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Monday 23 October 2023

The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien


Promotional banner showing the cover and a one liner describing The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien

Dear friends. Welcome to my date on the blog tour for The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien.  This is an intriguing novel introducing a new detective series, with a creepy twist. 

Cover of The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien


The letters rounded, almost childlike. "Please look after her. Her life and mine depend on you not trying to find me."

When Detective Alana Mack arrives at Clonabee police station, in a small Irish seaside town on the outskirts of Dublin, she doesn't expect to find a distressed two-year-old girl sobbing on the floor. Abandoned in a local supermarket, the child tells them her name is Casey. All Alana and her team have to go on is a crumpled note begging for someone to look after the little girl. This mother doesn't want to be found.

Still recovering from a terrible accident that has left Alana navigating a new life as a wheelchair user, Alana finds herself suddenly responsible for Casey while trying to track down the missing mother and solve another missing person's case… a retired newsagent who has seemingly vanished from his home.

Forced to ask her ex-husband and child psychiatrist Colm for help, through Forensic Art Therapy, Alana discovers that whatever darkness lies behind the black windows in Casey's crayon drawing, the little girl was terrified of the house she lived in.

Blog tour dates for The Puppet Maker by Jenny O'Brien

My Thoughts

Seriously creepy! Without giving too much away, the Puppet Maker of the title is making puppets using human bodies. 

This is the first in a series featuring Detective Alana Mack, who is a paraplegic.  We know a few snippets about her background: an accident, a miscarriage; a split from her husband, who still wants her back, and some history with her unpleasant boss, Detective Superintendent Ox Reilly. But we don't get the full story yet. I love how Jenny O'Brien is saving more tidbits for future books.

I liked Alana and the way she stands up to Reilly. She is also a caring boss, good at managing people.  The ending delivers on shocks. Although Alana is not there in person, she stage manages the negotiations. 

The torture, death and display of the puppets is deftly handled, leaving most of it to our imaginations but with just a hint of gore. What a MO, it reminded me of  "Mother" and Anthony Perkins in the Hitchcock thriller Psycho!

A very promising debut and I look forward to more of Alana's adventures.  

Meet the Author: Jenny O'Brien

The author of The Puppet Maker Jenny O'Brien

Born in Dublin, Jenny O'Brien moved to Wales and then Guernsey, where she tries to find time to write in between working as a nurse and ferrying around 3 teenagers. 

In her spare time she can be found frowning at her wonky cakes and even wonkier breads. You'll be pleased to note she won't be entering Bake-Off. She's also an all-year-round sea swimmer.

Jenny is represented by Nicola Barr of The Bent Agency and published by Storm Publishing and HQ Digital (Harper Collins).

Social Media Links – Twitter/X        Instagram 

Buy the Book

Amazon UK                                      Amazon.com

Thanks to the author and Rachel's Random Tours for the advance copy of The Puppet Maker in return for an honest review.

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