The Girls in the Water is a totally engrossing introduction to Detectives King and Lane

The Girls in the Water book review

What is this about?: Alex King is a DI in Wales, and Chloe Lane is one of the members of her team. The book starts with an investigation of the murders of several young women, and well, ends somewhere else entirely.

What else is this about?: An introduction to King and Lane as characters, but their blossoming friendship as well.

Blurb

When she woke, she found herself in darkness. She couldn’t move. She was going to die and she had no idea why…

Early one icy winter morning, Detective Alex King is called to a murder scene at a local park. The river is running high, and in the water lies the body of a woman, her wrists tied, and all her fingernails missing.

The victim, beautiful, young Lola Evans, had a troubled past, but Alex’s team can’t find a reason why anyone would want to kill her. The pressure to solve the case keeps mounting, but all their leads run dry.

Then, another body is found in the water.

A disturbing clue suggests how the girls are connected. But who would target such vulnerable girls, and does this mean another life is at risk? Just when Alex thinks she has cracked the case, she realises one of her own team is in terrible danger.

Alex is caught in a race against time to reach the next victim before it’s too late… and some of her team must face terrifying truths from their own lives if they’re to have a chance of catching the killer.

As you can tell from above, The Girls in the Water wants to do many things, but thankfully it pretty much succeeds in all of it.

Who are King and Lane

Alex and Chloe work together in a police team in Wales. Alex is Chloe’s boss, and she’s taken her under her wing, guiding her and her career. It’s why Chloe feels she can trust her with her secrets and her quest to find her brother’s killer.

While this first book in the series focuses on letting readers and Alex understand Chloe more, her past and what drives her, Victoria Jenkins has managed a fine balance between Alex and Chloe’s backgrounds to draw a pretty comprehensive picture of Alex, enough for readers to understand her and where she is in her career and personal life.

I was pretty much invested in both these women and their backgrounds and that’s thanks to the author and her grasp of these women. Both characters are astute detectives, and the case shows that.

Their friendship is in it’s infancy in this book, perhaps, it’s more of a mentor-mentee relationship at the beginning. As the case progresses and Chloe, who is often reserved, let’s Alex into her secrets does their relationship begin to evolve into a friendship — though not exactly smooth sailing.

They’re not BFFs straightaway, and Chloe still has her guard up in some ways, but Alex tries very hard to break through that once she understands her past and where she is coming from.

So what is this case about?

I realised writing this section of the review that without the excellent characterisation and the way the author shapes these two women and their investigation into the case, I don’t actually have a whole lot to add here.

When the book opens, they’re both quickly on the hunt for someone killing women in their town. But while Alex is focused on the case, when Chloe reveals her past and her desire to find her brother’s killer, it’s apparent that Chloe’s attention is split. Her story is emotional and makes it easy to understand why she is so controlled in some ways at work.

It also becomes clear that someone is out to smear Chloe’s name and her reputation, and Jenkins builds these two very different plot threads until she brings them together at the end… but if you thought the big reveal of the killer they were chasing would reveal who killed Chloe’s brother… you’d be mistaken, and hopefully as impressed as I was with the ending. 

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