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Lincolnshire author Joy Ellis deserves place in prestigious awards short list for 'The Patient Man'

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There’s a new name on the crime writing scene, with Lincolnshire author Joy Ellis up for the prestigious Crime & Thriller of the Year gong at the British Book Awards.

Ellis, who lives near Boston,has gone from a struggling out-of-print writer to two-million selling author up against Lee Child and Ian Rankin in the space of just five years.

Judging by this novel – the sixth in the Jackman & Evans detective series – she’s there to stay too.

The Patient Man by Joy Ellis (47078067)
The Patient Man by Joy Ellis (47078067)

In detectives DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans, she has created believable, likeable characters in realistic scenarios, battling a classic villain in the psychopath master-of-disguise Alistair Ashcroft.

Although coming into this book without prior knowledge of the battles between the detectives and their nemesis, I was soon invested in their fight – and an enjoyable one it was.

So often these crime thrillers are set in grimy urban locations, but Joy uses her local knowledge to pick a small village set among the isolated Fens.

And familiarity of the area is evident throughout, with the panoramic loneliness of the Fens pitted against the nerves and tension involved a cat and mouse murder hunt.

The periphery characters in this book draw you in too, from the friendly, committed policing team around Jackman and Evans and the enigmatic pathology duo to the
secretive gipsy family so vital to the plot – think Emmerdale’s Dingles and you’re on track.

There’s also a couple of great twists along the way and a more than satisfactory, if not mind-blowing, conclusion.

Ellis has been helped in her policing research by her partner, Jacqueline, a highly decorated retired officer, although judging by the scenes where three officers attend comparably minor rural crimes, I am sure her retirement wasn’t recent!

But the police and crime commissioner is promising extra force numbers... so perhaps this is a welcome precursor of times to come.

All in all, this was a thoroughly good read and I’m keen to explore the others in the series and meet up with DI Jackman and DS Evans again.

On the award nomination,Joy said: “I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and find that it’s all a dream. I feel privileged and humbled.”

Previous review...

The Cat and the Corpse in the Barn by Kate High

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