Review – Sleeping Beauties by Jo Spain

My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐


51TP+JZiCVLThe inspector frowned and examined the earth under the trees. As he scanned the glade, his stomach lurched. One, two, three, four. Five, counting the mound of earth disturbed under the tent. Somebody had cleared the earth of its natural layer and sown their own flowers.

In five places.

Five graves.

A young woman, Fiona Holland, has gone missing from a small Irish village. A search is mounted, but there are whispers. Fiona had a wild reputation. Was she abducted, or has she run away?

A week later, a gruesome discovery is made in the woods at Ireland’s most scenic beauty spot – the valley of Glendalough. The bodies are all young women who disappeared in recent years. D.I. Tom Reynolds and his team are faced with the toughest case of their careers – a serial killer, who hunts vulnerable women, and holds his victims captive before he ends their lives.

Soon the race is on to find Fiona Holland before it’s too late…


The tale begins with when we believe Fiona Holland has been abducted via an account of a person fairly new to town.  A person who just drove on past Fiona without helping her. A person who does not want to be blamed for her disappearance so never owns up to being the last person to have seen her.

Sleeping Beauties is the third book in a series based on D.I. Tom Reynolds.  A book that can definitely be read as a standalone, and I should know seeing as I haven’t read the first two (oops!).  Tom is an Inspector living in Dublin, whose boss has not long retired to look after his ill wife.  The promotion was offered to Tom however he likes things the way they are so declined the offer.  The job has been taken up by someone whose father was renowned for being “bent”.  Could there be a sub-plot going on here!?

We get to know each victim gradually.  There are snippets with how each woman was taken, and what they were going through at the time.  You will see that each victim was similar in some way so clearly this monster has a certain type.  It is like he goes for the vulnerable, the ones that won’t be missed and if they are then it was because “they had it coming”.

Jo Spain writes beautifully, her characters are cleverly crafted into what you would believe to be real people, and her settings are described in such a way that you would think you are right there in the book.  I enjoyed the way characters were kept to a minimum as it left me completely flummoxed throughout as to who the culprit was.  There is nothing overly complicated in the storyline that will leave your brain frazzled, which makes it a pretty perfect book.

The plot is tense, well written and you are always constantly on the move with it.  As a reader you are never left behind and Jo Spain just makes you want to keep on reading.  I would have gobbled it all up in one go like a slab of banana bread if I was able to!

Well done to Jo Spain for creating what I believe to be a powerful novel, and as a result I will without doubt be adding the prior two novels With Our Blessing and Beneath the Surface to my pile of books to be read, as I cannot wait to see what Tom gets up to in these.  He is such a strong character with plenty of qualities, and his supporting cast complement him well.  He is likeable, intelligent and no-one can get anything past him – characteristics I love.

Thank you to Quercus and Bookbridgr for sending me an advanced copy of Sleeping Beauties.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  This beauty (pun intended!) is out to buy on 21st September, so get pre-ordering now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s