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The Safe Word

(DI Eleanor Raven #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  643 ratings  ·  80 reviews
There are rules that every player of every game must abide by, no matter how dangerous the sport.

Toronto has become the backdrop to a macabre set of artistic installations: women kidnapped, tortured and horrifically displayed by a killer with a vision.

Only someone capable of understanding the killer's creative desire will be able to stop the murders and D I Eleanor Raven
Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 14th 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  643 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing

This is incredibly hard to believe that The Safe Word is the very first novel by Karen Long. I wouldn't hesitate to read another book by Karen Long. Here I have just found my self a new author to follow. D I Eleanor Raven has a dark secret life outside from being D I Raven. When she is D I Raven on a murder case two victims have been heavily smeared with read lipsticks is there a link to the murder of Belinda Myrtle and that of Lydia Greystein?. D I Eleanor Raven and will focus her attention to
Claire Huston
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
A gripping series opener. 4/5 stars.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

This first installment in the Eleanor Raven series has everything fans of police procedurals could want. An escalating, chilling serial killer. A competent, hard-boiled female detective on his tail, struggling as she totes round a new partner who also happens to be an irritating rookie. A likeable cast of colourful secondary characters. Hell, there’s even a dog! Ultimately, the experience reminded me of
Linda Strong
Mar 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2015
DS Eleanor Raven has a dark and dangerous secret that may destroy her very life.
This book takes us into the seedy and terrifying world of BDSM or “bondage/domination sadomasochism” . Someone is offering a 'pretend' kidnapping to young women who would like to experience the ultimate in mild or simulated pain or humiliation. Anyone involved in these kinds of games must have a safe word .. a word, that when spoken, means the end of the game.

Someone is taking it further .... young women are found
Nurse Lisa In Ohio (PRN Book Reviews)
Title: "The Safe Word" - author's first publication and start of a series.
Author: Karen Long
Published: January, 2014
Genre: Fiction, adult fiction, BDSM (NOT MUCH), erotica, adult themes, adult language, mystery, law enforcement, British literature (author is British), murder, thriller, violence, mental illness.
Read: July, 2015.
Format: this electronic book was provided free of charge via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
My rating (scale: 1-5 stars): 3.5 stars.

My thoughts:

When I
Liz Barnsley
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books that I suddenly noticed everyone raving about on Twitter so I was very happy when the author sent me a copy for review purposes – and blimey it packed a HELL of a punch with one of the best openings I’ve seen in a crime novel for a while which was then followed by a highly compelling story with some terrifically drawn characters.

Eleanor Raven is a beautifully drawn character, dark and delicious, highly intelligent and one who doesnt suffer fools gladly OR apologise for
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Karen Long introduces her readers to DI Raven in the first chapter of The Safe Word. This is an introduction that is certainly very different to the usual 'meet the Detective' passages.

It's clear from the outset that DI Raven is a little bit different, she has a secret. Her secret could do lots of harm.

And then, bang! The reader finds themselves at the scene of the crime, explicitly described in all of it's gory detail. Due to the nature of these crimes, there is that feeling that DI Raven is
Terri Wino
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: year-2015
A decent thriller/mystery that would have earned another star from me if not for a few reasons:
1) Most of the characters were not very likeable. This alone never turns me off of a book because, let's face it, most people in our lives aren't very likeable a lot of the time. However, if you want me to feel some emotional attachment to your main protagonist you have to give me SOMETHING to admire about them or a reason for their detachment. Eleanor just came across as a cold bitch for the majority
Amanda - Go Book Yourself
Jun 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Also reviewed on my blog:

The Safe Word Grips its readers from the very first page. I was hooked right from the beginning. The first chapter was really different, but in a good way.

Eleanor Raven is not your typical murder mystery novel detective. She has a dark and rather erotic side. In her work she is top dog, always in control but in her private life she seems to want to surrender all of that control. This made for really interesting reading. I’d never
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
At first when I started reading this I was like mmmm, I checked this out and it's supposed to be about a killer on the loose, not a chapter from 50 Shades of Grey. Thankfully, after the first few pages, it went on to become the book I thought I had chosen.

