'This book is AMAZING!!!' Goodreads
'Gripping, what a concept and a thoroughly chilling read! The way the characters evolve and draw you in is spellbinding. Exploring the complexities of life on social media. An epic thriller that's both current and terrifying! 5*' Amazon Reviewer
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Perfect for fans of Cara Hunter's Close to Home, Laura Marshall's Friend Request and thrillers by Clare Mackintosh and Robert Bryndza. The thriller with twists you'll never see coming!
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Can a group of true crime addicts take on the police to catch a serial killer?
A young woman is found dead in her bedroom surrounded by rose petals - the latest victim of 'The Lover'. Struggling under the weight of an internal investigation, DI Dominic Bell is no closer to discovering the identity of the killer and time is running out.
As the murders escalate, Clementine Starke joins an online true crime group determined to take justice in to their own hands - to catch the killer before the police. Hiding a dark secret, she takes greater risks to find new evidence and infiltrate the group.
As Starke and Bell get closer to cracking the case neither of them realise they're being watched. The killer is closer to them than they think, and he has his next victim - Clementine - firmly in his sights.
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What readers are saying about My Little Eye:
'My Little Eye is a bang on psychological thriller of the most addictive kind.' Goodreads
'Beautifully paced writing that had me speeding through every chapter at a rate of knots. Easily one of my favourite reads this year so far.' Goodreads
Would I recommend this book? Oh YES! Yes! Yes! You better believe I would! My Little Eye had a Luther-esque feel to it but it's unique, risky, dark and addictive story really got under my skin. Can't wait for the next in this series!' Amazon Reviewer
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'My Little Eye is an enthralling, intriguing and twisty tale for all of us armchair detectives who think we know it all.' Liz Nugent, author of Lying In Wait and Unravelling Oliver
'A masterclass in pacing & such an original take on the serial killer thriller.' - Eva Dolan, author of This Is How It Ends
A Police Procedural (with a twist!)
This book is a strong start to a new police procedural series with a twist by Stephanie Marland, who has also published as Stephanie Broadribb. I did a bit of research into this book and it appears to be the beginning of a new series about Stark and Bell, who are our two narrators and lead characters. When I found out that this may be the first in a series, I felt that it was much easier for me to place this book in context of what to expect, and where some stories were left with threads hanging (presumably to set those up for the next installment).
This book had some outstanding twists and some polarizing characters—all of which made for an interesting read! I thought Stephanie did a particularly good job with keeping the reader guessing with the way the plot unfolded. It had many of the distractions that are some common in real police investigations—carry over from previous cases, personal life issues that impact our emotions day-to-day. All together, the story felt authentic, which is something not all procedural series are able to achieve!
The book follows the separate but parallel stories of Clementine Stark—a PhD student studying the psychology of online interactions—and Dominic Bell—a detective coming off of a bad case and dealing with the fallout. Both are following the murders of young women in London by a serial murderer known in the press as The Lover. Dominic is the detective assigned to the case, but Dominic also is a man with his own demons.
Meanwhile, Clementine is a virtual recluse, due to a dark past, and has been working on her PhD from the safety of her own home. Clementine is convinced that she can prove her thesis advisor wrong. She believes that in modern day, with all of the media attention and information available to the public, armchair detectives working together have the capability to solve a crime as fast or faster than the police. But to prove her theory right, Clementine will need to put herself out there in a way she hasn’t for 12 years. Can she be brave enough as a person to catch a serial murderer?
As Dominic finds his focus hindered by outside forces, Clementine teams up with a group of online true crime fanatics to track down The Lover once and for all. But if Clementine and her group really find the murderer first, what will the consequences be? And will Dominic be ok with an outside investigation team?
This was a great start to this series, and there is a compelling case for two characters as different as Clementine Stark and Dominic Bell to balance one another out. I must admit that in the first third of this book I actually wondered if this was the second in a series because the details of the Atlantis investigation and Clementine’s past were mysterious but frequently alluded to. I encourage readers to be comfortable with this ambiguity, because the context of these events in important to the story of the two characters, and the details will be revealed in time by Marland.
I think many readers who are a fan of media and communications, online interactions, and true crime will be excited about this series. Marland does a fantastic job of weaving in online communication and developing characters over text-based medium that feel extremely true to the mystery of online personas. There are tidbits you can pick up, but there is so much that is hard to interpret when you only communicate over text. The interactions among the true crime group members were extremely compelling!
I have a group of students interested in the psychology of communications and a group of forensic students this summer. I’d be curious whether a cross-cohort discussion could be fascinating, and play off of the differences in Dominic and Clementine in the book. It might be an interesting way to teach students about the benefits of cross-disciplinary thinking, and I think my adult readers would enjoy this book.
All in all, this is a strong series debut. I did feel at times that Dominic’s past case took center stage over Clementine and her story, but I think that knowing this is a series helps—I expect Clementine to get more central as the series progresses, and I do feel like I connected a bit more with her character and story, personally.
Great work to Stephanie Marland, and I look forward to seeing this series develop in the future!
Thanks to NetGalley, Stephanie Marland (Broadribb), and Trapeze through Orion Publishing Group for a chance to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for a fair, honest review.