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The Jigsaw Man (2021)

by Nadine Matheson

Series: DI Anjelica Henley (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14413157,600 (3.74)7
"A heart-pounding roller coaster ride."--Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy *A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2021* 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.… (more)
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English (12)  Dutch (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This is a first in a series. There might have been a couple too many characters, but it sorts itself out ( )
  Sunandsand | Apr 30, 2022 |
The Jigsaw Man is one of the best beginnings to a new police procedural that I've read so far this year! This book is dark and won't be for every reader - I think the above summary should give you an idea of how dark this book really is. The mystery is compelling though and despite it being a chunkier book I flew through the pages. I just didn't want to set it down. I really enjoyed the fact that the author showed the struggles that Henley had with balancing motherhood and her job. The guilt that she felt at times when her job took her away from her daughter more than she wanted it to. It was something that I definitely could relate to as a mother myself. I found myself racing through this book eager to see how it would all end. And that ending....all I can say without giving anything away is that I NEED the next book in this series ASAP. So good! I cannot emphasize enough how strong I found this beginning to a new detective series to be - it's one that I have been recommending over and over!

Overall, this is an author to watch and a must read for mysteries and thriller lovers like myself. I wouldn't recommend this one though if you cannot handle gore or don't care for darker reads. If you read and enjoyed The Chestnut Man though (I feel like that's a pretty good comparison with how dark this book gets), then definitely get your hands on this one. Highly recommended!

Bottom Line: This book is very likely going to be on my top reads for 2021 - it was that good!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. I ended up reading a print copy from my local library. Honest thoughts are my own.

CW: Attempted rape ( )
  samantha.1020 | Sep 28, 2021 |
A few twists (some expected, some unexpected). I would liken this book to an episode of NCIS or CSI. Kept my attention all along but wasn’t truly a page turner until the last 50 pages. ( )
  haybarbs | Aug 8, 2021 |
Nadine Matheson did a great job! This was a spooky ride! I loved it! I look forward to reading more from this one. ( )
  Lweb | Jul 1, 2021 |
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
---

“You never know though. This could still be a nice, straightforward investigation.”

Henley didn’t reply as she picked up her bag, because every nerve in her body told her Pellacia believed that even less than she did.

WHAT'S THE JIGSAW MAN ABOUT?
Someone is killing people, dismembering them, and then scattering the parts of the bodies near the river (not necessarily in that order).

It's DI Henley's first day back in the field in months when these pieces are discovered. I think that qualifies as a blessing and a curse—it's a blessing because these murders resemble the crimes of a serial killer she arrested years ago. The curse comes in because Henley is still haunted by this killer and what happened during his arrest. Stil, Peter Olivier, "the Jigsaw Killer," is in prison—which is one of the more ironclad alibis around. The killers' methods are so similar, there has to be a connection between the two. And there's no one better suited to uncover that connection than Henley.

Olivier isn't impressed with someone stealing his M.O., and he's even less satisfied with Henley's speed at apprehending the killer. So he decides to take care of things himself. Step one, get out of prison. Step two, find the killer—and unlike Henley, Olivier has a few suspects.

DI ANJELICA HENLEY

The CSI team hadn’t arrived by the time Henley had left [spoiler]’s home. Anthony was en route to a shooting on the Kingsland Road, but had promised to dispatch two of his team with unrealistic promises of paid overtime. Henley could feel the anger overwhelming her as she walked back to her car. Someone had dropped the ball and no one was taking responsibility. She was doing everything that she was trained to do, to the best of her ability, but it didn’t feel as though it was enough. As if she wasn’t enough.

Henley is an all-too-familiar figure in Detective Fiction—smart, determined, driven. So much so that her husband wants her to get another job so she can spend more time with her family. But that's not going to happen, she can't do that. A couple of things that make her different from your typical driven, brilliant, cop that doesn't always play well with others—Henley is a black woman DI. She has to be the best, she has to be driven and determined to survive in a position like hers. Almost everyone does a double-take as she identifies herself, someone who looks like she does is a DI?

