This month’s Editor’s Pick is A BAD, BAD THING by Elena Forbes.
We are delighted to welcome acclaimed psychological thriller writer Elena Forbes to the Severn House list with A BAD, BAD THING, the first in a brand-new mystery series featuring former police officer Eve West, who is drawn into a dark and complex case when she’s asked to investigate a miscarriage of justice.
As the novel opens, Eve is suspended from duty after a police operation goes catastrophically wrong. Receiving help from an unexpected quarter – a criminal she helped put away many years before – Eve feels she has no choice but to agree to his request to investigate a possible miscarriage of justice in return. But why is a hardened criminal like John Duran so keen to help a fellow-inmate convicted of the murder of a stable-girl? And why has he chosen Eve to look into the case?
Teaming up with crusading journalist Dan Cooper, Eve begins to uncover disturbing flaws in the original police investigation. As her enquiries progress, it becomes clear that Eve has been keeping secrets of her own – and when those secrets begin to be dragged to the surface, she comes to realize that she has been plunged into a case more complex and sinister than she ever imagined.
Just some of the many elements that make A BAD, BAD THING an exceptionally strong whodunit are, not least, the heroine herself: Eve is smart and strong, but not invincible, and this makes her very accessible and her mysterious backstory ever more intriguing. Then there’s the multi-layered plot, which contains more than enough unexpected twists and turns to keep even the most seasoned mystery reader glued to the page: on one level there’s the intriguing background of Eve herself; on another, there’s the fact that she may well have been set up in the shocking opening episode – and it’s clear that the criminal John Duran has some strange knowledge of how and why; while on the third level there’s the mystery surrounding the stable-girl’s murder; and the questionable innocence of her alleged killer, who has been serving time ever since. There are some fabulous twists at the end, when all the mysteries begin to unravel and tie together in many unexpected ways.
And if that’s not enough to pique a reader’s curiosity, I don’t know what is!
I would highly recommend A BAD, BAD THING to fans of complex psychological thrillers such as those of Clare Mackintosh, Tana French and M J Arlidge.
A BAD, BAD THING is available 31 August in the UK and 1 December in the US. Read more here.