Just ahead of its publication date tomorrow, I’m sharing my review for the thrilling The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson as part of the blog tour. Thank you so much to Sian Baldwin at HQ Stories for allowing me to be a part of this blog tour and sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river.
The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has spent the past two years behind bars. When he learns that someone is co-opting his grisly signature—the arrangement of victims’ limbs in puzzle-piece shapes—he decides to take matters into his own hands.
As the body count rises, DI Anjelica Henley is faced with an unspeakable new threat. Can she apprehend the copycat killer before Olivier finds a way to get to him first? Or will she herself become the next victim?
Drawing on her experience as a criminal attorney, debut novelist Nadine Matheson delivers the page-turning crime novel of the year. Taut, vivid and addictively sinister, The Jigsaw Man will leave you breathless until the very last page.
TW: murder, violence, death, gore, racism, PTSD, infidelity, torture, stabbing
I haven’t sunk my teeth into an adult thriller for a little while, but this was definitely worth the switch. Matheson is a raw trove of talent and I’m intrigued to read more of her work.
Right from the start, I was hooked. The opening hook of the book is incredibly strong and sets the tone for what’s lying ahead. Pretty quickly, I was knee-deep in gore and invested in Anjelica. I really liked her as a protagonist who is deeply conflicted, flawed and haunted by the events of her past, while still being determined to achieve justice. She’s nowhere near perfect and makes all too human, fallible mistakes that Matheson ensures we see the consequences of. The dynamic between her and Oliver was twisted and unsettling, with that constant sense of danger and death bubbling beneath the surface.
That premise is so tantalising and I was curious to see how Matheson would build on it. Well, she smashed it out of the park. The story follows the familiar police procedural beats, with snippets of some warped perspectives. Matheson manages to keep it feeling fresh and new through extremely compelling writing that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. The pacing is immaculate, giving you enough to keep speeding through the pages, but not revealing too many secrets too early on. Similarly, the plotting is smart and Matheso employs shocking twists that drop explosively into the plot and upend everything once more.
I really enjoyed the shifting perspectives and timelines, as it builds this fragmented picture that you can slowly begin to piece together. This all builds to an explosive confrontation, but Matheson still has some tricks and turns up her sleeve. All I know for certain is I definitely need more.
The Jigsaw Man is a darkly enthralling, gory cat and mouse game around London with interesting perspectives and the potential for more explosive stories to follow.
Thank you again to Sian Baldwin and HQ Stories for including me and make sure you check out the other superb posts on the blog tour.