Fool Me Twice by JM Dalgliesh

Fool Me Twice by JM Dalgliesh
Publisher: Hamilton Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool Me Twice, shame on me…

When the body of a high-profile, semi-retired barrister is found brutally murdered at his Norfolk home, DI Tom Janssen and the team must work to uncover who killed him and why.

With a glittering career, spanning several decades representing the privileged and the wealthy, behind him the focus of the investigation inevitably turns toward cases and clients past and present, but was his death linked to his work or is there another, darker and far more sinister motive at play?

No matter how successful, privileged or elevated in society one person can be, one universal rule applies… we all bleed the same…

Set within the mysterious beauty of coastal Norfolk, this fast-paced British detective novel is a dark murder mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end when the final shocking twist is revealed.

DI Tom Janssen is called out to work a particularly brutal beating and murder of a little-known local barrister. With such a long career behind him and so few strong ties in the community it takes a while for Tom and his team to piece together what might have happened. But when another murder happens things become murkier, and the team can’t even be sure the two cases are linked until things finally begin to unwind.

I’ve been enjoying this series and while this book was a little slower in pace than I usually enjoy I have to admit I like that there was ample time spent with the various characters and allowing them to grow and flourish a little. This is not heavily action-based plot so readers looking for something fast paced or really thrilling might not find this satisfies them. That said I thought the plot was quite well thought out and well linked. I only put a few pieces of the puzzle together before it all started to unfurl in the last quarter of the book and while there were bits I did guess there was still plenty that caught me pleasantly by surprise.

I was especially pleased that Tom’s partner, Alice, and Alice’s young daughter played a strong – but not overwhelming – part in the story and I’m pleased they are both becoming more prominent in the series. I’m also keen to learn a bit more about Eric and his wife and young son – I feel there’s still plenty of growth and exploration that can happen with his character too.

Readers looking for a small-town type of coastal, British based mystery series should find this book really fits the bill. While it’s a little slow in paces the mystery moves well and is plot-heavy which I really enjoyed and even though this is well into the series I feel it can definitely be read as a standalone as the plot is quite independent and not linked to previous books. The team has a strong history, but they are all very well explained in my opinion, and I feel readers picking this up without having read any prior books should still thoroughly enjoy this story.

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