This one gets a little creepy just because of the way the scenes play out. And I seriously thought I knew who the killer was until the very end. And, I was wrong. I think this was an entertaining story and I liked the characters. There were
Kerry Donovan
Feb 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a well-written police procedural
Flawed detective, DI Eleanor Raven, the hero of author Karen Long’s new book “The Safe Word” has a secret she hides from her colleagues — a secret that could end her career and land her in grave danger. She’s into BDSM! To top it all, she’s chasing a serial killer who hangs his victims by a hook through their neck, after first wrapping them in plastic sheets. He’s a sick boy, of that there is no doubt, and Eleanor needs to catch the monster before he kills again.
“What!” you say, “No. Don’t put
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review from NetGalley.

A little surprised at all the love out there for this title - it's a perfectly serviceable police procedural/thriller, but nothing special and the "thing" that is supposed to be so exciting? Perhaps a bit more shocking (not) if I hadn't just read a police procedural/thriller featuring a female detective with the exact same "thing."

I'm guessing this is the first book in a planned series about Detective Inspector Eleanor Raven and her new partner Detective Laurence
Jun 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
DI Eleanor Raven has a past she would prefer her colleagues not know about brought on by the death of her childhood friend that she still wishes she had been able to foresee and prevent. Now she is on the trail of a ritualistic killer that comes perilously close to the secret life she has chosen. This makes her a target for the killer. As she and her new partner try to solve these crimes before more bodies can be displayed for viewing she has been placed in the killer's sites. Now they must find ...more
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
From the very first chapter right through the twists and turns into the depravity of the human mind, this book had me intrigued. Eleanor Raven is an enigma and I loved how the author has created a character like no other - unique, intriguing and complex - and she has a secret! I thoroughly enjoyed this debut novel and cannot wait to read The Vault - anxious to see how the tension between Raven and her police partner Laurence unfolds.
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A friend recommend I read this after she had seen James Purifoy post about it on Twitter. I was skeptical but am glad that I did. I finished it in two days and must agree that it is "unputdownable". The book kept me interested from start to finish. Eleanor Raven is an amazing female character with enough depth to be interesting for years to come. I look forward to reading more books in this series and adding Karen Long to my "watch" list.
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally posted at:

I met Karen at an author/blogger meet up in March and I’ve finally got around to reading her book that she offered me for a side note how do such nice people come up with such horrific plotlines???!!

Anyway, this is the first in the DS Eleanor Raven series and to be fair is a pretty good series opener. A book that gets straight into the action but still giving you enough back story to be invested in the characters.

May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read the full review on my blog:

She tried again "Ca-leb" Laurence cradled her tightly, feeling his throat tighten as he recognised the word and its meaning.

To start with, Wow!, this is a dark but thrilling serial killer tale. Normally I tend to stick to the more young adult/new adult genre, but when I read the description of this book I thought I would give it a go. Personally I am quite fond of the crime and mystery genre when it comes to television, so
Shell Baker
May 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There is a new DI in town called Eleanor Raven and what a series this is going to be, I absolutely loved it. I was lucky enough to meet Karen Long who is lovely. Then I was asked to take part in this blog tour how could I refuse. Well first of all I have to say what a dark horse Karen is with this stunner of a book. I can't believe I haven't read it sooner seeing as it's been out two years…...where have I been LOL

We are introduced to Eleanor Raven from the first page she has a dangerous secret
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was sent The Safe Word, in exchange for an honest review.

I love discovering new crime stories and authors, I was very excited to begin reading this one. The Safe Word follows DI Eleanor Raven. Right from the beginning I was hooked, Eleanor has a secret that she is hiding from everyone especially her colleagues, this secret could destroy her and put her in a lot of danger.

