Deep in the forest

Book review: Senseless by Andrea Jutson

This is the first book in James Paxton series about a reluctant medium. I love crime novels and the supernatural so when both genres collide I have to read that book. Thank you to  Williams & Whiting for a copy in exchange for an honest review.


Senseless by Andrea Jutson cover

Senseless by Andrea Jutson cover



A small park in a nice Auckland suburb is the least likely spot to stumble across a body. The discovery of a man recently bludgeoned to death shatters the illusion of midwinter calm.
But unfortunately for James Paxton, death is nothing out of the ordinary. Suspicion falls all too easily on the Englishman who’s hiding a secret. Not only did Paxton find the dead man – he spoke to him, too. Gifts he wished he never had are called into play when Mark Bradley begs him to track down his killer, for the sake of his daughter. Paxton’s carefully constructed new world threatens to crumble as he is sucked into the hunt for a predator, while the police snap close at his heels. And the corpses keep on mounting, one by one …
A darkly gripping mystery with an other-worldly twist.

My thoughts

This debut is based in Auckland, New Zealand and it is refreshing read about a different location away from America or UK because it adds another location to my list of places mentioned in fiction I want  visit one day.

James Paxton is a likable character who finds himself in difficult situation when he stumbles over a dead body in a park. The murder victim, Mark Bradley speaks to him and promises are made sending him on a mission to track down a killer.  There is a natural relationship with Lena, Mark’s daughter and I enjoyed the flow of dialogue and dark humour between them which drives the story forward. There were times I questioned whether someone grieving would say or do certain things she did but then I  remembered members of my family and had to agree some people would.

The antagonist is a perfect contrast to the ease of personalities of Lena and Paxton. It is a plot that keeps you guessing and the increased tension towards the end meant sleep was forgotten until I read the last page.

I am looking forward to reading more books in the series and hope some of the detectives who make an appearance in this also appear in the next one.

Would I recommend?

Yes. It is an enjoyable read with a blend of crime and paranormal. The crime gets more graphic as killing escalates so it not for squeamish.

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