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Member Reviews

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

This is the 5th in the DCI Matt Ballard series by Joy Ellis and I thoroughly enjoyed it, flying through the pages, wanting to find out what was happening. It didn't disappoint me.  All the stories that make up this very intriguing book have so much going on it makes for an absolutely stunning read one that is impossible to even start to guess what is going to happen. Heart-racing, action packed events send pages flying by. Hair-raising suspense skyrocketing leads to a harrowing race against time and explosive conclusion. In short I thoroughly enjoyed every single minute of this book. I really would like to recommend it to all of you. I’m already looking forward to the next. It deserves 5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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Matt and his wife Liz are PI's. They are contacted by an old informant to look into the death of 2 college students.
A family friend David wanted to join the police department but failed the health test. He goes to stay a few days with Matt and Liz and he joins them with the investigation.
Thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher Joffe Books.
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Keen photography student is fascinated by the way light plays on the old buildings. As part of his course he takes pictures of deserted buildings at night. When he views them he is sure he sees a face in a deserted building. His friend Alex is also convinced but  within days both lads are dead- allegedly from carbon monoxide poisoning although Alex's mother is far from convinced & calls on Matt & Liz (retired police officers no private investigators) to look into it.  Meanwhile a young asthmatic boy disappears with his slightly dotty Aunt Jessie. His sister  Kellie becomes more & more worried. For Matt & Liz it doesn't look like they are going to have the break they hoped for.

I haven't read any of the previous books in this series but I found this worked very well as a stand alone. I thought the author captured the atmosphere of Fenfleet & the characters were interesting. I liked the way the diverse threads of the story were brought together & all in all it was a good read. Thanks to Netgalley &  publisher for letting me read  & review this book.
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A deserted building on a poorly lit cobblestone street. A perfectly composed photograph for an aspiring student. In days, because of that photo, students Toby and his friend Alex will be dead, supposedly the result of a malfunctioning heater.

Alex’ grieving mother does believe this and hopes former DCI, now private detective, Matt Ballard and his partner Liz Haynes will find out what really happened to her son. Coincidentally, Matt’s informant friend Minty brings him a flash drive that a terrified young man handed him as he fled an outdoor market. It contains Toby’s last photo among others. With the help of Liz’ nephew and computer expert David, they see a blurred image on the enlarged photo. Was this what led to the students’ murder? And does this have something to do with a rise in crime in local villages in the fenland? And how does a missing nine year old boy fit into this investigation?

All questions are answered in this fast paced police procedural/mystery. The atmospheric locations, the relationship between Matt, Liz and David and the deliberate plot all combine to make this an exciting, satisfying read. Although fifth in a series, it can be read as a standalone and will make you want to read the previous books. I know I do. 5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Joffe Books and Joy Ellis for this ARC.
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Toby has found the perfect location for his night time shoot,  an atmospheric image that he feels will be perfect, later reviewing the images with his flatmate Alex he spots something that isnt quite right. Returning to the scene to investigate he finds nothing but on his return he arrives home to find his door open and his laptop stolen

When the 2 men are found dead it is ruled as an accident but grief and suspicion causes the mother of one to ask Pi Matt and liz to investigate 

A very interesting read
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DCI Matt Ballard has now retired from the police after several harrowing cases nearly finished him off. He and his partner, former sergeant Liz Haynes who was left with life threatening injuries after book one and never returned to work, have set up as private detectives, living in Tanners Fen, meaning that we get to enjoy more brilliant stories involving the pair. This fifth story in the series is definitely the best yet!
Photography student Toby thinks he has taken the perfect shot of a disused building at night in Fenfleet. He can’t believe his eyes when back at home in his digs he spots what he thinks is a woman’s face at the dirty window. His housemate Alex agrees to go back with him to investigate and by doing so they seal their fate. Fleeing someone in the street, Toby collides with Matt’s old snout Minty, and when Minty gets home he finds a memory card stuffed into his pocket. When he reads in the paper that two boys have mysteriously both died of carbon monoxide poisoning and recognises one of them, Minty gets suspicious and extremely worried when he is warned off. In a panic he entrusts the card to Matt who by a strange coincidence is also asked by Alex’s mother to look into the deaths. She fears it was no accident either. On the streets of Fenfleet, Fenchester, Greenborough and Saltern-le-Fen, it seems a new gang is trying to takeover. They are intent on doing anything and everything protect their lucrative business enterprise, particularly where the derelict building and their precious commodity are concerned. As those in the criminal underworld are making enquiries about these new people, Mr Palmer and Jude, Matt and Liz are keeping their own endeavours as quiet as possible as they look into the deaths and the history of the old house, particularly as it seems anyone showing an interest risks death. Eventually they have enough evidence to take to Matt’s successor, DCI Charley Anders who has absolute faith in Matt’s judgement. Add into the mix a missing small boy with an eccentric aunt, a wealth of ruthless and brutal criminals and an elderly gangster keeping secrets and it’s almost like being back in the job as Matt, Liz and her ex-husband’s nephew David undertake the biggest case of their PI careers.
This time the misty and mysterious fens host a more human threat than the last book which was full of wonderful dark tales of lantern men and will o' the wisps. All the characters are beautifully and accurately drawn and it was great to see the interaction with their former colleagues as Matt and Liz show their detective streaks are as strong as ever. This is a gripping story from the start to a very satisfying ending as all the threads are drawn together in a suspenseful tale where justice is more than served in some quarters. Another triumph for this amazing storyteller and I sincerely hope we get to read more of Matt and Liz in their new roles.
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Trick of the Night by Joy Ellis is the fifth book in the brilliant DCI Matt Ballard series and I have just loved all of these books within this excellent series. Joy has a way of written that just draws you in and I can never get bored with her books, they are so addictive!. Plus, they've always been a 5 star read and this was just the same a 5 star book. 

