Member Reviews

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?

In case I haven't said it, I really love thrillers and, to be completely honest, this book too. It is very interesting, very well put together and it has that certain psychological suspense you'd like to receive from every single thriller you read if you are a fan of the genre.

Was this review helpful?

The Dancing Girls by M.M Chouinard is the first book in the Jo Fournier series and I have to say I was completely and thoroughly hooked right from the start.

Jo Fournier is the newly appointed Lieutenant thrust right into the murder of Jeanine Hammond. Found murdered in a hotel room, it is up to Jo to find the killer responsible for Jeanine’s death. But with no clues to go on, finding a murderer seems more like finding a needle in a haystack. As the months go by with no leads, the Hammond murder looks like it about to turn into a cold case, that is until another victim turns up with striking similarities to the Hammond case. Is there a serial killer on the loose targeting married women? Jo is convinced there is one killer responsible, but no one believes her, not even the FBI. Will Jo be able to solve the case before more dead women start showing up?

Holy Moly! This book was intense and definitely something different from the norm in the thriller genre. Chouinard really delves deep into the mind and modus operandi of our killer. While we learn quite early on who the killer is it was interesting to see how his mind worked and a good part of the story is told through his point of view which I found to be really interesting and refreshing. There are multiple POV’s told throughout this story and something that I enjoyed was the victim’s point of view as well. There is such a huge difference with a killing told off screen as opposed to getting to know the victim where one could feel sympathy or sorrow for a character.

Also, I think we just scratched the surface with Jo. As newly appointed Lieutenant, we can see just how much she missed being involved in crime scenes like she was when she was a detective. Jo is not great with relationships and she is practically married to her job. But, she sinks her teeth into the new case and is determined to find answers and to at least bring some closure to the victims families.

The story is pretty fast paced and kinda creepy for me reading how the killer finds his victims. Plus, there is a major major twist I definitely did not see coming. It was absolutely brilliant and original. I admit that I really loved it, but at the same that was really messed up! I was mindblown!

I devoured this book in a matter of hours! The Dancing Girls is intense and shocking. I am definitely looking forward to learning more about Jo in the next book in the series. I highly recommend this five star read.

Was this review helpful?

Such a captivating storyline that you find yourself totally immersed and only when your kindles dies that you give up and sleep ....

I never thought online gaming could be so dangerous and whilst reading you can actually imagine this happening in real life !!

Highly recommended and cannot wait for the next in what i think will be an unmissable series

Was this review helpful?

If there’s one thing that this Ginger Book Geek likes it’s discovering new authors. M. M. Chouinard is certainly a new author to me. I read the synopsis for ‘The Dancing Girls’ and it sounded just my kind of read- a dark, creepy crime novel with a baddy who makes your skin crawl and who sends a shiver down your spine. I couldn’t wait to begin reading and so I jumped straight in. Blimey, ‘The Dancing Girls’ is certainly a read and a half and I loved it but more about that in a bit.
Detective Jo Fournier is a bit mysterious herself. I didn’t get much of a sense of who she really is. At work, she is feisty, stubborn, determined, hardworking, tenacious and she works well as part of a team but equally she works well on her own. She enjoys a close working relationship with Bob Arnett. I get the impression that they have been working together a fair while now and they are partners at work but friends outside of work. With this latest case, Jo and Bob know that something is strange about the way in which the body is lying but they can’t put their finger on exactly what it is that is spooking them so much. Both don’t give up the chase and they endeavour to track down the murderer before many more victims are lost. Jo doesn’t give up even then because she is curious and determined to discover just what it is that connects the victims.
Oh my word, this book caught my attention from the synopsis alone, never mind from when I began to read the story. I have to be honest and say that it took me a while to get into the book but that has more to do with the fact that I was extremely tired and I had trouble focusing and concentrating and cannot be taken as a reflection on the book itself. Once I got into this book, I was away and I found it nigh on impossible to put the book down. The book wasn’t exactly glued to my hand but it might as well have been because it came everywhere with me. I didn’t want to put the book down for fear of missing something or some clue or other. I binge read the book over the course of a few days, which worked well because it gave me a real sense of the intensity of the police investigation.
For me, ‘The Dancing Girls’ is exceedingly well written. The author has one of those writing styles that is easy to get used to and easy to get along with. She certainly dangles enough bait to ensure that you carry on reading. This case had me gripped throughout the book and at times I was on the edge of my seat. The author writes so realistically and uses such powerful descriptions that I really did feel as though I was an invisible member of Jo’s team. I even found I was beginning to interact with the book in the sense that I would occasionally try to give them tips on how to progress the investigation.
Reading ‘The Dancing Girls’ was much like being on a scary and unpredictable rollercoaster ride with more twists and turns than you would find on a Snakes & :Ladders board. Some of the twists I guessed but some of the twists crept up on me and when they ‘hit’, I felt as though I had been punched in the gut and they left me breathless.
In short I loved reading ‘The Dancing Girls’ and I would definitely be recommending it to other readers. I can’t wait to read more from M.M Chouinard. Here’s hoping that we don’t have too long to wait. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.

