‘The Flower Arranger’ is the latest book by JJ Ellis.
Holly Blain wants to cover real news. The entertainment beat — pop stars and teen trends — was not why she moved to Tokyo. When she meets Inspector Tetsu Tanaka, head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-jin unit, it might just be her big break. Tanaka isn’t so sure. Always one to do things by the book, he’s hesitant about bringing this headstrong reporter into his carefully controlled investigation. But young women keep disappearing and Tanaka is given no choice. He and Blain must trust each other if they are to stop a tormented killer from bringing his twisted plan to its shocking conclusion.
Today I spent my head buried in this Japanese fast paced thriller packed with suspense and drama from the start.
The story is seen from the perspective of budding crime journalist Holly Blain and Inspector Tetsu Tanaka as they race against time to find a young missing French woman after another young woman turns to dead with mysterious wounds.
Set in the bustling city of Tokyo, young English journalist Holly Blain has always wanted to report crime instead of showbiz so she offers to work with one of the police stations, she seizes the opportunity to work alongside Inspector Tetsu Tanaka and report, what has become known as ‘The Flower Arranger’, a murderer who leaves his victims with intricate floral arrangements.
This is a fantastic book, gritty and intense the story flows at a fast pace that really pulls the reader in. Set in Japan, the story is so vividly written that you can almost smell the cherry blossom and find yourself bowing with each new meeting. As well as being a gritty thriller, the story is incredibly well researched and it’s obvious that the author has a genuine passion for Japan and it’s heritage and this was an interesting addition to the story, as new legends and traditions are revealed.
Holly and Tanaka are an interesting duo that work well together. They both have the same goal to catch the killer but Holly has an even bigger goal to become a crime journalist as well as being respected amongst her peers. With Tanaka, there’s an underlying sadness to the character, that makes the reader feel an empathy towards him.
A clever slant to the story is the inclusion of the perspective from the killer, as they race against the police and try not to be caught. An interesting angle about the killer narrative is that the author has written them in a way that you feel a sympathetic connection with them.
With a fast paced narrative and twists at every turn, ‘The Flower Arranger’ is a thrilling new voice in crime fiction. The book introduces an exciting new duo that gives both sides of the story when it comes to investigating and reporting crime and the complexities and horror they impact along the way.
You can buy ‘The Flower Arranger’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.