Jennifer, is an up-and-coming television reporter with fierce ambition and massive dreams of success. Despite the disadvantages of her orphan status in the past, Jennifer is bright and positive about the future, particularly when she spots a suspicious opportunity to make a really big journalistic discovery. Wealthy hermit, Digby Barrington-Smith, has rarely been seen since he was released from the investigation into the death of his wife, taking to his precious gardens instead. Under the pretence of filming a documentary about those gardens, Jennifer enters the world of the privileged landowner, only to discover that she becomes an instant target for danger.
A fine melding of mystery thriller and contemporary fiction, but refreshingly free of the clichés of either, The Grave Concerns Of Jennifer Lloyd is the new release from Ian Kingsley, and it’s an impressive accomplishment. Kingsley has an exceptional eye for detail. In crafting a strong narrative built around sharp, unexpected twists in plot and character, it’s crucial to retain clarity — especially when writing for shrewder genre veterans, who don’t care for measured misdirection or false leads. Underscored by an acerbic pen, Kingsley maintains a prevailing sense of authenticity without the need for grandstanding or false climaxes. Jennifer Lloyd is the catalyst that makes this work. Methodical and confident as she follows her investigation, there’s a certain naivety to her character that Kingsley teases out. It’s an inspired touch which allows for a timely infusion of humour, but more importantly it encourages our concern for her wellbeing as she pursues her pathway to fame. This is further accentuated by Kingsley’s first person narrative and paves the way for a cracking denouement. These alone are reason to turn the pages but, in the final analysis, it’s the simple elegance with which Kingsley writes that proves unrelentingly endearing.
Exceptionally entertaining, The Grave Concerns Of Jennifer Lloyd proves Kingsley’s prowess as a multi-genre author and is recommended without reservation.
- Stephan J Myers (Book Viral)
As most fiction writers know, characters don't usually spring from an author's pen to page as full-blown concepts: they evolve, like a sculpture from a piece of clay, as the story moves on. This wasn't the case, however, for author Ian Kingsley as he wrote The Grave Concerns of Jennifer Lloyd: his protagonist Jen “built herself” and poured from his pen already developed as a strong and humorous lead character with whom the reader can readily empathise: one filled with zest and always ready to confront new situations. Kingsley's other characters are equally interesting and well-drawn, and the English country estate where the mystery is set sounds gorgeous. There is even a romantic angle.
From its first paragraph, The Grave Concerns draws readers
in with a flash and a bang. "I plan to start with a murder. That should
get me noticed. I’m after headlines and television news. Or, to put it
more bluntly: fame. Maybe you think murder is too dangerous for a girl,
but I’m dangerous as well. There are dangerous girls in the army; I’m
a dangerous girl in civvy-street. Are you shocked? Well, hang on! You’ll
guess where I’m going with this when I tell you I was once a journalist
and now I’m a television presenter. All I’m really talking about
is crafting a dramatic exposé of a murderer. So, you
see, I’m quite a nice person, really."
Jen's job as a freelance television presenter is enhanced by lead stories, interviews, and a nose for trouble. It’s the latter that drives Jen into a dangerous situation, even though her job largely consists of presenting wildlife and documentary pieces and educational works.
All this is about to change as she confronts something far more sinister. Living a life of contrasts, and suddenly mixing with those who cultivate a propensity for danger, her troubled past comes back to haunt her, making her realise her talents and instincts may be no match for her adversaries: “I might not attack him, as Ami had predicted, but I could rise to a little scream in his ear. But that was not to be; he’d already headed for the door—he has a nose for trouble.”
As Jen's secrets and lack of credentials are exposed, threatening everything she's built, she finds herself recreating a new life through alternate avenues that bring her into contact with different experiences and individuals: “Did I like the job I had created for myself? I didn’t like the thought of making it rough for Digby, but some justice for Toma had to be achieved… He might have cheated on his wife, but he deserved better than that.”
Can a TV reporter who has invented her career solve murders that
baffled the police? What happens when she truly has to face down a murderer
and confront her own ethics by possibly destroying a man's carefully-built façade
of a life that he, too, has reinvented in a creative manner?
Murder mystery and thriller readers will relish The Grave Concerns of Jennifer Lloyd. The feisty and conflicted world of Jen and how she chooses to navigate her obstacles makes for a powerful, compelling read that's hard to put down.
– D. Donovan (Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review)
The Grave Concerns of Jennifer Lloyd is a thrilling murder mystery by author Ian Kingsley, with an authentic British flavour. Our title’s heroine, Jennifer, is an up-and-coming television reporter with fierce ambition and massive dreams of success. Despite the disadvantages of her orphan status in the past, Jennifer is bright and positive about the future, particularly when she spots a suspicious opportunity to make a really big journalistic discovery. Wealthy hermit Digby Barrington-Smith has rarely been seen since he was released from the investigation into the death of his wife, taking to his precious gardens instead. Under the pretence of filming a documentary about those gardens, Jennifer enters the world of the privileged landowner, only to discover that she becomes an instant target for danger.
Jennifer Lloyd is not the superwoman lead of some mystery novels, yet neither is she a simpering fool. Ian Kingsley has created a charming and real young woman whose ambition and logic usually prevail, but who has genuinely believable faults which could also be her undoing. The narrative style allows Jennifer to speak directly to her audience, creating a sometimes cosy atmosphere which is engaging to read, but also allowing access straight into the character’s mind at the most tense moments of the plot. What I enjoyed most about The Grave Concerns of Jennifer Lloyd was the utter Britishness of the gentry and the television industry, for the action and thrills of this novel come from somewhere authentic, which makes them all the more entertaining.
–K.C. Finn (Readers' Favorite)