26 Oct 2021


  One of several bloggers who over ten days will be participating in this Blog Tour (the full list of which can be found in the Schedule at the bottom of the post). Today {the 6th day of the Tour) its my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on ...

Jo Allen's Death In The Woods.

Genre:  Traditional British detective fiction

Publication Date: 19th August 2021

Standalone Sixth Book in the DCI Satterthwaite series

Estimated Page Count - 204

Order Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09BG9BY1N

A series of copycat suicides, prompted by a mysterious online blogger, causes DCI Jude Satterthwaite more problems than usual, intensifying his concerns about his troublesome younger brother, Mikey. Along with his partner, Ashleigh O’Halloran, and a local psychiatrist, Vanessa Wood, Jude struggles to find the identity of the malicious troll gaslighting young people to their deaths.

The investigation stirs grievances both old and new. What is the connection with the hippies camped near the Long Meg stone circle? Could these suicides have any connection with a decades old cold case? And, for Jude, the most crucial question of all.

Is it personal — and could Mikey be the final target? ... Synopsis

It was a day for dying. ... First Sentence, Chapter One

A prayer framed itself inside his head and went drifting off up to heaven, too late to save anything except, possibly her soul. ... Memorable Moment, Page 92

MY THOUGHTS ... Whilst featuring teen suicide, the author exploring our darkest fears/our fascination with death, there is nothing I personally consider gratuitous or overly graphically violent in the wording/descriptions.

That out of the way ...

Though the first book in the series that I have read, Death in The Woods is in fact the sixth book in the DCI Satterthwaite Mystery Series. Whilst a book that reads adequately as a standalone, would I have got more out of it had I read the previous books in the series? Perhaps but, then again, perhaps not; it might have been nice to have had more background information on some of the characters but, other than this, I don't see how my failing to have read any of the previous books had any impact of my enjoyment of this one.

The investigations into a series of copycat suicides  seemingly fuelled by a secretive blogger, interesting and topical, the possibility that someone could/would manipulate others into harming themselves/taking their life something that intrigues me, the wanting, actually, make that the needing to know how things panned out, if the culprit was caught before any more teenagers took their own lives something the kept me reading. This aside ...

A bit disappointed in this as a police procedure. Sure there was the atmospheric, faintly spooky forest with its stone circle but, for me, other than this, there just wasn't the sense of palpable doom that I would have expected. My main gripe however was that it seemed that the only sense of urgency in finding this blogger, this online troll lay not in DCI Satterthwaite {Jude}, his partner, Ashleigh O’Halloran or local psychiatrist, Vanessa Wood but rather in myself, the reader. 

No, for me the real enjoyment in this novel lay not so much in the plot but rather its far from one dimensional characters and the complexity of their relationships; 'new age hippies' Storm and Raven, and the prejudices and judgements their 'alternative' life-style bring about being the ones to really capture my imagination. 


Jo Allen was born in Wolverhampton and is a graduate of Edinburgh, Strathclyde and the Open University, with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in geography and Earth science. She's been writing for pleasure and publication for as long as she can remember. After a career in economic consultancy she took up writing and was first published under the name Jennifer Young, in genres of short stories, romance and romantic suspense. She wrote online articles on travel and on her favourite academic subject, Earth science. In 2017 she took the plunge and began writing the genre she most likes to read -- crime.

Jo lives in the English Lakes, where the DCI Satterthwaite series is set. In common with all her favourite characters, she loves football (she's a season ticket holder with her beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers) and cats.

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Kelly said...

I've not read any books in this series, but I know I've seen reviews of others at Yvonne's blog. I love the cover on this one. It's perfect for Halloween!

nightwingsraven said...

That one of the characters
could/would manipulate
others into harming themselves
or even taking their own life.
This disturbs and intrigues me
As well as what you said about
how you enjoyed the characters
of Storm and Raven piqued my
curiosity. And I will keep this
book in mind.
But thank you for your excellent

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews said...

As Kelly commented, I have read book #2 in this series, although I do have a couple of the other episodes on my Kindle patiently waiting their turn.

I actually voice pretty much the same thoughts about book #2 as you have about this, book #6, which just goes to show that, not only do 'great minds think alike', but that author Jo Allen is doing an excellent job of keeping the complex cast of characters true to themselves and their roles.

Online trolling and grooming are such hot topics right now, with all the social media companies being lambasted and held to account, that I don't know whether to feature it in a story just at this time, was a good idea or not, it might have been prudent to let the dust settle on the issue a little.

Will it stop me reading it though - definitely not - Thanks for sharing and have a good weekend :)

Nas said...

I like the cover. And thanks for sharing about this book. I will add it to my reading list.