- File Size: 1031 KB
- Print Length: 355 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1912526018
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Fahrenheit Press (November 30, 2017)
- Publication Date: November 30, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0771PVW8K
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,078,109 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$11.95|
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Briefly Maiden (Ali Dalglish Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Vancouver Island’s Integrated Major Incident Squad has been called out again, and Ali Dalglish is brought along to consult -- she's official now, after the success of the case in In the Still, she got her credentials transferred to her new country. So she can help Inspector Rey Cuzzocrea with his profile of the murderer and get paid for it (which is probably useful after the recent disintegration of her marriage).
There's a series of murders (not a serial killer, technically) in the perfectly pleasant little city of Cedar River (at least for most of the residents). They're gruesome, clearly motivated by anger, with a sexual component. Ali and Cuzzocrea quickly note evidence of a pedophilia ring associated with the deaths. Which adds a level of complexity and tragedy to the crime -- and makes it difficult to care much about the victims. While no one on the VIIMIS wants to help the killer with their campaign, they want to catch her(?) to help her recover from what they think must've happened to her(?). The obstacles standing in their way are not the typical or expected kind, and make this difficult case even more difficult.
As before, Ali is brilliant -- not just when it comes to criminology, she's just smart -- she's witty, she's a font of trivia, and has a vocabulary that you just want to bask in (and borrow!). [Note: I'm not referring to her "blue"/"adult"/"4-letter" vocabulary, which is enough to put off some readers] Her emotional life is a mess, she's in a slightly better place after the breakup of her marriage, but not that much. There's some decent character growth at work here, too. She's just such a great character I don't think I can do her justice here.
It would have been very easy to make this a story about Ali, the brilliant psychologist helping out a bunch of cops who are fairly clueless (yet high-ranking and successful). But Chadwick doesn't do that. The members of the Squad are capable -- more than capable -- and while they needed the perspective and expertise brought by Ali, there's a good chance they'd have eventually put a lot of the pieces together on their own. For example, Superintendent Shaw would be easy to depict as a stuffed-shirt, unimaginative, by-the-book, and blind to anything that isn't obvious -- and most writers would depict him that way (I can't help but think of Irwin Maurice Fletcher's editor, Frank Jaffe, frequently when Shaw shows up) -- but at one point he actually puts things together that no one else on the Squad did (most readers will be faster than him, but we have better information). Ali's not blind to this either -- yeah, she has an ego about her own expertise, but she is ready (if not always eager) to acknowledge when her teammates do good to work.
There were a few mis-steps, but when you're doing so much right, you can afford a few of those. The one that I don't understand is how little her friend/neighbor, Marlene, was used. Yes, her contribution was essential, but if Marlene had stayed home, Chadwick could've found another way to get those results. If you're going to bring her along -- use her. Her brief appearances were fun or pivotal, but there just weren't enough.
I've spent some time over the last week trying to describe Chadwick's writing style, because it's so specific and so original. At one point, I decided that "aggressive" was the best adjective -- it's in-your-face, it grabs you by the scruff of your neck and shoves your nose into the text, daring you to even consider your Real Life responsibilities (family, eating, work, etc.) so it can smack the back of your head like Leroy Gibbs. But it's also inviting, enticing, so you're sucked in and love it -- you want to wallow in the experience, desperate to find out what happens while not wanting to walk away from reading book for the foreseeable future. She's entertaining and fun while writing about some of the most depraved and horrible things you've ever read -- while never making the depravity or horror into anything other than evil and wrong.
Briefly Maiden is not a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts -- but when the sum of its parts is so great, it can seem to be. If it was just Ali's acerbic brilliance and skewed (skewering?) sensibilities pushing this story, it'd be something I'd tell you to read. Chadwick's style is something to behold, no matter the subject. If it was just the heart-breaking and horrifying crime story, I'd give this a high commendation. If it was just for the inevitable but shocking conclusion, I'd say this was well worth your time and money. If it was just Ali's vocabulary, you'd be smarter for having read it (I learned a few terms/words, and I bet you will, too). You put all that together, plus a few other points I should've made and didn't (for whatever reason), and Briefly Maiden is one of the most effective (and affective) novels I've read this year. Stop reading this and go grab it -- and In the Still, if you haven't read that yet.
I went into Briefly Maiden blind. I didn’t recheck the blurb, I didn’t do a quick recon of my review for book one because I can still clearly remember the raw, visceral writing and how it left me feeling. I wanted that feeling again, and boy did I get it, in spades!!!!
We’re back with foul-mouthed, sarcastic and all-round awesome Ali Dalglish in Maiden (yes, I’m shortening it because I will be mentioning the name A LOT!!!) where she is paired up with Inspector Rey Cuzzocrea to investigate some brutal murders in Cedar River. Those who are killed all seem to have links to a paedophile ring operating in this idyllic little town and as Ali and Rey are drawn further into the investigation, it gets more and more disturbing at each turn.
If In The Still was dark, Briefly Maiden is pitch black.
It goes to places that made me flinch, hiss and want to fling the book at the wall. The themes here are not light, there is murder, child abuse, paedophilia, psychopathy and that’s just the ones that spring to mind as I’m writing this. Seriously, in places, it’s a tough read. There is a tendency in fiction to shy away from the heavy stuff, but that’s not Jacqueline’s style. She will give you EVERYTHING you need to know, in great detail, until you feel like you’ve had an emotional gut punch. More than once, I found myself wishing I could stop reading, but such is the addictive quality of her writing, that I couldn’t!
There are brief moments of levity in the narrative though, and they are much-needed at times. Firstly, Ali herself. . Quite honestly, her sarcasm and sharp tongue make her my kind of person. I love that she is normal, she has her quirks, but she is a genuine character, and I reeeeeeeeally wish she was my friend because I reckon coffee/wine chats with her would be hilarious. Her relationship with Rey in this one was lovely to see because it had the time to develop a bit more and the reader got to see them progress in terms of how well they work together!
Marlene, Ali’s neighbour and crime-fighting bestie is also in this one and I swear she gets funnier every time she’s mentioned. I loved her and Ali’s interactions, because you can see the camaraderie and friendship there and it’s a really nice little aside to the dark, sinister tone of the book as a whole.
I’ve already said this, but Briefly Maiden is a dark and terrifying book. It has horrendous, graphic and gruesome murders , a vile paedophile ring and some extremely depraved characters. Not for the faint of heart, but it is such a great book. The author has also got some seriously in-depth stuff about deviants and deviant behaviour in here too. It makes for tough reading, but in terms of the relation to the plot is was a really interesting angle!
I loved Briefly Maiden. I was dying to read it from as soon as I finished In The Still, and it was so totally worth the wait. I devoured it. Brilliantly crafted, with a twisted plot, this book has left me wanting more. I NEED TO READ BOOK 3!!!!!!
I can’t say anymore without completely ruining the plot, or the ending. And where’s the fun in that?! I will say this though; if you love your crime fiction sick and twisted, then Jacqueline Chadwick is most definitely an author to add to your list. I mean, she has the face of an angel, but the mind of a killer!
Highly, HIGHLY recommended!!!!!