Last Seen by Joy Kluver

I’m so pleased to be part of the tour today for this fabulous book. Thanks so much to Bookouture for the copy of the book and invitation to be part of the tour.

PUBLICATION DAY: March 26th 2021


‘A little girl is missing from under her mother’s nose. She’ll be scared and vulnerable – if she’s still alive. But no one is helping us search. No one wants to give us information. No one even seems surprised. What’s going on?’

Detective Bernadette Noel came to this quiet rural corner of south-west England from London to lie low after a high-profile prosecution led to death threats against her family. But she has barely settled in when the call comes. A woman’s voice, shrill with terror and thick with tears: ‘Help – it’s my daughter, Molly – I only had my back turned for a minute… She’s gone!’

A child abduction is about as far from lying low as it gets, and her boss wants to assign a different detective. But there’s no way Bernie’s not taking the case – she can’t miss this chance to prove herself.

Five-year-old Molly Reynolds has been snatched from the playground in the village where she lives. Normally in cases like this the community is an asset – eager to help search and full of local knowledge. But although Molly’s mother Jessica is in anguish, the other villagers don’t seem to want to know.

As details emerge, Bernie discovers a possible link to a shocking crime that has never been solved, and which the locals have never forgotten. But what exactly is the connection to Molly’s abduction? Cracking a cold case is the only way to find out – and meanwhile time is running out for Molly.

A dark and compelling crime thriller that will have you reading late into the night. If you like Val McDermid, D.S. Butler or Angela Marsons, you’ll love Joy Kluver.

My Review:

When I started to read this book I wondered how I’d never read any of Joy Kluver’s books before, because I was absolutely addicted from the start. I was so surprised to discover that this is a debut novel. It is a totally superb debut.

I liked Bernie straight away, she’s very real and easy to relate to. It’s her first major case as a DI, and she’s very honest about her lack of experience in the role, and she does make some mistakes along the way. Police procedurals/crime novels are a genre that I’ve only recently started to get into, and I think this one is so well crafted. The case is compelling and dramatic, the tension and suspense are pitched perfectly, but the intriguing characters and the human side to the story are what makes this book the complete package.

I was so drawn into this book, and it had me reading late into the night. I loved the way most of the story is told from Bernie’s perspective but it’s interspersed with little snippets of what is going in the mind of the abductor, it provides just enough little clues to keep you guessing, and adds real depth and darkness into the plot. I didn’t guess who the perpetrator was at all, there are quite a few twists and turns along the way, along with some heart-pounding drama.

I really can’t wait to meet Bernie Noel again, this will be a new favourite series for me. Really can’t recommend it highly enough, you will be totally engrossed in it.

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Author Bio:

Joy Kluver has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. More recently she’s been escaping the madness of motherhood by turning her hand to crime novels. A book blogger, she’s also part of the First Monday Crime team and if you’ve been to any of their events it’s likely you’ve eaten one of her cookies. She also organises author talks for her local library. Joy lives in SW London with her husband and three children. ‘Last Seen’ is her debut novel and the first book in the DI Bernadette Noel series.

Joy is represented by Anne Williams at the Kate Horden Literary Agency.

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