Was this review helpful?

This book is labeled as a thriller, but it's really a police procedural. It's very well written, with great characters and an interesting plot. There is too much description of a computer game, which doesn't interest me much, and the book is proof that it's better to read books than play these games.

Was this review helpful?

The Dancing Girls by M.M. Chouinard is the first book in the Detective Jo Fournier series and I just loved it. I was hooked and didn't want to put it down. I loved all the characters.

A body of a woman is found in a hotel room, Detective Jo Fournier and her team are called to investigate. Its a fast paced and well written throughout.
I loved the twist at the end and I look forward to the next book in the series. Just Brilliant!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for an advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

This was the firt book in a new series featuring Detective Jo Fournier and her colleague Detective Ben Arnett. Jo has been recently promoted to Lieutenant but is struggling as she still wants to be on the front line. They are called out to investigate the murder of a young woman who has been found strangled in a hotel bedroom and her wedding ring removed. They are struggling with their investigation until another woman is found in exactly the same circumstances. What can the link be between them? While investigating cold cases Jo finds a link. No one believes her but when she finds messages on the women’s computers that link them to online grooming, she realises that they haven’t got much time before the killer strikes again. Can they solve the case before another body is found? I enjoyed the chapters that gave us an insight into the killer and how his mind worked. This is quite a disturbing read at times but one that will have you hooked from the beginning, with a brilliant twist at the end. A highly recommended book, I can’t wait for book number two in the series.
Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

Was this review helpful?

Recently promoted Lieutenant Josette (Jo) Fournier of the Oakhurst Country State Police Detective Unit in Massachusetts is keen to get back to what she does best, investigating crimes. But directing a team is her assignment and she longs to sink her teeth into a crime that looks to her as the work of a serial killer.

Janine Hammond was found in a hotel room. She'd been strangled. No signs of any type of assault. Since she was visiting from out of town, the detectives have few clues. The only thing that seems to be missing is her wedding ring. Jo senses that something is off about the whole set-up with the victim in the room. Little does she know that this case is going to become an obsession for her and her team. NO SPOILERS.

What a fun police procedural and crime thriller! I enjoyed the writing even though I couldn't care less about online gaming or WoW. The dialog and character development made me quite interested in learning more about Jo Fournier and I can't wait to see what happens in the follow-up book as this one has a cliffhanger of an ending. And, believe it or not, this actually has a twist that came as a complete surprise. It's not often that happens, so I definitely have to hand it to this author for her deft sleight of hand. The narrative shifts in time and point of view between the characters and the reader gets some insight into the mind and motives of the killer along the way.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the e-book ARC to read and review. I will be looking for #2 in the series.

Was this review helpful?

Holy Freaking Hell when is the next book out?! From start to finish this book is just WOW! I cannot believe this is the authors debut novel, she has left no room for improvement.

It has been a long time since I have read a police procedure novel that has just wowed me, but this one certainly did. I love the fact that this story doesn’t just concentrate on the detective . In this story we get inside the killers head. who I found fascinating and disturbing. You guessed it….the killer is not a secret in this story. For me this is what made the story so unique.

We slowing get to learn about new Dectective Jo Fournier has the case goes on and I honestly can’t wait to read the next book.

The story keeps you on the edge of your seat it is full of twists and turns. Not forgetting the OMG moments that I wasn’t expecting. Talk about mind blowing. I could sit here and rave on about this book for ages because I well and truly loved it and want to shout about it from the roof tops.

Why not read it yourself and you will see what I mean, you certainly wont regret it….I cannot recommend this book enough giving it all the stars.

Was this review helpful?

