Joss Stirling: Black River

This review is written with thanks to One More Chapter for my copy of Black River via Netgalley, as part of this month’s read along.


The River Thames always gives up its dead…

There’s a killer picking off victims from the wild swimming spots on the upper reaches of the Thames. The case takes Detective Inspector Leo George into the path of Jess Bridges, a private investigator who lives life close to the edge.

Their enquiries lead them to author, Jago Jackson, whose book on secret wild swimming spots has turned him into a social media celebrity. Is Jago’s book the blueprint that the murderer is following? If so, does that make Jago a target or the killer himself? Either way, the duo find themselves swimming in some very dangerous waters …


Black River is the first book in an intriguing new series featuring Jess Bridges. Her chaotic lifestyle means that nothing is ever dull around her, so I wanted to know where her investigation would take her next. Despite the chaos, she’s incredibly intelligent and I warmed to her reasonably quickly and trusted her to get the job done.

The novel is written from the perspective of several different characters. This is unusual for a novel that is part of a series so I was interested to see how it would work. It added to the story in the sense that the reader could look at the investigation from many different angles: however, I did feel that changing viewpoints so regularly prevented the author from building the characters in detail and allowing us to get to know them well.

There are several different strands to this story and I was keen to see how they would come together and what the outcome of each one would be. The plot was easy to follow, but I felt that with so many things to cram into it, there was not as much detail as there could have been and this meant that some of the developments seemed a little unlikely.

Black River is available from Amazon.

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