Cover Image: The Dancing Girls (Detective Jo Fournier Book 1)

The Dancing Girls (Detective Jo Fournier Book 1)

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I always love the start to a new series and approach it with excitement. This is a good read. The plot is clever and unusual and there is a fantastic twist. The only thing that made it a four not five star read for me is I’m not familiar with WoW and because of that I was a bit lost when the book was in that world and found those descriptions a bit tedious,  but equally had to admire the original setting.
I liked the characters and am looking forward to how they and the subplot will develop and finding out more about Jo’s past
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this book and found it very gripping. Great twist towards the end too. I really liked Jo's character and am looking forward to catching up with in other cases as I go through the series.
Was this review helpful?
I was provided an e-arc from netgalley to read and review.

I unfortunately missed the opportunity to read
Was this review helpful?
What a debut book!

I loved everything about this book, from the characters, the plot, the setting, the pace and even the killer!

M.M. Chouinard drew me in like a moth to a flame, once those pages started turning I just couldn’t stop. I liked how we ‘got to know’ the killer, back story is everything and these parts didn’t disappoint.

I highly recommend The Dancing Girls and can’t wait to see where this series takes us!!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and the author, for an ARC of this book, in exchange for an honest review.
I thought it was a well written, nicely paced, original, exciting & addictive start to a new police procedural/detective series. It had great characters & I would love to read the next book in the series.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoy reading debut novels as you can never have enough authors on your TBR pile.  I enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading the second instalment to see where the characters go next.
The premise is a serial killer who has never been identified until Detective Jo Fournier makes the link.  I liked the introduction to her and the team as well as how the story concluded.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
#TheDancingGirls #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
New detective series featuring Jo Fournier, a new lieutenant who is all business trying to solve crimes--she is a very interesting character but hopefully more will be revealed about her in the next book.  The case Jo starts working on is that of a married woman killed while on a business trip, found in hr hotel room--posed as a ballet dancer and missing her wedding ring.  The investigation leads nowhere.  Jo is wondering if it the work of a serial killer, however everyone involved agrees.  Several months later, another victim is found in the same manner, also missing her wedding ring.  AS the story progresses, more victims are found and Jo is in pursuit of this anonymous male killer.  There are many twist and turns that kept this novel interesting.  Also, each chapter is written from a different character's point of view including the killer, which I thought was very effective.  Well-paced thriller that I definitely enjoyed!  Original and intriguing story line and characters helped bring this book to life.  Could not put this one down!
Was this review helpful?
Loved the different points of view, this really gave this book it's own unique angle. Plots like this can often become tired, however, the author put their own twist on the genre and it really paid off.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really great thriller. I'm really not a fan of detective thrillers or police procedural books but this one was worth the read.  Without spoiling the book, the twists and turns are well played and it kept me guessing what the killer would do right until the end. It was easy to connect with the main women and feel empathy for them during the novel, which can be hard to do, especially in police procedurals.

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you netgalley for the advance copy of this title in exchange for my honest review/opinion. 

This was a great thriller! I don't like to give reviews that spoil the books. With that being said, the writer wrote in a way that had me connecting with the women that the killer targeted. Then at the same time wanting to shake them. The arrogance of the killer had new ideas. That's always fun too. Not the same old same old.
Was this review helpful?
The Dancing Girls by M.M. Chouinard
Series: Detective Jo Fournier #1
Publisher: Bookouture

Thank to NetGalley and publisher Bookuture for the ebook ARC of The Dancing Girls by M.M. Chouinard in exchange for an honest review.

The light in her wide brown eyes dimmed as she drew her last breath.She might have been beautiful lying there on the floor, if it wasn’t for the purple marks on her neck and the angry red line where her wedding band used to be…
When Jeanine Hammond is found dead in a hotel in the picture-perfect town of Oakkhurst, a newly-promoted Detective Jo Fournier is thrown into a disturbing case.Who would murder this shy, loving wife and leave her body posing like a ballerina?
Jo wants to know why Jeanine’s husband is so controlling about money, and where her wedding ring is but before she and her team can get close to the truth, another woman is found strangled in a hotel room, arms placed gracefully above her head like a dancer. 
While digging through old case files, Jo makes a terrifying link to a series of cold cases: each victim bears the same strangulation marks. But the FBI won’t take Jo seriously. 
Just as Jo is beginning to lose hope, she finds messages on the victims’ computers that make her question whether these small-town women were hiding big lies. Jo thinks this is the missing link between the victims, but she knows the killer is moments away from selecting his next victim. Will it lead her to the most twisted killer of her career in time, or will another innocent life be lost?

I give this book a rating of 5 stars and highly recommend reading it.
This book was a very disturbing read at parts with very graphic details. The author made everything seem so very real and you got to know each character very well. It was well written and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.
Was this review helpful?
This storyline follows Lieutenant Jo Fournier as she tracks a killer preying on discontented married women.   Jo has only been a lieutenant a short while and misses the everyday out on the street detective work that she really loves doing.   When she has the opportunity to be assigned to this case, Jo puts everything she has into finding this killer who she believes may be a serial killer but unfortunately no-one else seems to agree with her opinions.   

