Published 1st June 2015 by Legend Press
I concentrated hard, desperately listening for something familiar, the sound of life. I heard nothing. Just my own breaths and the wind, whistling through branches above… The thought made me shiver. I am buried alive. Following an argument with her British boyfriend, Chinese student Min Li is abducted whilst walking the dark streets of picturesque Stratford-upon-Avon alone. Trapped in a dark pit, Min is at the mercy of her captor. Detective Inspector Will Jackman is tasked with solving the case and in his search for answers discovers that the truth is buried deeper than he ever expected. But, as another student vanishes and Min grows ever weaker, time is running out. Can Jackman track down the kidnapper, before it’s too late?
About the Author
Jane Isaac studied creative writing with The Writers Bureau and the London School of Journalism. She was runner up Writer of the Year 2013 with The Writers Bureau. Jane lives in rural Northamptonshire with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo. Jane’s short stories have appeared in several crime fiction anthologies. Her short story, Perilous Truths , was selected from over 200 entries to appear in Bridge House Publishing’s Crime After Crime anthology released in November 2012. Her first novel with Legend Press was the bestselling title The Truth Will Out.
With ‘The Truth Will Out’, Jane established herself as a confident and strong crime writer. A writer to look out for. She gained a big fan in me. I could not wait to get my hands on her latest novel ‘Before It’s Too Late’.
The book introduces us to Detective Inspector Will Jackman, an extremely likeable workaholic copper. Jackman is put in charge of a high profile missing person case. A Chinese student has disappeared on her way home from the pub in the beautiful Stratford upon Avon, following a row with her boyfriend. We see Min Li held captive in a pit, alone and afraid. It seems that time is running out for Min, as the search gathers pace and another student goes missing.
From the first page, I was completely and utterly fascinated by Min Li. I loved the way we got insight into her life in China and her culture, as well as the fear and despair of the pit. She is kept in the dark, with mostly rats for company for almost a week. We get to know her thoughts, as she is growing weaker and holding onto the best bits of her memories. Min’s life was all about meeting the expectations of others in China and making new friends in the UK. Such an excellent well rounded character.
And Jackman, the man in charge of the search for Min grabbed my interest instantly. He has a great deal of potential, which I hope Isaac will explore in the future. There is just something about him. I love a man with a dark tragic history. Following a car accident, his wife is seriously ill and Jackman is left with bucket loads of guilt. His daughter and his job sustain him.
Jane Isaac has excelled herself, producing a dark and fascinating contemporary crime read. The parts featuring Min put this in a league of its own. It is good to see a positive portrayal of immigrants, going beyond simplistic stereotyping. I could not help but feel empathy for a young Chinese woman trapped and awaiting death, on the other side of the world from her close family. Very moving indeed. Recommended.
A massive thanks to Jane Isaac and Legend Press for my review copy!