Title: The Raven Girl by Stewart Giles
Date Published: 15th July 2020
Genre: Police Procedural
From # 1 bestselling author, Stewart Giles comes a new detective Harriet Taylor/Jason Smith thriller.
The lives of the people in the charming Cornish village of Trotterdown are about to be shattered.
When the body of a man is discovered on a beach near Trotterdown, detective Harriet Taylor gets to work. It soon becomes clear that this was no ordinary murder – the man was placed in a yoga position and his pockets were filled with seashells.
As more bodies pile up, suspicion falls on the residents of the old Beekeeper’s house. Who are these New-Age youngsters and is their ‘peace and love’ philosophy merely a front to cover up something sinister?
Harriet and her team are stumped. Everywhere they turn seems to lead nowhere, and they soon believe these gruesome murders will remain unsolved forever.
Then Detective Sergeant Jason Smith receives a phone call that will change his life forever. Harriet’s DI calls and gives him some terrible news.
‘Harriet Taylor is dead.’
Smith must now make a choice. Harriet’s DI has asked for his help in the investigation that resulted in her grisly death, but does Smith really want to get involved in something that really does not concern him?
Against his better judgement and ignoring his wife’s pleas, Smith heads off to Trotterdown to see if he can find out what it was that Harriet failed to see, but when he eventually does uncover what it was Harriet discovered that culminated in her death, his own life is put at risk. Could this be the case that finishes off Smith for good?
BOOKS BY STEWART GILES
DS JASON SMITH SERIES
Book 4-Occam’s Razor
Book 9 – Venom
Book 10 – Severed
Book 11 – Demons
Book 12 – Deadeye
DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1-The Beekeeper
Book 2-The Perfect Murder
Book 3-The Backpacker
Trotterdown a box set of DC Harriet Taylor books 1-3
DS JASON SMITH &DC HARRIET TAYLOR SERIES
Book 1 – The Enigma
Book 2 – Dropzone
Book 3 – The Raven Girl
Medusa (coming soon)
DI O’REILLY MYSTERIES
Blood on the Island
I want to thank Jill at Books n All promotions for inviting me on this tour and Stewart Giles for providing me with a copy of The Raven Girl in exchange for an honest review.
While this can be read as a standalone, I would suggest you read either the Harriet Taylor series (The Beekeeper especially) or the previous books in the Harriet Taylor/Jason Smith series first to get a better understanding of the characters.
The Raven Girl made me quite emotional! I’m very sad to see that this is probably going to be the last book that features DC Harriet Taylor. The character of Harriet was how I was introduced to Stewart Giles’ writing and it feels a bit like the end of an era for me.
A body is found on Totterdown beach in a yoga pose, his pockets filled with seashells. Suspicion immediately falls on the residents of the old Beekeepers cottage, particularly Alice Green, the beekeeper’s granddaughter. Another body is found further up the beach and it doesn’t look good for Alice but Harriet is not convinced. As she delves deeper into the mystery, she doesn’t realise that it will be her last…
As with all of Stewart Giles’ books there’s no shortage of blood, bodies and drama. The first half focuses on Harriet’s investigation, then the second Smith is brought in after Harriet’s murder to wrap it all up.
I liked that there seemed to be a bit of character growth with Jason Smith. If you know Smith he’s not one for treading lightly and has a bit of a lone wolf thing going on but in this novel he actually worked with Harriet’s team rather than go off on his own.
I did feel like the ending was a bit abrupt for my liking but it didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the overall story.
The Raven Girl is a quick and compelling read that had me racing through those pages.
About The Author:
After reading English at 3 Universities and graduating from none of them, I set off travelling around the world with my wife, Ann, finally settling in South Africa, where we still live.
In 2014 Ann dropped a rather large speaker on my head and I came up with the idea for a detective series. DS Jason Smith was born. Smith, the first in the series was finished a few months later.
3 years and 8 DS Smith books later, Joffe Books wondered if I would be interested in working with them. As a self-published author, I agreed. However, we decided on a new series – the DC Harriet Taylor: Cornwall series.
The Beekeeper was published and soon hit the number one spot in Australia. The second in the series, The Perfect Murder did just as well.
I continued to self-publish the Smith series and Unworthy hit the shelves in 2018 with amazing results. I therefore made the decision to self-publish The Backpacker which is book 3 in the Detective Harriet Taylor series which was published in July 2018.
After The Backpacker I had an idea for a totally new start to a series – a collaboration between the Smith and Harriet thrillers and The Enigma was born. It brings together the broody, enigmatic Jason Smith and the more level-headed Harriet Taylor.
Miranda is something totally different. A stand-alone psychological thriller, it is a real departure from anything else I’ve written before. This was followed by the sequel Mistress in 2019. Medusa is coming soon
The Detective Jason Smith series continues to grow and there are now 13 books including the introduction: Phobia. Book 12: Deadeye was published in February 2020.