Behind Blue Eyes
by C.S. Duffy
The perfect man.
The perfect life.
The only problem is the dead body on the beach.
Investigative reporter Ellie has just given up her life in London to be with the man of her dreams in Sweden when she stumbles across a half decomposed skeleton on Midsummer’s eve.
She’s flung into a murder investigation in a country where she doesn’t speak the language and doesn’t know a soul.
The love of her life.
Who she is beginning to suspect knows a lot more about the body than he is admitting.
Is he the perfect man, or has Ellie uncovered the perfect crime?
A psychological suspense thriller with a twist of Scandi noir – perfect for fans of The Girl on the Train, Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
This is the first book I’ve read by C.S.Duffy, and it will not be the last.
Behind Blue Eyes is the first in the Stockholm Murders series, and it has that great Scandi noir vibe to it. Utterly compelling, intriguing and mysterious, I was hooked from very early on.
The story centres on Ellie James, an investigative reporter from London, who drops everything to move to Sweden after an intense, but fairly short-lived romance with her one true love, Johan.
With no job, friends or language skills, the move is daunting so meeting Johan’s friends for a Midsummer’s party is a big deal. But, with the exception of Mia, they aren’t the most welcoming of people, and when they lapse into Swedish conversations – which they did a lot – her isolation is even more pronounced. I must add here that the descriptions of Stockholm and its islands are beautifully written, not in a touristy way since there is a dark underbelly referenced too, but the setting is vibrant and refreshing, adding to the tone of the story when necessary.
Not even expecting them to miss her, she wanders off on this remote island to clear her head and reassess her decision. Finding a skeleton is not in her plans, but when they body is later identified as a former girlfriend of her beloved Johan, then Ellie’s investigative instincts cannot be quashed.
As her enquiries proceed, it’s clear she has not been privy to all of the facts – there are cover ups galore that bring about many twists and turns.
The story is told from Ellie’s viewpoint with bite-sized chapters from the killer whose identity is closely guarded by the author. It’s thrilling, thought-provoking, lively and tense. Ellie’s decidedly British humour breaks down the tension only for it to be ramped up seconds later.
Connecting all the dots reveals a much bigger crime than originally suggested, and the suspects seem to be everywhere. It will keep you hooked right to the end. I’m looking forward to the next book now, and this is a new author for me to follow.
I received an arc from NetGalley – thank you – and also kudos to BooksGoSocial & C.S. Duffy for an amazing story.