I am delighted to share my review today for The Chemical Cocktail by Fiona Erskine. This book is the 3rd book in the Jaqueline Silver series, and yes, it is the first one I have read.
My huge thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for my copy of the book and for my spot on the Blog Tour.
Jaq Silver is back with a bang in this high-octane third novel in the series
When Jaq Silver’s mother dies, she is handed a poisoned chalice. An inheritance more valuable to her than she could have imagined. Travelling from Portugal to Brazil amid conspiracies and corruption to get to the bottom of her family mystery, Jaq learns she is not the only one with an interest in her unusual inheritance. Racing against the clock as the threats to her life increase on all sides, Jaq must use her scientific know-how to save what matters most.
This is the 3rd book in the series, and as I am prone to doing, it is the first book I have read. I will say right from the off that I think this worked really well as a stand-alone. I felt that the story and the main characters worked for me. It felt like a complete story and that any questions I had were answered.
Jaq Silver, well, she is a character I really liked. I also liked how the book was laid out. Chapters were chemical symbols and their headings were aimed at the content of the chapters. This does have a back and forth timeslip to it, the past has its own symbol so at a glance you are aware of the change as well as the obvious date.
Jaq hasn’t been close to her mother, so when Angie dies whatever hasn’t been bequeathed to various other parties is left to Jaq. This is in the form of a strongbox, leather, old and full of secrets. One of which shatters what truth Jaq had known. It also sets her on a frantic journey to retrieve secrets taking her from Brazil to Portugal and back. Time is of the element (pun intended 🙂 ) and lives are at stake.
As this is the first book I have read by this author I did have a quick peek at her profile, having read the book and now the profile I can see the author knows her stuff. “Engineer by day, writer by night” and I think that this makes this book all the more interesting.
As there is a stopwatch for Jaq, this injects a thriller vibe to the story as well as a mystery one. The back and forth fills in the gaps and this worked really well for me, I was able to discover more about Jaq as a teen and as an adult and this is why this particular book works so well as a standalone.
There are some brilliant hair-raising moments in this story as Jaq tried to stay ahead of the clock and also of her pursuers. More and more details are given, and more and more questions are answered but it is not until the end that the bombshell is released. I never saw this and I was so glad I didn’t. It made for an amazing reader reaction.
I really enjoyed this book and it is one that really had me hooked. It is a bit of crime, a lot of mystery and definitely a thriller feel to it. I am looking to reading more by this author and I would definitely recommend this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fiona Erskine is a professional engineer based in Teesside, although her
work has taken her around the world. As a female engineer, she has been
often the lone representative of her gender in board meetings, cargo ships
and night-time factories, and her fiction offers a fascinating insight into this
traditionally male world. She is the author of The Chemical Detective and
The Chemical Reaction. The Chemical Detective was shortlisted for the
Specsavers’ Debut Crime Novel Award. Her second thriller in the Jaq Silver
series, The Chemical Reaction, was shortlisted for the Staunch Prize in
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