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Coffin Cove

"Living up to its arresting title, this female-fronted thriller boasts a richness of tension, twists and murderous mystery."

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

With a title like Coffin Cove - arresting and in-your-face-evocative - readers will most likely come to this thriller with high expectations, and Jackie Elliott certainly doesn’t disappoint in delivering a gripping, twisty, murder mystery set around the seen-better-days backwater fishing village of Coffin Cove.

The first in an eponymous series, we’re introduced to former rising star investigative journalist Andrea Silvers (Andi) in the messy aftermath of her being let go by the newspaper she worked for - and by her lover. As a result, Andi’s taken herself to Coffin Cove on the Vancouver coast, and taken a job at the local rag, the Coffin Cove Gazette. Brooding over the fact that she’d screwed up an assignment at her last job (hence her sacking), and angry at her lot (and the world), Andi’s first day in her new job takes an unusual turn when two dead sea lions wash up - they’ve been shot, which is a federal offence. What’s more, as her new boss explains, “this is the biggest story for the Gazette in twenty years. Looks like you arrived in Coffin Cove at exactly the right time.”

Andi is a classic flawed investigator - a heavy-drinking, do-whatever-it-takes kind of reporter, and both her backstory and present-day personal strife provide plenty of intrigue. Then there’s the mystery itself - what links the dead sea lions to the murder of a teenage girl that took place 20 years ago? Amidst an escalating situation (another body turns up), the author takes time to create a strong sense of place, and to bring her cast of characters to life, making for a novel that’s as driven by detail as it is by pace and the riveting unravelling of a murder mystery.

Joanne Owen

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