Monday, 30 May 2016

The Safe Word by Karen Long
Series: An Eleanor Raven Thriller # 1
Release Date:  14th January 2014
Genres: Crime / Thriller

There are rules that every player of every game must abide by, no matter how dangerous the sport.

Toronto has become the backdrop to a macabre set of artistic installations: women kidnapped, tortured and horrifically displayed by a killer with a vision.

Only someone capable of understanding the killer's creative desire will be able to stop the murders and D I Eleanor Raven is uniquely qualified. Driven by a complex personality she pursues only the facts, only the things she can see, but never casts a judgement.

But she also has a dark and dangerous secret - one that will threaten her very survival.

What can I say about this book but wow!! Eleanor Raven is a cop who likes her work and her pleasures dark and with a bit of risk. Eleanor Raven isn't like other female detectives I've read about. Usually they are the sidekick to some hard-nosed, middle aged and skeptical male detective. In the Safe Word however, Eleanor is the one calling the shots. She is nobody's sidekick! She has little respect for her seniors and her way of doing things isn't always welcomed or appreciated. Its usually a little bit unconventional too.

Called upon to investigate a particularly gruesome murder that has connections with the world of BDSM, Eleanor Raven has insider knowledge of the lifestyle and is uniquely placed to understand and extract evidence in her own unflappable way. The book opens with Eleanor enjoying an encounter with a stranger in a hotel room and immediately the reader becomes judgemental. This judgemental attitude is something that Eleanor is trying to ensure her new partner does not have in order for him to see the bigger picture and at times he does struggle with this. Eleanor constantly reminds him of this. Having been saddled with this new partner, and his dog, she is intent on unraveling the secrets and clues that might lead them to the killer. She misses her old partner who is now too ill to work but that doesn't stop her consulting him about the case!

This is a fantastic book, set in Canada, that was simply too difficult to put down. I'm writing this review with sleep filled eyes as I sat up until 2am to finish it and I am so glad I did. Karen Long has created a character that the reader doesn't instantly like or warm to but one who is no nonsense, strong and a little bit of an enigma. There is no doubt that Eleanor Raven has her own vulnerabilities but for the most part she keeps them well hidden and her facade of fearlessness is usually the mask she wears. By the end of the book she is a character that I was in awe of.  Karen Long has also created a host of supporting characters who are simply amazing. From the heavily pregnant cop and her gluttonous partner to Monster the dog, they all lend interesting dimensions and personalities to the story. A highly recommended read for all those that like their crime thrillers gritty and shocking and their female leads strong and a little bit quirky. Are you ready for Eleanor Raven?   
Just read The Safe Word by Karen Long – an unputdownable serial killer tale. James Purefoy

For DS Eleanor Raven It's not so much who, what or when but 'why' that leads this powerful read to its conclusion and Karen Long reminds us that a brutal, vicious and destructive act is not something inherently 'Evil' or derived from Satan but is a rational choice made by a human being. The quirky, offbeat and endearing relationship between Eleanor and her partner Laurence Whitefoot shines a light on this dark compelling world of sexual intrigue and mystery. My imagination was certainly held captive! Robson Green

Most fictional detectives these days have to have a ‘thing’ to set them apart from the others, and Raven’s is one of the most original for a long time. The plot moves in some unexpected directions, and builds to a genuinely exciting climax. The Safe Word is an impressive, confident debut. Convincing characters and some nice twists make for a compelling, satisfying thriller, and I look forward to seeing what’s next for Eleanor Raven. Killing Time

Check out Book 2 – The Vault -

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Karen Long was born and raised in the English midlands, educated at Bangor University and taught English and Drama for fifteen years. During her teaching years she studied biology and neurology with the Open University and this interest in medicine, forensics and forensic psychology is reflected in her writing. She is an enthusiastic traveller and has spent time in Toronto, which became the backdrop and inspiration for The Safe Word.  

She is a keen amateur naturalist with a deep and abiding love for the crow family. She has dedicated time, love and several fingers in an effort to rehabilitate crows, magpies, rooks and ravens.   

Karen is happy to correspond with readers and can be contacted through her website, where she posts regular blogs. 

The Safe Word is Karen's first novel and was an Amazon bestseller, soon to be joined by the second in the Eleanor Raven series, The Vault. Karen is working on the third novel in the series.

One Response so far.

  1. This really sounds like my kind of book. I have to read it.

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