This book was easy to read but it was not an edge of your seat thriller for me.   I felt disconnected to Jo and I didn't think she possessed the leadership qualities and actions that a police lieutenant would have.   The story just didn't pull any emotion from me and most.of the characters seemed very shallow.   If a reader enjoys online gaming, there is plenty to wrap you head around and the story had a good twist at the end.

I want to thank the publisher Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book!

I have given a rating of 2 1/2 🌟🌟⭐ serial stars!!
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this novel from Bookouture through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was pleasantly surprised by this novel.  It was engaging and fast-paced, had an incredibly complex villain, and had a great surprise ending that easily leads into the ideas for the next book in the series.  

The story follows Lieutenant Jo Fournier on her first case after her recent promotion.  Unfortunately, it seems to be the hardest case she has ever worked on in her life.  There's no evidence to a suspect, and no one seems to know how any of victims could have been lured here, as they were all married women with no supposed affairs.  As the case drags on, Jo finds it hard to believe that everything is as it seems.

I loved the overall plot of this story, and it kept me going throughout the book.  However, the main character, Jo, was a little lackluster for me.  The reader gets bits and pieces of her past throughout the story, but nothing to truly solidify who she is and what she wants in the story.  There are a lot of unanswered questions about her incredibly high guard with a lot of people, and it made it difficult for me to feel like she was a strong character.

On the other hand, the villain in this story was deeper than I ever expected them to be.  They were severely damaged due to their upbringing (TRIGGER WARNING FOR SEXUAL ABUSE), and it essentially warps their mind into becoming a sociopath.  They do the murders with no remorse, and feel justified in their manipulations of individuals, doing so to make them trust them with no faults.  My skin crawls still to think about the absolute disgusting nature of this character, and even more so about how they got to be that way.

Overall, I truly enjoyed the story and look forward to more.  I just hope that Jo ends up becoming a deeper character in the future, as I think she has a lot of potential for growth.

Rating: 4/5 stars
Was this review helpful?
An impressive debut.
A police procedural which demonstrates how hard detectives have it if criminal try to avoid mistakes and murder random strangers.
I was immediately drawn to the lead detective having taken one final promotion is frustrated by the gap that crates and which isolates her from grunt work.
This is a wonderfully simple book but filled with crimes that no-one has the time or resources to solve. Jo leads a team of two in their own time to understand the senseless murder of a young woman in a hotel room. Nothing flags up, alibis check out and suspects fade away.
The psychology behind the killer is easy to follow and his needs less so, but it is evident he is a serial killer where nothing ties the victims together.
I like the contrast between his planing and preparation against the lack of progress with the police investigation. I enjoyed his trial and error in perfecting his method and his sense of power in achieving his brief moment of peace and fulfilment.
While his intellect can not prepare him for when things go wrong,  there is great satisfaction in reading the balance of control shift.
His arrogance in believing he is invincible in his method overwhelms him that when he should run he is slow to escape and then as so often happens his attention is elsewhere and he gets run over figuratively in the chase.
All the better for being the first in a series of new detective stories. I’m in and looking forward to learning more about these characters.
Was this review helpful?
The Dancing Girls surpassed all my expectations. I absolutely loved it from the very first page.
The book is divided into three parts, each centred around the victim.
The plot begins with the murder of Jeanine and the subsequent police investigation which throws up very few leads. We are introduced to the killer Martin and the person on his trail, lead detective Jo Fournier.
In the second part of the book, the dynamic changes. We find out a lot of the back story for both the killer and the second victim Emily. Our sympathy develops for BOTH characters even though we are pointed towards the flaws in both.
Meanwhile, the police are continuing to be frustrated in their efforts to find Jeanine’s killer. Jo’s determination to uncover the truth and find evidence power the investigation even though her senior officers want to stop wasting resources on a case with no leads.
The third part of the book deals with the killer attempting to groom a new victim. The woman he chooses is much more demanding which frustrates and excites Martin.
The ending is truly astonishing and unexpected. No spoilers but OMG!!!
The plot and character development is so clever and engaging. Jo is a traditional cop with a troubled personal life: her parents want her to settle down but she is dedicated to the job and it ruins her relationships. Martin is obviously a killer but his devastating story of abuse is heartbreaking to read.
I was completely captivated by M.M. Chouinard’s spellbinding narrative from start to finish. Wow!
Was this review helpful?
Wow, what a book!! I don't think I drew a full breath for the entire time I was reading this book and I took it everywhere I went because I just wanted to know what happened next and needed to read it at every opportunity!

Jo Fournier has been newly promoted but she isn't sure that this is what she wants. She is a practical, hands-on kind of person and being a Lieutenant is a little too much about paperwork and less about getting stuck into a case. She has a great team though, and between the three of them, they try and figure out what is going on with the case of women who are strangled and left in particular poses, wedding rings missing.

This was an unbelievably twisty story with a huge sting in the tail and I loved every word of it!