I highly recommend this book and all the for other books in the brilliant series.

Big Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review
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Another great addition to another great Fens series. Number 5 in the Matt Ballard series  and Joy Ellis is such a talented author that as always you’re immediately hooked on the story. . I also love the nods to some of the characters that appear in the other series set in the Fens. Brilliant main plots that collide and nice developments in the subplot and characters 
Another enjoyable journey to this part of the world. I’ve not visited the  area but feel I know it from these books
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Ex-Detectives, now Private Investigators, Matt and Liz are asked to look into the deaths of two students by the parents of one of them. Although apparently a sad accident Matt and Liz keep finding anomalies. These take them into the depths of drug distribution and a missing child. Well written as usual, highly evocative of the Fenlands, a maze of characters and threads but easily followed. Thanks to NetGalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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No 5 in the Matt Ballard series and he and Liz Haynes are now P.I's. and on all accounts, they were police officers and now retired from the force.  I have never read a Matt Ballard before and it did not make much difference as this works just as easily as a standalone novel.  
Started out that a student of photography doing his assignment who wanted the perfect night shot but when he and another student checked out his photo's they see something that was caught in the snapshot what was it? only the two students ended up dead from a faulty water heater by all accounts, but one of the parents doesn't believe it was an accident as a computer went missing as well so enters Matt Ballard.
A very enjoyable read I have read Joy Ellis before not the Matt Ballard series, so perhaps a good idea to backtrack on some of the other novels that I missed.
I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for the opportunity to read this latest Joy Ellis book.
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This is the latest Matt Ballard mystery and the best to date. Matt and Liz are tasked to investigate the deaths of two photography students from carbon monoxide poisoning. They may have accidentally caught something on film that someone doesn't want to be seen... but who? and what? Alongside this investigation a nine year old boy is missing..... I read this in one sitting as I couldn't put it down. 

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I love this series which is set in the Fens. I have never visited the Fens but Joy Ellis brings them to life and makes me want to visit. The storyline was enthralling. I like the way the characters are developed in each book of the series, I particularly liked the introduction of the nephew, David. I would recommend this book and look forward to Joy Ellis' next installment.
Thank you Netgalley and Joffre Books for giving me an advanced copy and giving me the opportunity to give my unbiased opinion.
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Set in the Fens in England, Trick of the Night is wondrously addictive, gripping and drips with atmosphere.  The Fens and architectural details are splendid and add a special mysteriousness to the story.  It is the fifth in the delectably suspenseful DCI Matt Ballard series.

Husband/wife retired police duo, now detectives Matt and Liz have their hands full as they are implored to investigate murderous crimes in sleepy Fenfleet just as they were contemplating well-earned relaxation.  So much for that idea.
Talented young photographer Toby captures more than he expects on his camera film one evening.  He enlists his roommate to take a look which is unfortunate as they both end up dead.  An accident, so everyone was told.  Except Alex's mother noticed things no one else did and luckily persisted in her discoveries.  But this is not the only plot...there are subplots, equally fascinating.  So trite but this is a multi-layered book, gorgeously and brilliantly written and smoothly pieced together.  The ending is enjoyable and satisfying.  It reminds me of being lost in a garden maze after the last bus has left for the day, speaking from experience.  Sort of anxiety inducing and thrilling at the same time.

If you enjoy goosebumpy and chilling (in the best way possible) reads, do add this to your TBR list.  Well worth it.  I read this in one dark night and recommend you do, too.  

My sincere thank you to Joffe Books and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this awesome book!
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Another gripping novel from a great author, one is slightly different in as much as its more of a mystery concerning the criminal underworld, rather than a police procedural regarding a murder investigation. I liked the idea behind the novel and the execution of that idea was impressive. The writing style was simple and effective and the overall flow of the story felt very smooth.
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Matt Ballard and Liz Haynes – ex-cops, now private investigators – were contemplating a relaxing break when a distraught woman came to beg them to look into the death of her young son, a university student of photography. He and his best mate had both died under suspicious circumstances, but it had been ruled an accident. Matt and Liz agreed to look into it, not realizing it would be the biggest case they’d faced since retiring from the force.

