The Jigsaw Man
The Jigsaw Man
by Nadine Matheson
Published March 16, 2021
by Harlequin/Hanover Square Press
Rating: 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐
A serial killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it’s too late?
On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river.
The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has spent the past two years behind bars. When he learns that someone is co-opting his grisly signature—the arrangement of victims’ limbs in puzzle-piece shapes—he decides to take matters into his own hands.
As the body count rises, DI Anjelica Henley is faced with an unspeakable new threat. Can she apprehend the copycat killer before Olivier finds a way to get to him first? Or will she herself become the next victim?
Drawing on her experience as a criminal attorney, debut novelist Nadine Matheson delivers the page-turning crime novel of the year. Taut, vivid and addictively sinister, The Jigsaw Man will leave you breathless until the very last page.
Oh Henley! Will you ever learn?
Even though DI Angelica Henley is traumatized and forced to take time off after an encounter with the Jigsaw Man, she is back in the field and in hot pursuit of whoever is leaving body parts throughout the city in a new batch of killings resembling the Jigsaw Man’s MO. To complicate matters, her husband isn’t happy to learn that Angelica isn’t confined to office work and presents her with an ultimatum – your work or your family. But she can’t help herself – she’s haunted and driven by the case, putting herself (and her trainee) in harm’s way.
I loved the description of locations in and around south London; you could almost feel the movement of the water as the tide came in and smell the odor of sewage near the Thames. There was a great balance in the book between telling the story and highlighting the prejudices she encounters as a Black woman of high rank in a field typically dominated by white males. But even in her struggle to maintain her work-life balance, deal with office politics, and the threat of not one, but two serial killers, Angelica maintains her compassion for the victims and her promise to find justice for their families.
Caveat: please do not eat while you read this book. It seems like every time I settled in with the book and a snack, I was reading about horribly grotesque crime scenes! Made for a great short-term diet plan 🙂
Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin/Hanover Square Press for an advanced reader’s copy.