Eleanor is put on a case, a serial killer is killing and wrapping bodies in plastic. She needs to find the link and stop
Samantha Arias
First off I have to thank Good Reads First Reads for this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't wait for the next book by this author. Couldn't put the book down. I liked the character interaction and development. Wish there was a bit more revealed about the two main characters pasts but I'm guessing that will come if the author continues with Elenore Raven....which I hope she does. The book had plenty of surprising twists along the way and kept you guessing in the action all the way to the ...more
Jun 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Lawsome Books!
The Safe Word is Karen Long's first novel. It is an impressive debut, maintaining the rhythm of the plot until its breathtaking conclusion. Eleanor Raven and her fellow detectives are fleshed-out characters with quirks that grow on you, like real-life coworkers. I also loved Monster (nothing like K9 training to get a dog in line!). As a debut novel it is a good start, but I found some parts a little
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor Raven is quite easily one of my favourite female characters this year, she is not your run of the mill police officer. DS Raven has an interesting personal life that is very separate from her professional career, but it seems this very well hidden secret could be exposed at any moment ruining her life.

There are many characters to compliment Eleanor Raven, finding herself with a new partner she doesn’t like change and wants her old colleague back by her side. With a serial killer on the
Rob Kitchin
Mar 15, 2014 rated it liked it
The Safe Word is a reasonably competent, run-of-the-mill serial killer police procedural set in Toronto. The story is engaging enough, but the premise is a little tired given the spree of such novels in recent years, and relies on a few too many plot devices to help the investigation along. The ending is somewhat telegraphed and there are some unanswered questions with respect to the case and characters. Eleanor Raven is a bit of a cold fish and there is little in the way of fleshing out her ...more
Suzie Wood
May 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-read
If you like Tess Gertisen, Kathy Reichs, Mandasue Hellier you'll love this. I have to thank Good Reads First Reads for this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it didn't leave my side even when I was supposed to be working, I can't wait for the next book by this author. I liked the character interaction and development. It is one of the most gripping books I have read for a long time. From the off the action was fast-paced and exciting - every word moves the plot on or gives a significant clue. ...more
Ella Fearne
Feb 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, thriller, suspense
The Safe Word is one of the most gripping books I have read for a long time. From the off the action was fast-paced and exciting - every word moves the plot on or gives a significant clue. This crime novel is so much more than a 'whodunnit' as it explores the human psyche. Forensics and crime scene investigation have clearly been thoroughly researched. I can not recommend it enough.

This book is a must for anyone who enjoys good quality crime, strong female protagonists, racing plots, terrific
May 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved, loved this book.
Very well written, strong subject matter which at times left me squirming in my seat as I read. I will admit that this will not be a novel for everyone, however if you can get past the sexual subject matter it is a great crime/detective novel. I enjoyed the fact that the main character was portrayed with all her so called flaws, but this didn't detract from her abilities. Also wonderful to read about a strong female character.
Maree Hodgess
Jun 03, 2014 rated it liked it
The Safe Word is a great read! Eleanor Raven is a fantastic character and the story has some very interesting twists. DI Raven has an original feel to her which I enjoyed.

I'm really looking forward to the next DI Raven thriller and can't stop wondering just how she's going to address the issues between herself and her new partner Laurence Whitefoot.
Jun 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Loved this book!!! I cannot wait to read more about Eleanor Raven and Whitefoot. This book is not your typical serial killer novel. Only someone with a clue of the world the killer inhabits can find him. In comes Eleanor Raven. Her proclivities make her the perfect detective to find the killer and she does so, even if it means putting herself in harms way. I look forward to the next book.
Gavin Ough
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent characters, a well thought out plot and believable story line makeThe Safe Word a brilliant novel. As an introduction to the Eleanor Raven Series, it has a perfect balance of humour, crime, sex and violence to keep anyone interested in the crime genre hooked.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Was ok. Some important facts about the characters..especially the main character..were introduced in the beginning and never went anywhere after that. Author could have gone more indepth with the story and added more mystery to it.
Andy Pronti
Feb 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Could have used more insight into why the killer did what he did. Over all I did enjoy this one but could have used more detail
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Karen Long was born and raised in the English Midlands, read English Literature and Drama at Bangor University and later on studied Neurobiology with the Open University. She began her working life as a secondary school teacher but took up full time writing ten years ago. She has written numerous screenplays and has is due to publish her third novel in the ‘Eleanor Raven’ series , The Cold Room in ...more

Other books in the series

DI Eleanor Raven (3 books)
  • The Vault (DI Eleanor Raven, #2)
  • The Cold Room (D.I.Eleanor Raven #3)