a vision.

Only someone capable of understanding the killer’s creative desire will be able to stop the murders and D I Eleanor Raven is uniquely qualified. Driven by a complex personality she pursues only the facts, only the things she can see, but never casts a judgement.

But she also has a dark and dangerous secret – one that will threaten her very survival.

The Safe Word is Karen Long’s debut novel and what a cracker it is. There is a serial killer who is killing women and leaving their bodies wrapped in plastic and on display D.I. Eleanor Raven and her team are tasked with bringing the killer to justice.

D.I.Eleanor raven is no ordinary detective, she announces herself at the start of this book in spectacular
fashion. I can’t think of another detective that has made their presence felt quite as strongly in the first chapter, but I live to be corrected. She has a secret and it’s a secret that she really wants to keep from her colleagues, but the killer’s modus operandi is a little too close for comfort.

I have to say that I really didn’t like Eleanor raven, but that’s not a criticism. I always think an author is doing his or her job well if I have strong feelings either way about a character. The supporting cast are wonderful with Laurence Whitefoot, Raven’s new partner, stealing the show for me.

If I have a small gripe, it is that I didn’t get much sense of place and I was confused with an accent which was coming through to me as English (the dropped Hs). I had to check where the novel was set.

Reading this book you really wouldn’t know it is a debut novel. It has a great plot and moves along at a fast pace with lots of twists and turns. The denouement was brilliant and very cleverly handled. I loved how the book finished.

I am looking forward to karen Long’s next book in the series which is already on my tbr pile.


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