One Lost Soul (The Hidden Norfolk Murder Mystery Series Book 1) by J M Dalgleish

The Darkest Secrets… Often Hide in Plain Sight

Book blurb

When a body is found on a lonely cliff top path, the angelic face of a murdered teenager lies facing the rising sun. Strangled by the hands of an unknown killer, it falls to DI Tom Janssen and his fledgling team to find out how she came to be there. Destined for a career in medicine, one to rival that of her parents, Holly Bettany’s future was as bright as it had been privileged. Seemingly, all that could threaten this promising teenager’s life was Holly herself.

In an idyllic coastal setting, Janssen must unpick the layers of deceit within a close-knit community that threaten to reveal scandal at every turn. Holly had a secret… and she knew the secrets of others… 

Who was prepared to kill in order to keep them hidden? What happens if another comes to know what she did? One thing is certain… a brutal killer has no boundaries…

Set within the mysterious beauty of coastal Norfolk, this fast-paced British detective novel is a dark murder mystery with a little humour, one that will keep you guessing until the very end when the final shocking twist is revealed.

One Lost Soul is the explosive debut in a new series of crime thrillers from the million selling British author, JM Dalgliesh, the author of the Dark Yorkshire books.

My thoughts

I quite enjoyed this book as an easy read but cannot say that it’s blown me away. Whilst this book is from an author who has written another series of crime novels, which I’ve not read, I suppose that it might be felt Dalgleish would write with more confidence in a second series. I think that starting a new series can still be a bit daunting and this may have reflected in this first of the new series. Trying to get the right balance of character back story with keeping the momentum of the police investigation going.

I liked the three characters – DI Tom Jensson, his DC – Eric and DCI Tamara Greave – but considering that Tom is the ‘main’ character I felt that he didn’t come across as obviously as the other two. We had a lot more information about Eric and DCI Grieve’s personal situations in the storyline than Tom’s. The passages in the book which were on Tom’s personal life lacked a certain clarity. This might simply be what the author intended given it’s the first book in the series.

The plot, the body of a teenager is found by a woman. Holly Bettany has been strangled. It’s a dark story with the character of the victim being very different from how she is portrayed by her parents, by her peers and others. The reasons why unfold through the story. We follow the investigation which seems to concentrate on two possible suspects. One because of reputation of his family name, the other as dark secrets are uncovered about him. Still, for me, it wasn’t a great surprise to find out who did do it – or why! I did, however, feel that the booked needed a bit more on Holly’s home life to help understand why Holly was perceived so differently and to enable the reader to go with the final reveal.

I think this is the type of series that will need a little bit of time to settle in. If you’re looking for a new series and willing to give it a go over more than the first book this may be for you. Indeed, this book topped Amazons chart list and a later book in this series was shortlisted for an Amazon storyteller award.

As I said I quite enjoyed what, to me, was a quick, easy read with stories and characters that I feel will come into their own once the series gets into its stride.

Book: purchased

This was our book read for October. This month there will be no video as, whilst some enjoyed the book there were some that didn’t, the chat voiced some disappointment which Rebecca, our host, rightly felt was best not shared openly.

So, we are voting on which book we would like to read next month on Rebecca’s blog. If you would like to join please sign up before voting, which closes today (Fri 14 Oct).


Published: Hamilton Press (8 Oct. 2019) | ISBN‏:‎ 1800807759 | 259 pages

Buy: Hive | AmazonSmileUK | (affiliate link)| your local bookshop

Author: Jason Dalgliesh was born on the south coast of England and grew up in Hampshire, UK. He has worked in the power transmission industry, the retail sector, call centres and as a night-owl in a bakery. He has a degree in history.

Following on from the worldwide bestselling Dark Yorkshire crime series, he has introduced us to DI Tom Janssen in the Hidden Norfolk books. Rapidly becoming bestsellers in their own right, the first in the series, One Lost Soul, hit #1 in the Amazon charts and the fifth book, Hear No Evil, was shortlisted for Amazon’s prestigious Kindle Storyteller Award in 2020. Jason has seen multiple books top the charts in the USA, Canada and Australia and has sold in excess of two million copies to date.

The two series are set in England, Yorkshire and Norfolk respectively. The medieval City of York is DI Caslin’s home town and the wind swept coast of north Norfolk is home to DI Janssen and his team. The plot lines take in some of the UK’s most rugged and beautiful landscapes.

Having spent time abroad, Jason has lived and worked in various parts of England as well as the Scottish Highlands. He currently lives in Norfolk with his wife and two young children.

You can find out more about J M Dalgleish’s books on his Website.

3 Comments on “One Lost Soul (The Hidden Norfolk Murder Mystery Series Book 1) by J M Dalgleish

  1. It is hard to write a less-than-compelling review.

    On the one hand, the author has spent months writing the book, yet on the other, it would be unfair to the readers of your blog to come over all gushing. Why would they bother to seek your opinion if you weren’t prepared to give it?

    I think you did a fair job with a difficult task.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, for your kind remarks. I certainly hope that I not only did a fair job but that I was fair. Of course, it’s my thoughts so not everyone will agree with me and that’s fine. I did, as I said, enjoy the book (it just didn’t come across as polished as I anticipated) I hope that came across.



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