The Dancing Girls is the first in the Jo Fournier series and newly appointed Lieutenant Jo has a twisted and disturbing case to solve. It explores the destruction caused by the grooming of those with vulnerabilities and the criminals who target this group specifically - a timely and very important topic. It won't be for everyone as it is quite an uncomfortable read in parts but getting behind Jo in her quest to bring sick, evil minds to justice and ensure those convicted will never be allowed to have access to the vulnerable again is easy to do. As more bodies start to drop around her Jo begins her fight to get to the truth no matter the cost.

This is a well written, pacy thriller with a whole series of surprising twists and turns to keep the reader enthralled. Chouinard has structured the story in such an intriguing way—each victim has a section dedicated to them. I always enjoy it when we get to see matters from the nefarious killers perspective and it certainly didn't disappoint. I also loved the techno-thriller aspect of it—using the game World of Warcraft to lure and groom victims is a stroke of genius and undoubtedly occurs in real life, too. If anything this book serves as a reminder that you simply cannot trust that people online are pure in thought and intent. Many thanks to Bookouture for an ARC.

Was this review helpful?

The Dancing Girls
(Detective Jo Fournier #1)
by M.M. Chouinard

Kindle Edition, 329 pages
Published May 15th 2019 by Bookouture

Goodreads synopsis:
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 on her finger where her wedding band used to be…

When Jeanine Hammond is found dead in a hotel in the picture-perfect town of Oakhust, newly-promoted Detective Jo Fournier is thrown into a disturbing case. Who would murder this shy, loving wife and leave her body posed like a ballerina?

Jo wants to know why Jeanine’s husband is so controlling about money, and where Jeanine’s wedding ring is, but before she and her team can get close to the truth, another woman is found strangled in a hotel, 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, and if she disobeys direct orders by investigating the killings outside of her jurisdiction, it will mean the end of the career she’s already sacrificed so much for, even her relationship.

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? 

An absolutely unputdownable and brilliant new crime thriller series that fans of Robert Dugoni, Lisa Regan and Melinda Leigh will devour in one sitting.


3 Stars

This is the first book in the Detective Jo Fournier series. There wasn’t a ton of getting to know Jo Fournier in this book. She started off in charge and then realized part of the way into the book she was truly meant to be a detective and go after the criminal element. I didn’t feel like I learned a ton about her in this book but I was intrigued,

The mystery was simple enough. Crazy dude is killing women he met via World of Warcraft through the chats and later through Skype. He liked to make his victims his puppets and play with them until the ultimate kill.

Jo is chasing this monster. We see the story through both Jo’s perspective and the killer’s POV.

When I got to the end of the book I felt gipped. That was it? Where was the resolution for Jo’s chase and search. Suddenly it is all over and the perp is dead. Uh, what? I totally thought this book should have been longer to delve into the gaping cliffhanger than was left at the end.

The book was decent but over too quickly and I didn’t particularly care for the ending. I felt bad for Jo… oh, okay, the hunt is over. Time to go home. No closure there. No closure for me either.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.

Was this review helpful?

# The Dancing Girl # Netgalley
This Detective Jo Fournier first book I believe is going to be a really good series, this was gripping most of the way through, just the odd one or two parts seemed to drag on unnecessarily for a strange reason. It was is if the author lost his train of thought for a while, but soon seemed to get back on track. It’s well written had it not been for the two incidents dragging I would have given extra stars for. It’s unfortunate however it is what it is. It can happen to the best of people. I do recommend you do read the book it’s definitely with reading. Absolutely brilliant storyline, and waiting for book 2

Was this review helpful?

“Martin knew he wasn’t a psychopath. He’d done his research, so much so that he probably knew more about serial killers than most profilers did.”

Jeanine’s body is found in a hotel room, spangled and left lying on the floor..had she been posed or just fallen oddly?

Jo Fournier is called in to investigate along with her partner, Bob Arnett….They feel something is off about how the body is lying but can’t put their finger on it…

Then a second woman is found a few weeks later, Emily. Similarly posed, strangled and her wedding ring is missing…just what connects these two women.

Jo finds more deaths with similar MO’s and feels there is a link, and she will not let it go….

What follows is an absolutely gripping thriller that really brings to light the dangers of online grooming…it’s not just young people who are targeted, but sometimes people who are a little vulnerable, looking for a connection with another human being, someone who ‘sees’ them after living with passive neglect from their own families and partners…..

World of Warcraft is an original setting for the grooming, but it made sense….the escapism and chatting with other ‘players’….

I found the chapters showing the online chats between Martin and his potential victims truly terrifying, it seems so innocuous but the menace behind it is palpable….I enjoyed the police procedural part too and the atmosphere of sheer menace is a credit to M.M.Chouinard’s gripping writing..

