“A Nice Place To Die” by J. Woollcott – Book Review

It is always so gratifying when you start a new series, and try a new author, and your efforts pay off. This was an engrossing novel, essentially a police procedural but it also contained elements of domestic thriller and had a little romance thrown in for good measure.

The setting was in and around Belfast, Northern Ireland and featured members of the PSNI (Police Service of Norther Ireland).

When DS Ryan McBride attends the scene of a murder, he quickly realizes that he knew the victim – had slept with her in fact. Should he confess his one night stand and be removed from the case??? He decides not to.

Later, he realizes that the victim had a twin sister, and he is also attracted to her, though he already has an ‘on again, off again‘ relationship with his former girlfriend, Bridget. McBride is a diligent policeman who works long hours. He lives alone on a farm that he inherited from his grandfather. His only company is his faithful dog, Finn, a wired-haired fox terrier. He is quite close to his younger sister, Erin, a food blogger who often provides him with sustenance when he is too busy to cook for himself. He is somewhat estranged from his father, who is very disappointed in him. McBride holds an honours law degree and his father, a solicitor, assumed he would join his prestigious law firm. Instead, MacBride joined the PSNI.

His second in command, DS Billy Lamont is a family man. Married, with three little daughters that he is devoted to. Some of Lamont’s attitudes and actions create a little levity during this very serious story.

DC Wylie, on the other hand, acts as McBride’s nemesis. He is an odious man who just so happens to be the nephew of the Chief Inspector. He has a smug, entitled attitude, does little actual work, and has been fast-tracked for promotion…

The other members of McBride’s team were all interesting to read about and added lots of interest to the novel. Hopefully they will have a more pertinent role in future books in the series.

Told essentially from McBride’s point of view, we also hear from Kathleen McGuire, the murder victim. Her narrative takes place in the months leading up to her murder.

Kathleen found herself in a toxic relationship. Her lover was insanely jealous and controlling.

As her murder investigation continues, the body count rises. McBride faces some personal and professional challenges. The skilled blend of these story-lines was what I really enjoyed the most in this book. The author threw in a few plot twists that I had not anticipated, and ended the book with a scenario that left me with a smile on my face.

Highly recommended! I eagerly await the next title in this series “Blood Relations” which is due for publication next summer.This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Level Best Books via NetGalley. It was published on August 30, 2022.

ISBN: 9781685121662    ASIN: ‎ B0BCHK7G5V    292 pages
J. (Joyce) Woollcott is a Canadian writer born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her new novel, A Nice Place to Die, introduces Police Service of Northern Ireland detective DS Ryan McBride and his partner DS Billy Lamont.

In 2019, A Nice Place to Die won the RWA Daphne du Maurier Award, Unpublished, for Mainstream Mystery and Suspense. Her first novel, Abducted, was long-listed in the CWC Arthur Ellis Awards in 2018. Her second, A Nice Place to Die, was long-listed in 2019 and 2020 and in 2021 was short-listed in the Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence.

She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers and BCAD, University of Ulster. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Crime Writers of Canada and the Suncoast Writer’s Guild.

Connect with J. Woollcott via Twitter OR visit her website.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in 1st in series, Book Reviews, Level Best Books, Mystery fiction, NetGalley, Reading Ireland and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to “A Nice Place To Die” by J. Woollcott – Book Review

  1. Carla says:

    This sounds like a great series and I do enjoy a good Police Procedural. I will put it on my Want to Read shelf and when I get caught up with the ones I have started, I will check it out. I hope you continue to enjoy this one, Lynne.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Carol says:

    Enjoy your new series!

    Liked by 2 people

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