Fifteen-year-old Kellie was concerned for her little brother, nine-year-old Simon. He was an asthmatic and was currently at their Aunt Jessie’s for a few weeks, while Kellie was finishing schoolwork and their dad was working. Since their mum had died, Kellie had taken the role of carer for her brother – she was the only one who knew what to do when the asthma attacks were bad. But Aunt Jessie was scatty and hated electronics, so no telephone, while Simon’s phone always had a flat battery. When Jessie decided to take Simon away for a couple of days, chaos reigned.

When Matt and Liz decided to involve the police, the two investigations collided and along with a missing, vulnerable boy, the force was under the pump. Drugs were being brought in and shifted around – the police needed to catch them in the act. Fenfleet was in the middle of very dangerous activities, with criminals who had no hesitation in killing. Would the force be successful with the drug raid and what followed? Would they find Simon, alive? And would they find the answer to the deaths of the students?

Trick of the Night is the 5th in the DCI Matt Ballard series by Joy Ellis and I thoroughly enjoyed it, flying through the pages, wanting to find out what was happening. Ballard and Haynes are great characters, and young David, Liz’s nephew fitted in well. Kellie was a mature fifteen-year-old, well able to do what was put in front of her. Swifty and Debbie played their roles well. All in all, I highly recommend Trick of the Night to fans of the genre.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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So this is book five in the series and this is a first for me having said that it didn't spoil my reading,
I mean there's obvious background & history but I still enjoyed what I read.  

Private investigators Ex-police DCI Matt Ballard & DS Liz Haynes are great characters they may have left the force but their passion and drive remains. 

The setting in which this story was written really gave the story depth and added to the mystery. 

Ellis writes in a way that holds your attention so that you peel back the layers of the plot to reach a satisfying conclusion with a few red herrings along the way a fab read will be looking out for more.
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Max Ballard and Liz Haynes have left the police force after on the job injuries and started their own detective agency in the Fens. They’re hired by a grieving mother to find the truth behind her son and his friend’s deaths. Both were talented young students studying photography at university who died together of carbon monoxide poisoning. We’re their deaths a tragic accident or something more sinister and why has their work gone missing. Ballard and Haynes quickly determine they were murdered but why. 
Joy Ellis skillfully weaves her story through many twists and turns luring her reader deeper into the mystery. An excellent read.
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I’m a massive Joy Ellis fan and therefore delighted to read this book! It is one of my favourite series and love the 2 main characters Matt and Liz, joined in this book by David ( who I hope we see more of) A book that kept me on my toes… read in one afternoon and as always kept me gripped and left guessing!
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A photography student takes some photos in a cobbled street in Fenfleet. Back at the student house he thinks he sees the face of a woman in a deserted house, tells his roommate and together they set off to investigate.. A few days later they are both dead, killed by a faulty gas heater. One of their mothers is not satisfied by this explanation however and asks Liz and Matt (former police officers, now private investigators) to look into it. Aided by Liz's nephew David they too become convinced that something sinister is underway. 

I love the books written by Joy Ellis. I've said it before and I'll say it again, her descriptions of the fens are so atmospheric. Her characters are well developed and in this book, the descriptions of the photos taken by the doomed students are wonderful. Highly recommended. 

Thanks to NetGalley and Joffe for the ARC.
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Young Toby Unsworth is in his final year of a photography course at university. For his  last assignment he will be taking pictures between sunset and sunrise - using slow shutter speed.
When the photos are developed,  he sees his camera unintentionally picked up something odd, and he tells his roommate.  Soon after, his laptop and the photoshoot are stolen. Two days later he and his roommate die of carbon monoxide poisoning. 
This is in short a summary of how  this mystery starts. Because the pathologist sees no reason for an unnatural death in both cases, the case is closed. 

A promising start, but the story quickly gets bogged down because in my opinion too many storylines are thrown out. I found it hard to pick up again and again after another introduction and another  different storyline. 
It starts with David, friend of Matt & Liz who failed his police exam. He is helping Matt & Liz with their investigation, simultaneously trying to come to terms with this huge disappointment. 
Then, a crook with a good heart, Minty, is introduced; he is sure that some 'London- based big shots are moving in and seem to have chosen quiet  Fenland as a distribution center for their illicit imports.
A third story line tells the story of Kellie and her younger brother Simon. After the death of their mother, Kellie has become the main caretaker of the family. Sadly, Simon is taken by dottie Aunt Jessie to 'save Simon from the bad man.'
And who is this Anna, who they have to avoid at all costs? 
I found  the first ten chapters  hard to get into, the storylines don't seem connected in any way, and only halfway through the book does the connection between the different storylines become clearer. Patience about the outcome is rewarded in the end, but for me some parts and storylines were a bit slow, focussing too much on unnecessary  details.  Strange as it may seem,  I loved the storylines of Jude,   and Kellie and her brother best. 
Overall a good mystery, albeit a tad long-winded for my liking. 
3 stars

I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for this arc. I leave my review voluntarily.
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