4-Star Reviews, Books & Reviews

‘In Safe Hands,’ by J.P. Carter: Book Review

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Popsugar Reading Challenge Prompt: A book that’s published in 2019

Star Rating: ★★★★✰

A police procedural with no recovering-alcoholic cops, or dead ex-wives needing to be avenged. Who’d have thunk it!?



In South London, nine children attend their nursery school as normal. But the day is plunged into disaster when three armed men enter the school and take the children hostage, locking the teachers in a room, one with severe head wounds.

DCI Anna Tate has to solve the case while the clock ticks and the ransom goes up by £1 million every day.

The distraught parents insist the ransom be paid, and as they start to fight amongst themselves, secrets come to light that mean there might be more to this kidnapping than Anna first thought.

But as the clock runs down, and with one child’s life on the line, can she figure it all out before it’s too late?

Okay, I’m gonna start by saying one something controversial.

I don’t like police procedurals.

I know I’m in the minority. They’re one of the most read genres in the book world. But I just don’t get the appeal. I find them formulaic, predictable, and full of stereotypes. It’s just not believable that there are that many troubled cops trying to get revenge for a partner’s death while dealing with an alcohol problem. No crime would ever get solved if these were real people!

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading In Safe Hands

Carter doesn’t fall into thise stereotypical traps in this police procedural.

While it’s true that Anna has a troubled backstory, it’s not cliched and she doesn’t let it get in the way of her doing her job. In fact, she goes out of her way to ignore it, even when her colleague tells her to pursue it.

There’s enough of her backstory to keep you interested, but it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the story. It’s all much more realistic.

Reading the last quarter of this book reminded me why I love reading.

It’s been a long time since I was so excited and on edge reading the ending of a book. It’s definitely one you’re gonna have to stay up all night to finish.

There are loads of twists and red herrings, but none of them feel forced or overdone, and each twist will make you kick yourself that you didn’t figure it out first.

The ending is satisfying (though there is a slight cliffhanger, so be prepared for a little frustration). As far as I know this is the first in a series, so I’m waiting not-so-patiently for the next one to come out.

In Safe Hands is available from Avon Books and Amazon

(note: this is an affiliate link and therefore I may receive a fee from any purchase through this link, at no extra cost to you.)

If you liked this you might also like:

Marked Off by Don Cameron, or
Let The Dead Speak by Jane Casey

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