The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

I have wanted this book for months and finally bought it and read it, and it was well worth the wait! I am also very excited that this is the first in a series. I adore DI Anjelica Henley and would read a dozen books about her solving gruesome murders.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mini Plot Summary: In The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson, DI Anjelica Henley investigates a spate of dark, grisly murders in which victims have been dismembered and scattered around London. She quickly discovers a link between this new serial murderer and notorious serial killer Peter Olivier, known to the public as The Jigsaw Man. Henley, battling panic attacks leftover from her own encounter with The Jigsaw Man, must find the copycat before the killings escalate and before the original Jigsaw Man figures out how to insert himself back into the spotlight.

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What I Liked About This Book: This book was action-packed from the first page, and the escalating tension and increasing body count absolutely propelled me through the book. The plot was engaging and I felt real anxiety as Henley and her team worked against the clock to track down the killer. Henley was an excellent protagonist – strong and hardworking, with a true dedication to her career, and I loved how doggedly she pushed forward to stop the killings, even as her panic attacks threatened to derail her progress. This book also has one of those tight-knit police teams, which I love (think about Brenda Lee Johnson’s colleagues in The Closer), and it was fun to get to know some of Henley’s fellow officers and how well they all worked together.

Maybe the best thing about this book, though, is The Jigsaw Man himself. Peter Olivier was deliciously horrifying – the stereotypical charming psychopath who will kiss you in one moment and then stab you in the eye the next. I just loved this character. See you in my nightmares, Olivier.

What I Didn’t Like About This Book: This book may have been a little too dark, even for me. The main story was dark, the backstory was dark, Henley’s personal life was dark. It was allllll dark and I ached for a little lightness. A little romance. Some joking between the characters. Something. While I don’t need a book to be funny, I do think that some witty repartee could have gone a long way toward relieving some of the tension of this book. And maybe it’s just that Matheson and I don’t have the same sense of humor; I do remember a few moments that seemed to nod toward levity, but that didn’t fully work – for me – to give me a break from the pulse-thumping urgency of the story.

Should You Read This Book? If you like fast-paced, heart-pounding action, enjoy deeply disturbing villains, and love a strong-but-struggling-to-overcome-her-demons protagonist, you should pick this up right away. But keep in mind it is not for the faint of heart. There’s plenty of blood and gore throughout – the killing in this book is no joke.

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