Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Deadly Waters’ by OMJ Ryan, organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I was delighted to participate in this tour, and to read a fascinating book outside my usual genres, and I hope that you will check out both the author and the book.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
Several young women have recently drowned in Manchester’s vast network of canals. A coincidence? Or something more sinister?
When star detective DCI Jane Phillips begins to investigate, her finely tuned instinct tells her these are no accidents. And when she discovers that each of the drowned women has a mysterious circular bruise on the back of her neck, Phillips is sure of it — she’s up against a very clever serial killer.
But how are the victims being chosen? And who will be next?
With the body count rising, Phillips and her team find themselves in a fight to the death with a shadowy figure who always seems to be one step ahead.
Can Phillips stop the killer before the next victim dies? Or will she herself become an offering to Manchester’s deadly waters?
This is the second Detective Jane Philips book but having not read the first one (although I will be looking for it now) I did not find myself at a disadvantage in the slightest. We are introduced to the main characters/core team in such a way that we learn everything we need to know, without it being heavy-handed or leaving us with holes in our knowledge that would detract from the pace or plot.
The characters themselves – whether the more nuanced main character or the supporting cast are well developed, and I really enjoyed their interactions and the bond between them. Tensions with the broader cast and personal dilemmas only added to the realism. I hope that some of the political/work tensions will be built on in future books, as they added a fascinating dimension to the story, and helped to add to the sense of urgency that was built throughout the book in the race to solve the case.
The plot was interesting, and even in the earlier chapters where the situation and story were being established, I was hooked. What I particularly enjoyed was that we were also given insight into the killer’s point of view, and their reasons for what they were doing – from the beginning, throughout the process – before it was brought into the open at the climax. It was cleverly done, and it makes you see the case from both sides, without slowing the pace or giving you answers too early in the game even as you moved between the two arms of the investigation.
The book also deals with heavy topics such as (CW) the sex trade and drug addiction, and the impact that can have on entire families. I felt that it was presented believably, and in such a way that it was very human, allowing for compassion and empathy not just from the characters but from the reader as well.
For me, the pacing of Deadly Waters was spot on, with peaks of tension surrounding the murders and the highs of the Police response, to the troughs and frustration of the investigation as they were confronted with dead ends or conflicting evidence. There was a steady rise in the tension and pace towards the end, that kept my eyes glued to the page right until the very end.
The climax was unexpected, and I was caught off guard by several of the twists and turns, which was fantastic and just what I want in a crime thriller. I might have liked to see a bit more of the aftermath, but for the most part, I found it a very satisfying ending in keeping with the pace of the rest of the book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an exciting, well-paced crime read. Especially if you want one based in the UK, and I would extend that recommendation to book one ‘Deadly Silence’ which will be getting added to my TBR in the near future.
About the Author
Hailing from Yorkshire, OMJ Ryan worked in radio and entertainment for over twenty years, collaborating with household names and accumulating a host of international writing and radio awards.
In 2018 he followed his passion to become a full-time novelist, writing stories for people who devour exciting, fast-paced thrillers by the pool, on their commute – or those rare moments of downtime before bed. Owen’s mission is to entertain from the first page to the last. DEADLY WATERS will be his third novel published with Inkubator Books.
Deadly Waters – OMJ Ryan ( Published in digital format Inkubator Books in digital format on 15th March 2020) – 4/5 (4 stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book. Or if you have any recommendations for similar books, please shoot them my way.