Thursday, 5 February 2015

Review: The Vault by Karen Long with giveaway

The Vault by Karen Long
(Eleanor Raven #2)

Published: 3rd December 2014
Genre: Crime
Stars: 5*****


VAULT: A large room or chamber used for storage of valuables, especially an underground one…

In the unrelenting heat of the Toronto summer, a fire at a land-fill site uncovers the remains of a local prostitute. But the post-mortem reveals disturbing details – the body has been preserved and is not who or what it seems.

DI Eleanor Raven is back on duty six months after barely surviving being kidnapped and tortured by a depraved serial killer. Work is her sanctuary but she’s carrying deep scars – mental as well as physical. Where do you go when the place you feel safest is also the place where you are most at risk?

As Eleanor battles her own demons, it looks as though a killer in the city is making a gruesome human collection. And Eleanor’s fight to save the last victim of the Collector becomes a battle to save herself.

My Thoughts

I love discovering new crime series especially when they feature strong female detectives so I was really pleased to be invited to take part in Karen Long's blog tour for her latest book The Vault. A big thank you to Lou at Crime Book Club for inviting me to be part of this tour.

In The Vault we join DI Eleanor Raven a few months after her very narrow escape from death in the first book in the series The Safe Word. Eleanor has spent the last 6 months recuperating after her run in with a mad man and this book starts with her returning to work & landing a particularly disturbing homicide case on her first day back. Whilst disturbing the case initially looks to be a fairly straight forward murder with a woman's body being found at the local landfill site after a fire. That is until more bodies are uncovered on the site and the most worrying thing is that all of the bodies looked to have been preserved in some way. It would appear that once again a serial killer is on the loose in Toronto and it is up to DI Raven & her team to catch them. This time it looks very much as though the killer is murdering women in order to add them to his collection hence he earns the name The Collector.

I fell in love with Eleanor Raven in the first book, she's somewhat cold, strong willed with a darkness about her and it was really great watching her character develop in this book. There is a real intensity about her and she finds it very hard to trust and let people in - we much more vulnerability about her in this book as she battles with the emotional & physical scars from the attack that nearly killed her in book 1. She is still struggling to find common ground and make things work with her new partner Detective Whitefoot, the tension between the two of them is fantastic not helped by the fact that Eleanor wrongly accused Whitefoot of something at the end of The Safe Word. I am really looking forward to seeing what happens between these two characters. Is she able to let him in enough to be friends or is it actually going to go even further? Karen Long has written DI Raven so well and I can't think of any characters quite like her, she clearly has issues and is emotionally flawed yet is still a fantastic detective.

The other great thing about this series is the cast of wonderful secondary characters. Detective Whitefoot obviously has a past that we don't fully know about yet & it will be interesting to see what made him change his career path from being a Dr so drastically. Then we have Eleanor's old partner who is back at work but on restricted duties due to his ill health, he is the one person that calls Eleanor, Ellie which proves that she does let people in eventually. Her boss is a great character, a typical chief but DI Raven seems to know just how to wrap him round her finger. She also has a really good relationship with the other officers on her team and it is clear that she is very well respected by them.

As much as I enjoyed The Safe Word this book is so much better. Long has really developed both the main & secondary characters & this book has a much tighter plot that moves it along at a quicker pace. I love the darkness that Karen Long brings to these books, they really add a little something different to other crime fiction novels and the Toronto location is a great setting. The Vault can definitely be read as a stand alone novel but to truly appreciate the characters and Long's writing I recommend starting at the beginning with The Safe Word.

I highly recommend both The Vault & the DI Raven series to all crime fiction lovers who don't mind a bit of darkness in what they read. The Vault is pretty hard hitting & at times had me squirming so not an easy read by any means but a totally addictive one. Karen Long writes a really gritty story and tackles some real seedy issues head on. This series has so much potential and I'll now be eagerly awaiting the third instalment. What are you waiting for, go buy!

About The Author

Karen Long was born and raised in the English midlands, educated at Bangor University and taught English and Drama for fifteen years. During her teaching years she studied biology and neurology with the Open University and this interest in medicine, forensics and forensic psychology is reflected in her writing. She is an enthusiastic traveller and has spent time in Toronto, which became the backdrop and inspiration for The Safe Word.

She is a keen amateur naturalist with a deep and abiding love for the crow family. She has dedicated time, love and several fingers in an effort to rehabilitate crows, magpies, rooks and ravens.

Karen is happy to correspond with readers and can be contacted through her website, where she posts regular blogs.

The Safe Word is Karen's first novel and was an Amazon bestseller, soon to be joined by the second in the Eleanor Raven series, The Vault.


  • Win a personalised signed copy of The Vault - UK only

Karen is looking for character names for her next book. Suggest a name in the comments section here on the blog or DM me on Twitter @SamiG76 & I will choose my favourite.

1 comment:

  1. kathleen longstaff-using author initials-