Title: Five Bloody Hearts (Matt Ballard 2) by Joy Ellis
Publisher: Joffe Books
Date Published: 10th February 2019
Genre: Police Procedural
From multiple #1 best-selling author Joy Ellis, comes a mystery that will have you glued from first page to last, with a truly shocking conclusion. A killer mystery to make your heart race this Valentine’s.
DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD’S LAST CASE MIGHT BE THE ONE THAT FINALLY BREAKS HIM.
Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Matt she has information that could stop a murder. Her fiancé, the infamous serial killer Jeremy Reader, has told her that he has a disciple who is going to kill using Reader’s horrific methods.
Reader murdered five women and was finally brought to justice by Detective Ballard. Reader is safely imprisoned in a high security prison, and claiming to be a reformed man who wants to help the police.
But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife to be?
And the Fenland police also have another investigation on their hands. A Lithuanian migrant worker is found dead on the fens. There is no ID on him, but he has a Tree of Life tattoo. The third body to be found with this distinctive tattoo. Is this gang war or something even more sinister?
CAN YOU TRUST A KILLER TO HELP STOP A KILLER?
The police are stretched to breaking point with multiple copycat murders. And Matt and his girlfriend Liz will fight for everything they care about in a heart-stopping conclusion that will have you on the edge of your seat.
Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.
England’s rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night.
ALSO BY JOY ELLIS
THE BEST-SELLING NIKKI GALENA SERIES
Book 1: CRIME ON THE FENS
Book 2: SHADOW OVER THE FENS
Book 3: HUNTED ON THE FENS
Book 4: KILLER ON THE FENS
Book 5: STALKER ON THE FENS
Book 6: CAPTIVE ON THE FENS
Book 7: BURIED ON THE FENS
Book 8: THIEVES ON THE FENS
Book 9: FIRE ON THE FENS
JACKMAN & EVANS
Book 1: THE MURDERER’S SON
Book 2: THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS
Book 3: THE FOURTH FRIEND
Book 4: THE GUILTY ONES
Book 5: THE STOLEN BOYS
DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD
Book 1: BEWARE THE PAST
Book 2: FIVE BLOODY HEARTS
So this is the second in the Matt Ballard series, (you can read my review of the first Beware the Past here) and while it does work as a standalone, I would suggest you start with the first book.
Matt is on the verge of retirement when two cases pop up. The first a series of murders of young Lithuanian migrant workers all with the same tattoo. The second involves a woman named Grace Repton, who says she in love with serial killer Jeremy Reader and they’re about to get married. She claims to have knowledge of a man named Alex who says he wants to carry on killing in Jeremy’s name. Already a colleague down, as DS Liz Haynes is still recovering from their last case, the team is stretched to breaking point, why they manage to solve the cases before another person loses their life?
This is another clever and captivating police procedural from Joy Ellis!
I very much enjoyed the first one of this series, which incidentally was my first ever Joy Ellis book, so I was so happy that she decided to carry on this series.
I love a literary serial killer but Jeremy Reader is different from the rest. He claims to be remorseful for what he did but can Matt Ballard, the person who arrest him, completely trust that he’s telling the truth?
I can say to much more in case of spoilers, but I did think the conclusion, while satisfying, I thought it relied a little too much on coincidences but of course that’s just my opinion.
Overall Five Bloody Hearts is an addictive and enthralling read that will have you hooked from that very first chapter. I hope this not the last we’ve seen of Matt Ballard!
About The Author:
UK #1 Best Seller with THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS and THE FOURTH FRIEND
1 million books sold and rising!
“I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprentice florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!
And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, and our two second generation Springer spaniels. I had been writing mysteries for years but never had the time to take it seriously. Now I can, and as my partner is a highly decorated retired police officer; my choice of genre was suddenly clear. I have set my crime thrillers here in the misty fens because I sincerely love the remoteness and airy beauty of the marshlands. This area is steeped in superstitions and lends itself so well to murder!”