Review: The Eden Park Killer (DI Jack Dawes #11) by Frances Lloyd


Print Length: 236 pages
Publisher: Jofee Books (December 8, 2023)

From Sometimes you could just murder your ex. But would you?

Corrie Dawes is exhausted after a long day catering for the wealthy residents of exclusive, gated Eden Park.

She opens her delivery van and lets out a blood-curdling scream. Inside, a man’s body lays face down in a bowl of leftover trifle — with one of her vegetable knives lodged in his back.

She immediately calls her husband, Detective Jack Dawes. When he arrives they discover the victim is none other than Tom Broadbent, Corrie’s ex.

Corrie hasn’t spoken to Tom in over twenty years. What is he doing in Kings Richington? And more importantly, how has he wound up dead in her van?

Jack’s been warned off the case, and the investigation is handed over to surly Detective Crumb. He’s convinced Corrie lured Tom to her van and killed him — and he’s determined to prove it.

It’s up to Corrie to clear her own name. Can she find the real killer? Or will she pay the price for someone else’s dirty work?


My Rating: 1 star out of 5

Let me begin by saying that although I have not read any of the prior novels in this series, I had no trouble understanding this story, or the long-standing characters that we were introduced to and their relationships with one another. 

My issue with this one was entirely with the absurdity that was this novel - something that was very disappointing considering it had the potential to be so much better than I found it. I enjoyed the way three seemingly un-connected murders were woven together. I enjoyed the fact that the police had a pretty good idea of who was behind it, just couldn't prove it immediately. I love nothing more than an interesting story with well established bag guys, as this crime family was purported to be.

What I didn't enjoy? Well, let's start with the characters, more specifically, Corrie, Jack and Detective Crumb. 

When Corrie first finds the body in the back of her van, she rings the police station insisting that the case be handled as though she were simply a member of the public, not the wife of a DI. Except, her husband then proceeds to the crime scene with his partner to begin working said case despite this being a clear conflict of interest on his part. Sure, Corrie knows she didn't do it, and Jack knows his wife is innocent, but a good barrister for any suspect they do arrest will certainly be able to cast doubt simply due to his involvement. Then Corrie decides to keep a key piece of evidence (a note from her ex-husband given to her the night that he died) a secret from her husband even knowing that it could be considered impeding the investigation. I'm sorry what? Shouldn't the two of them KNOW better? She even at first decides she's not going to tell her husband that the murdered man is her ex, even though she knows that fact will come to light sooner rather than later. 

Eventually, DI Dawes is called to his superiors office and told that Detective Crumb will be taking over the case and that Jack is to step away and not be involved at all. Which surprises Jack? I'm sorry how long has he been a member of law enforcement? Anyway, I thought at this point the book would get better, but it turns out that Crumb is ..... well he's not all that bright. He becomes so singularly focused on Corrie that it would be laughable, if it wasn't so sad. I mean, he goes so far as to break into her bakery at night trying to find a piece of evidence he thinks will be there. And then (after snooping) he gets information which he immediately runs off to investigate on his own. Like come on... seriously? 

And while we're on that point, let me move onto the second issue that I had with this one - the plot

In addition to the things I mentioned above, there was the issue of Corrie and her friends (including two serving police officers) somehow managing to infiltrate a mob stronghold to gather information that later the police don't find even though they supposedly went over the same location with a "fine toothed comb". First of all, they ALL should have known better. But the fact that they put themselves into danger, found the information and then made the collective decision NOT TO TELL ANYONE until way after the fact? Apparently, this group (before the addition of the two new members) tended to do this a lot throughout the other books. 

And then the ending. All of the build-up. Just to have it ..... kind of fall flat. Yes, everything is wrapped up with a nice bow, but after all of that? After the way certain characters had been portrayed as "untouchable" to have things end as they did, really just kind of annoyed me. I wanted a showdown, not a letdown. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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