I loved the relationship between Jo and Arnett, the friendly banter and heartfelt chats really brought them to life…

Will Jo manage to find Martin before he kills again? Will Diana survive?……

With a stunning ending, I loved every minute and read this in one sitting and can thoroughly recommend it for anyone who loves a serial killer thriller…I’ll certainly be looking out for #2 in the Jo Fournier series.

Thank you to Bookouture, The Author and NetGalley for a free copy of the ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

My friend recommended this book & it did not disappoint. It started off a little slow for me, but picked up quickly and I enjoyed it so much. I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Thanks for an e-arc Netgalley!

Was this review helpful?

Only every once in awhile does a murder mystery make me chuckle, a nice wicked hand-twisting chuckle. Ms. Chouinard's ending made me chuckle. A lot. But, before the reader gets there, they read about Martin, who after being abused by his mother, grows up to be a serial killer and World of Warcraft fanatic. Throughout the entire book I kept thinking how trite it was to have a plot where the killer meets his victims online. Don't we see that every day? But this was different. Sure Martin groomed the women and set them up for their ultimate death, but these were grown women, not innocent preteens. They should have known better and should have taken better precautions. The computer game and literary references keep the plot very relatable to the reader. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of foundational character development. We learn minimal information about Jo and it is almost as an after thought. But that ending! That was the best! Hopefully we will get more back story along with a zinger of a story.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to bookouture for my copy of this book via Netgalley. I love a good crime novel and this one looked very intriguing. The blurb drew me in as did the cover (which has now changed but I do like the new one too).

I have to say I would have liked to have seen more of Detective Jo Fournier in this book. I feel like she was more of a side character than the main character. What I did see of Jo was quite interesting. I think she is going to make a great main character and I look forward to seeing how she develops.

The real main character in this book was the killer. We see how he lures in his victims, how he plans his kills, how he executes his plan and finally how he reacts afterwards. We also get to learn a lot about our murderer. We learn his back story which is quite horrific. I wouldn't say this made me sympathise with him but it did make me understand him a lot better.

I have to say that I am still not sure how I feel about the ending of this book. I don't want to ruin the book so I am thinking very carefully about how I word this but I'll just say I have very mixed feelings on it. I wasn't expecting it at the beginning of the book but I did guess it before it happened.

Chouinard doesn't like to play it safe which I liked so I am looking forward to seeing what Chouinard brings next!

Was this review helpful?

What a wonderfully written book and what an incredible start to a new detective series. This was the first time I had read anything by M.M. Chouinard. The way in which the scenes were described had me completely captivated, I felt as though I was actually there and another thing I liked about this book, was that unlike some other crime fiction, this was not predictable. This was a fanatstic debut. I look forward to reading more from Chouinard.

Was this review helpful?

This is the first book in a new series which I enjoyed reading. When the body of a woman is found in a hotel room, Jo Fournier and her team are called to investigate. The book is told from the killer's backstory as well as the investigation and it worked quite well. Fast paced and well written but I can't quite get to grips with Jo's character as she seems unhappy in her role. I liked the twist at the end and I look forward to the next book in the series. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC. Reviews on Goodreads and Facebook.

Was this review helpful?

My thanks to Bookouture for an eARC via NetGalley of M.M. Chouinard’s ‘The Dancing Girls’ in exchange for an honest review.

When the body of Jeanine Hammond is found in a hotel room in Oakhurst, Massachusetts newly promoted Lieutenant Josette (Jo) Fournier finds many aspects of the case perplexing. Jeanine was apparently a loving wife yet security footage captured her entering her room with a man who keeps his face hidden. Her wedding ring is missing and her body appears oddly posed.

Of course, a lot more happens and I would advise to strictly avoid spoilers. I was just blown away by its climax, wandering around going OMG. I read a lot of crime fiction so it’s wonderful when that happens.

This is the first in a new series featuring Fournier. It is told from various points of view including the killer and his victims. So we learn a great deal about the murderer and, of course, the question remains as how will they ever capture him as he is extremely intelligent and savvy in terms of forensic countermeasures.

I found this a solid police procedural with a very relatable lead character. I especially liked the dialogue between Fournier and her colleague, Detective Bob Arnett, as it felt very realistic.

I was so impressed by the interesting directions this novel took, found it totally gripping and pretty much impossible to put down. I shall certainly be watching out for future cases with Jo Fournier.

Certainly it deserves 5 stars.

Was this review helpful?