She's struggling with the trauma that came from the arrest of Olivier, and she appears to be losing that struggle, too. And that was before she had to deal with crimes that looked like his and interview Olivier on multiple occasions in order to try to understand the connection between Olivier and the new guy.

There's something instantly appealing about Henlely—she's a mess, but that doesn't stop her. She has every reason in the world to leave the job, but she won't for a few compelling reasons. Which actually makes her more vulnerable, watching her deal with her own issues in addition to the case makes for some really compelling reading.

THE REST OF THE TEAM

Stanford turned his back on the body. Henley knew how he was feeling. They thought they had seen it all, until life presented them with a fresh kind of hell.

As with most UK-based procedurals, there's a great cast of characters around Hnely There are too many to really discuss the way I want to (and I don't want to give short shrift to any). From the supervisor with complicated feelings toward her, a DS who might as well be a brother, a trainee who is in over his head (but finds a way to be valuable to the investigation), the best-friend of a medical examiner, to all those I can't come up with a pithy phrase to describe, Matheson filled this novel with people, not two-dimensional (or one-dimensional) characters. You really can't ask for more than that.

PETER OLIVIER
Unlike too many serial killers in fiction, Peter Olivier isn't charming. He's not some sort of misunderstood genius. The reader is never tempted to root for him as he goes up against the copy-cat or as he escapes. He's a vile man, excellent at reading people either to attack or to convince them to become an ally.

I cannot stress enough that he's the kind of serial killer I want to read about (and I really don't want to read about too many of them anymore). I don't want to sympathize with someone like that, I want it to be crystal clear that this guy is a monster, and deserves to be put away from society. Matheson gives us not just one, but two killers like that.

QUESTIONS TO WRESTLE WITH...
The best literature demands something of the reader. It often requires you to dig down deep inside and ask yourself some hard questions as you read.

The Jigsaw Man is one such book. As you read it, you have to ask yourself penetrating questions like:
* What's the absolute minimum amount of sleep I need to function?
* Do I have to go back to work after lunch, or can I just keep reading?
* Will my kids be upset if I miss their soccer game/little league game/dance recital if I read throughout?
* Will my cats murder me in my sleep if their bowls are empty?
* How angry will my wife be if I ignore her for a couple of hours? (especially during the last 100 or so pages) How long will it take her to get over it?

SO, WHAT DID I THINK ABOUT THE JIGSAW MAN?
I absolutely loved this. This is a dark, unsettling read—there are two pages toward the end that may be the most disturbing pages I've ever read. And yet...there's something very appealing about the novel—it's gripping and compelling, it's also entertaining.

Henley might be a tangle of problems and issues (in addition to the positive qualities she possesses), but they're not just there as quirks or to ground the character. There's a reason for each of them, a story behind them, making her absolutely believable. The same could be said for the rest of the characters, too. Matheson has a real eye for character and displayed that throughout.

The pacing is perfect, and you find yourself turning the pages as fast as you can for the last 40-60 pages, because you just have to know what happens. That part of the book reminded me of the first time I read Clarice Starling walk into Buffalo Bills' house. You're on the edge of your seat, tense, and any little noise can startle you. It's not often I feel like that and I love it when I do.

I definitely recommend this one to you, folks—but I should warn you, when you do, you'll be waiting with bated breath for the next book in the series. ( )
  hcnewton | Jun 3, 2021 |
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Soms heb je een moordenaar nodig om een misdaad op te lossen.
Hij zoekt je
Hij vindt je
Hij jaagt je op.
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Voor Amber, Esther, Jem, Jonathan,
Keri, Luke, Patricia, Satu & Steph
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Greenwich Pier, zestien voor zeven 's ochtends; het is eb en Maxwell Thomas laat zijn hond uit langs de rivier.
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Het belangrijkste was dat ze kalm bleef.
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"A heart-pounding roller coaster ride."--Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy *A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2021* 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.

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