Book Review: The Safe Word by Karen Long

The Safe Word Karen LongWhat’s it about?

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.

My thoughts

I met Karen at an author/blogger meet up in March and I’ve finally got around to reading her book that she offered me for review…as a side note how do such nice people come up with such horrific plotlines???!!

Anyway, this is the first in the DS Eleanor Raven series and to be fair is a pretty good series opener. A book that gets straight into the action but still giving you enough back story to be invested in the characters.

However, I wasn’t really taken with the main character Eleanor (not necessarily a prerequisite) – the opening chapter gives you a taster of her darker sexual side that I guess is supposed to make her edgy and set this book apart from the crowd but I found her to be cold and stand-offish, maybe a requirement for the job, but I did really take to her new partner though; Whitefoot, I think he has a lot of potential.  He reminded me of Hathaway in the TV detective series Lewis.

Interesting that the author set the book in Toronto, because I felt it could have been anywhere as there was a lack of distinguishing landmarks and places. Not a deal breaker in terms of the story but maybe would have added a sense of place.

This is quite a graphic novel, in terms of the murders and crime scenes therefore probably not one for the more squeamish. Overall, a cleverly constructed and played out plot.  Although I thought the murderer was revealed a little soon for me after the investigative team were handed this big whopp off clue from the pathologist (I think it was) which gave them their lead suspect. I do like to be kept in the dark right till the very last possible moment.


Links: Goodreads | Amazon

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: The Safe Word by Karen Long

  1. Diana says:

    I have seen this book being mentioned before and was intrigued by the synopsis. First of all, its great that you got to meet the author and she does sound nice. Great review, glad you enjoyed the book despite the few hitches. Adding this to my TBR now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Donna says:

    I often wonder how funny and sweet writers can come up with those chilling plots! I was thinking about picking this book because of the Toronto setting. I am trying to add some diversity in my purchases, but I’m a bit disappointed there was little elements to really place the story there. It’s very hard to have a female protagonist stand out in the string of great series we now have in the genre. Loved your review 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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