5 well-deserved stars from me and I can't wait to I read the next book in the series. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture.
Was this review helpful?
The Dancing Girls introduces us to Detective Jo Fournier in the start of a brand new series and what a start it is.
When the body of a woman is found in a hotel room, strangled, Jo and her team are stumped. There doesn’t seem to be any reason for the killing, the victim Jeanine was a married woman, her husband and friends don’t believe she would have an affair, she had no enemies so why was she found strangled, positioned like a ballerina and her wedding ring taken?
Told from multiple points of view we not only hear from Jo as she tries to figure it all out but we get to hear from the killer as he selects his victims and we hear from the victims themselves as we find out how they end up coming in contact with the killer. This I found really intriguing, it really drew me in to the story making me feel like I knew the characters but it also filled me with dread, it was like I was getting to know the victim, I had sympathy for them but I knew what was coming and I couldn’t do a damn thing about it.
The killer in this story seriously gave me the chills, he’s a sick and twisted man with a very troublesome background. I didn’t in the slightest feel any sympathy for him but I could sort of see how he became so troubled. I suppose I felt sorry for the boy he was and what he went through but certainly not for the man he became.
I really enjoyed reading this book, it was a story that kept me intrigued from beginning to end and also kept me on my toes as well. I felt terribly frustrated for Jo as she really wanted to crack this case, I knew who the killer was but couldn’t help her at all.
The Dancing Girls really is a cracking start to a new series featuring Jo and I enjoyed it immensely but I would have liked to have heard more from Jo, gotten to know her a bit better but it’s exciting to see where her character will go and how much more we’ll find out about her in the next book. Hopefully we won’t have too long to wait.
So yes I’ll definitely be recommending The Dancing Girls, it’s a thrilling and engrossing read that I managed to devour in a few hours and has me excited for book two.
Was this review helpful?
Newly promoted Lieutenant Jo Fournier has been working overtime, getting used to her new position.
She is called to a murder scene at a hotel, where the body of a woman is found strangled and laying in an odd position, like she is dancing. No signs of a struggle, or sexual assault, but her wedding ring is missing.
Identified as Jeanine Hammond, married, no children.
They check in to her life, but find no viable suspects.
While on vacation in New Orleans, visiting family, Jo hears of a similar murder in the area. Married woman found at a hotel with her wedding ring missing, also found in an unusual position, posed like a dancer.
Jo thinks they have a serial killer on their hands. She uncovers more cases with similar details. She tries to piece together how these women could have met their killer and finds out they are all gamers on World of Warcraft.
Then the killer picks the wrong woman to play games with. She turns the tables on him!
This is a well written thriller with a good twist at the end! We are able to see the thought process of a serial killer. The gaming aspect of the story was quite different.
A solid debut, looking forward to the next book in the series, where I hope to see more development of Jo Fournier's character.
Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for the free ebook in exchange for an honest review.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.
Was this review helpful?
MM Chouinard is a new name to me, but having read this, I am certainly keen to read other work by her.

Jo Fournier has recently been promoted to Lieutenant and questioning the decision, as she now spends most of her time behind a desk and not out in the field investigating. The murder of Jeannie Hammond enables her to get back out there. She soon discovers other similar cases, but her theory of a serial killer is dismissed by both her own superiors, and the FBI. Her only support comes from her previous partner Arnett, and his new partner Lopez. Together they continue investigating the case, which for a long time seems completely unsolvable.

Jo is a great character. Tenacious, thorough and dedicated to the job, everything else in her life suffers. She doesn't really have any social life and her lack of husband is a huge disappointment to her mother. She comes across a s very real. Arnett also stood out for me. A straight up guy, totally supportive of Jo and appreciative of the pressures of her new job. They come across as genuine friends who totally respect each other. Martin was a really interesting character as you will see if you read the book. Diana worked less well, for me at least.

The descriptions of the murders are very detailed, but not particularly gruesome, so no need to worry if you're a little squeamish. The reader knows the thoughts and twisted logic of the killer as he sets up and carries out the killing. He is very precise and that is reflected in the writing. There is a beauty to the description too. It's hard to explain, but you'll know what I mean if you read it.

One thing I found fascinating was the lead up to the murders. All communications are done online, with initial contact made through an online multi player fantasy game, where other players can be anywhere in the world. Their in-game characters meet and it goes from there. This is a world I know nothing about, despite being the mother of two teenage boys! The level of detail given in the book would suggest the author is perhaps herself a gamer, or she has done some very in depth research. I enjoyed learning about that other world.

The pacing is good, there is enough action to hold the interest and I always wanted to turn the page to find out what happened next. I did work out the ending, but not until it was quite close, and it didn't spoil my enjoyment. Would happily recommend.
Was this review helpful?
Fantastic!  This was a read in one sitting book!  You literally can not put it down.. Detective Jo Fournier is an enthralling and likable heroine, and as for the 'baddie' this is such a well written novel, that you even empathise a little with them!  Brilliant!
Was this review helpful?