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The Dying Light, by Joy Ellis

 

The Dying Light book cover

A woman being driven out of her home due to attacks on her property. A relationship on the rocks after a child’s death. A change in career direction for two retired police officers.
This is the first of Joy Ellis’ Matt Ballard seties that I have read. I was expecting a police thriller but The Dying Light has multiple layers and is more of a psychological thriller due to its focus on the mental health and relationship breakdown of Matt’s friends Will and Kate.
Matt has retired along with his partner Liz and they are starting out on a private detective venture. They offer to help their neighbour Emilia whose garden has been trashed and offensive graffiti painted on her walls. Meanwhile, they also try to help Will deal with a difficult emotional period and the book has further grief in store for him.
The mental breakdown of Kate is uncomfortable to read yet feels very realistic. I wasn’t sure if the creepy and sinister events and setting were hinting at a supernatural element to the plot. The criminal element to the plot was quite subtle and the investigation took second place to the tense relationships and emotional concerns of the main characters. This made the tone of the narrative very different to the other books that I have read by Joy Ellis (highlighted in list below).
Wow, what an ending! The final pages had my heart breaking and my jaw dropping: completely unexpected but no spoilers from me!
The Dying Light is the third in the Matt Ballard series and I would like to catch up with the previous books to see him in action as a police officer.

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THE DYING LIGHT a totally enthralling psychological thriller with a stunning ending (Detective Matt Ballard Book 3)
From multiple #1 best-selling author Joy Ellis, comes a psychological thriller that will have you glued from first page to last.
WHISPER FEN HOLDS DARK SECRETS
As the mists roll over the fens and enigmatic lights twinkle in the distance, only the locals know their way along the hidden paths through the mysterious watery terrain of one of England’s most beautiful and sometimes dangerous places.
Detective Matt Ballard may have retired but there’s still plenty going on the fens to keep him busy.
Someone trashes an old lady’s garden and daubs her isolated cottage with hateful graffiti. Emilia Swain seems to be totally harmless, so why is she being targeted?
Matt’s best friend Will and his wife Kate moved to Holland House to put their past behind them. But Kate’s mental state is deteriorating and she’s obsessed with the tragic history of the house and an old doll she finds in the garden.
And why is Kate suddenly friends with a loner who haunts the fens?
Has the dreadful past come back to haunt the present owners?
Former detectives Matt and Liz want to help their friends and neighbours. But how can you help people who don’t want to be helped?
DISCOVER A TOTALLY ENTHRALLING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER FROM JOY ELLIS
What readers are saying about JOY ELLIS
“The suspense starts on Page 1 and continues through the twists and turns until the very surprising ending.” Linda Strong
“OMG, this book was fantastic I absolutely loved it. I was gripped from the first page but as the tension and suspense mounted throughout the book it just got better and better and that ending, well just WOW!” Dawn Jones
“I absolutely loved it.” Viv
“Will keep you guessing until the end of the book.” Barbara
“What a book!!!” Sian
“I was so engrossed I sat up way too late to finish it in one sitting.” Elaine
The Setting
England’s rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night.
ALSO BY JOY ELLIS
THE BEST-SELLING NIKKI GALENA SERIES
Book 1: CRIME ON THE FENS
Book 2: SHADOW OVER THE FENS
Book 3: HUNTED ON THE FENS
Book 4: KILLER ON THE FENS
Book 5: STALKER ON THE FENS
Book 6: CAPTIVE ON THE FENS
Book 7: BURIED ON THE FENS
Book 8: THIEVES ON THE FENS
Book 9: FIRE ON THE FENS
Book 10: DARKNESS ON THE FENS
Book 11: HIDDEN ON THE FENS
JACKMAN & EVANS
Book 1: THE MURDERER’S SON
Book 2: THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS
Book 3: THE FOURTH FRIEND
Book 4: THE GUILTY ONES
Book 5: THE STOLEN BOYS
Book 6: THE PATIENT MAN
DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD
Book 1: BEWARE THE PAST
Book 2: FIVE BLOODY HEARTS
Book 3: THE DYING LIGHT

author Joy Ellis

JOY ELLIS
UK #1 BEST SELLER WITH THEIR LOST DAUGHTERS, DARKNESS ON THE FENS, THE FOURTH FRIEND, BEWARE THE PAST, FIRE ON THE FENS, AND THE GUILTY ONES
OVER 2 MILLION BOOKS SOLD!
“I was born in Kent but spent most of my working life in London and Surrey. I was an apprentice florist to Constance Spry Ltd, a prestigious Mayfair shop that throughout the sixties and seventies teemed with both royalty and ‘real’ celebrities. What an eye-opener for a working-class kid from the Garden of England! I swore then, probably whilst I was scrubbing the floor or making the tea, that I would have a shop of my own one day. It took until the early eighties, but I did it. Sadly the recession wiped us out, and I embarked on a series of weird and wonderful jobs; the last one being a bookshop manager. Surrounded by books all day, getting to order whatever you liked, and being paid for it! Oh bliss!
And now I live in a village in the Lincolnshire Fens with my partner, Jacqueline, a highly decorated retired police officer, and our four barking mad Springer spaniels. If I do get any spare time, which is rare these days, my one relaxation is painting, especially using soft pastels. We have been here for twenty years now and although I’ll never be a true ‘Yeller Belly’, a native born to this county, I have adopted it as my own. I love the mists, the big skies and the endless waterways. All my books are set here on the Fens, and why not? The location is perfect for murder!”
FIND JOY ON
AUTHOR WEBSITE
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GOODREADS

 


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