One Lost Soul by JM Dalgleish

One Lost Soul by JM Dalgleish
Publisher: Hamilton Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

The darkest secrets often hide in plain sight…

When a body is found on a lonely cliff top path, the angelic face of a murdered teenager lies facing the rising sun. Strangled by the hands of an unknown killer, it falls to DI Tom Janssen and his fledgling team to find out how she came to be there. Destined for a career in medicine, one to rival that of her parents, Holly Bettany’s future was as bright as it had been privileged. Seemingly, all that could threaten this promising teenager’s life was Holly herself.

In an idyllic coastal setting, Janssen must unpick the layers of deceit within a close-knit community that threaten to reveal scandal at every turn. Holly had a secret… and she knew the secrets of others…

Who was prepared to kill in order to keep them hidden? What happens if another comes to know what she did? One thing is certain… a brutal killer has no boundaries…

After some time – and experience – in the big city, DI Tom Janssen returned home to Norfolk and has mostly settled into a comfortable and happy routine. While the local police station is extremely small – only a few officers – there is very little crime, and Tom feels capable with his novice team in handling it. But when a local teenage girl is mysteriously murdered Tom willingly accepts the temporary help of a nearby DCI and he’s relieved to find they can both work together to solve this case – particularly as it grows more complicated the more they uncover.

This is the first book in a series around the small township of Norfolk and DI Tom Janssen and I was pleased that I enjoyed it. In many respects this feels and read to me like a fairly regular British style of police mystery book but I thought the authors tone and style was good. I also enjoyed the small number of main characters. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t learn a lot about Tom’s back-story, and while I was pleased the book wasn’t filled with flashbacks I admit it would have been nice to learn more about Tom’s past and how he came to be the competent, knowledgeable detective he currently is. I admit though that there’s plenty of time in future books for this to be expanded upon, but after finishing the book I realized there was still a lot of Tom’s character I didn’t know or understand fully.

That said, the mystery aspect to this book was excellent. I found it well plotted and with a number of good twists. A few of them I guessed shortly before they were revealed but some of them took me delightfully by surprise. I again feel this was a good blend of stuff readers should be able to see coming and still with a few interesting twists and surprises to enjoy. I feel the cast of secondary characters was also quite strong and I hope most if not all of them make appearances in coming books. I’ll be particularly interested in both Eric’s progress as an officer and – hopefully with more experience – him gaining more confidence in his police work.

For an interesting and well written British style of police procedural I enjoyed this first story in the “Hidden Norfolk” series. I’m definitely interested in reading the next book and hope to learn more both about the main characters and small town.


  1. I loved One Lost Soul and could not put it down, reading into the early hours.
    What a twist was the ending – I would never have guessed. Now got Bury
    Your Past and really looking forward to it. Thank you J M Dalgleish!

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