Friday 20 October 2023

BLOG TOUR: The Puppet Maker (Detective Alana Mack Book 1) - Jenny O'Brien

The scrap of paper looked as if it had been torn from a diary. The words written in faint pencil. The letters rounded, almost childlike: Please look after her. Her life and mine depend on you not trying to find me. 
When Detective Alana Mack arrives at Clonabee police station, in a small Irish seaside town on the outskirts of Dublin, she doesn't expect to find a distressed two-year-old girl sobbing on the floor. Abandoned in a local supermarket, the child tells them her name is Casey. All Alana and her team have to go on is a crumpled note begging for someone to look after her little girl. This mother doesn't want to be found. 
Still recovering from a terrible accident that has left Alana navigating a new life as a wheelchair user, Alana finds herself suddenly responsible for Casey while trying to track down the missing mother and solve another missing person's case… a retired newsagent who has seemingly vanished from his home.
Forced to ask her ex-husband and child psychiatrist Colm for help, through Forensic Art Therapy, Alana discovers that whatever darkness lies behind the black windows in Casey's crayon drawing, the little girl was terrified of the house she lived in. 
Then a bag of human remains is found in a bin, and a chilling link is made – the DNA matches Casey's. 
Alana and her team must find the body and make the connection with the missing newsagent fast if she is to prevent another life from being taken. But with someone in her department leaking confidential details of the investigation to the media, can Alana set aside her emotional involvement in this case and find Casey’s mother and the killer before it's too late? 
Heart-pounding and totally addictive, The Puppet Maker is the first in the Detective Alana Mack series that will have fans of Ann Cleeves, Angela Marsons and LJ Ross racing through the pages late into the night. 

What did I think?

Oh this book chilled me to the bone and I absolutely loved it.  The Puppet Maker is the first book in an exciting new police procedural series starring Detective Alana Mack and I can't wait to read more so I hope Jenny O'Brien is a fast writer.

Alana knows all about prejudice in the workplace as her boss is a blatant misogynist and not only is Alana female, she's also disabled.  Alana may have steel wheels but she also has a rod of steel for a backbone and she is a strong and inspirational team leader.  So you don't want to be in the shoes of the mole in Alana's team when she finds out who is leaking information to the press.

There's a lot going on in the story to keep the reader hooked and the police busy.  There's the heartbreaking story of a little girl abandoned in a supermarket, a gruesome discovery in a bin and a missing person.  All seemingly unrelated...or are they?

Just thinking about the 'puppet maker' makes my skin crawl but I also felt really sad as it just shows how things that happen in your childhood can leave very deep scars.  I liked the way that Jenny O'Brien showed different sides of the perpetrator, almost humanising them without excusing their heinous crimes.

The Puppet Maker is a chilling, heartbreaking and very gripping police procedural novel with characters that I can't wait to meet again.  This may be my first Jenny O'Brien book but it certainly won't be my last.   Very highly recommended.

I received a digital ARC to read and review for the blog tour and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from:
Amazon US

About the author:
Born in Dublin, Jenny O'Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers. 

In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You'll be pleased to note she won't be entering Bake-Off. She's also an all-year-round sea swimmer.

Jenny is represented by Nicola Barr of The Bent Agency and published by Storm Publishing and HQ Digital (Harper Collins).

Social Media Links:
Twitter: @ScribblerJB
Instagram: @scribblerjb 

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