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An Unfamiliar Murder

(DCI Helen Lavery #1)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  693 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Arriving home from a routine day at work, Anna Cottrell has no idea that her life is about to change forever. But discovering the stabbed body of a stranger in her flat, then becoming prime suspect in a murder enquiry is only the beginning. Her persistent claims of innocence start to crumble when new evidence links her irrevocably with the victim...

Leading her first murde
Kindle Edition, Second Edition
Published March 1st 2016 by Jane Isaac (first published January 18th 2014)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  693 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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 Li'l Owl ~ Incorrigible Reader
Quietly, he opened the boot and, as he lifted the dirty holdall, winced slightly. The bricks inside made it heavy and he congratulated himself for deciding to drive down. It would have been cumbersome to carry any distance. Walking towards the water’s edge he started swinging the bag, gently at first and then faster and faster until he eventually swung it out into the water. It sat there for a split second, the surrounding water bubbling at its side, examining its new gift, before encasing it, p ...more
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cracker of a crime thriller and had me hooked from the beginning. Anna Cottrell arrives home at her flat from work, expecting just to have a quick change of clothes before going to her parent’s 30th wedding anniversary celebrations. Instead she finds a dead body in her lounge and is then arrested and questioned for murder.

DCI Helen Lavery is the senior officer in charge. This is her first murder case and she has to prove herself, not least to her boss, who is getting impatient for res
Liz Barnsley
So, you know how sometimes when you start a book, you get that little frisson of excitement because you are fairly sure you are about to add another set of novels to that already large grouping that you call "must read whenever there is a new one"? I had that feeling here, probably about a quarter of the way through the book. Anna returns home from work one day to discover her flat broken into and a dead body occupying it. Which as you can imagine, is a bit of a shock. Suspected by the Police, a ...more
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow!!! Jane Isaac's first crime novel takes my breath away! It is just that excellent a read; beautifully and confidently written and impossible to put down once you start.

I love the start of the book. It pulls you into the mystery and introduces a strong female lead in Anna. Anna Cotterill comes home after work, to find a dead body in her flat. She is suddenly behind bars, questioned by the police and totally bewildered by events. The world, as she knew it, is about to change. For Anna's life h
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Jane Isaac and The Book Club TBC for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review.

Anna, a teacher at a local school is heading home after a long day, not a care in the world. On reaching her flat, her front door is open...questioning whether she locked it when she left that morning she steps into her flat. Cautiously moving forwards she senses something is definitely wrong. Grabbing a knife from the kitchen she steps into the living room and there he is....the man fa
Susan Angela Wallace
I received this as an arc from the book club (tbc) in exchange for an honest review.
Anna arrives home her front door has been forced open. Someone has broken in. When she goes in to investigate she has a shock. There is a dead body in her living room. She has no idea who he is. Or why he was left in her home?
DO I Lavery and her team has to find out who killed him and why?

Wow. Wow. Wow.
Absolutely fantastic read.
I loved the story and the characters.
Anna was my favourite character.
I a
Alexina Golding
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy from TBC for an honest review.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, the first chapter pulled me in to keep on turning the pages.
The characters were likeable, realistic, believable.

There was a good balance of back story, home life and relation to what was going on on the book.

I shall definitely continue with the series.

Di Stirling-Chow
I loved this book. It was provided free of charge on the basis that I reviewed it honestly on Goodreads and Amazon. I would happily have paid for this one – it was fab! I hadn’t read any of Jane Isaac’s work before – needless to say I will be reading the rest.

The characters really worked for me. Helen Lavery was fabulous. Just the kind of DCI we would all want assigned to the case if we went home to find a murder had happened in our living room. Loved the tension over the suggestion of bringing
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'd previously read (and disliked) The Truth Will Out by Jane Isaac but her books consistently get good reviews so I thought I'd give it one more go. I enjoyed this book more than the sequel but can't say that I'll ever be a huge Jane Isaac fan. Its a bit strange I know but thankfully we all have different tastes - otherwise there would not be enough dark chocolate in the world!

While this book moved at a slightly faster pace it was still too slow for my liking. And the rationale given for the mu
Feb 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anna's life is turned upside down when she returns home to find a dead body in her flat; and not someone she knows, a total stranger. From that moment on, nothing will ever be the same for her in more ways than just(!) finding a dead body!

I really enjoyed Jane Isaac's debut novel. I actually thought this was better than "Before Its Too Late" which I read last year.

I really felt for the two lead characters. Anna flung into the centre of a murder enquirer of a man she's never heard of and every
Feb 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It appears that I've now managed to read all three of Jane Isaac's books in reverse order! However, this certainly hasn't distracted from how excellent all of them have been. I love Isaac's style of writing. Storylines are original but beautifully crafted to grab your attention and pull you in.

This book starts with Anna, arriving home to her flat, to find a blood-bathed room and a corpse sitting, eyes wide open, against her sofa and she, it appears, is currently the prime suspect........

This is
Jackie Roche
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank TBC and Jane Isaac for giving me the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest and open review.
What a fabulous read. It was one of those books that pulled you in at the first page and didn't let you go until the end.
DCI Helen Lavery is a strong willed character who is trying to do what a lot of women do, that is achieve the right balance between her home life and her career. I liked her immediately and found myself caring for her and her family. In fact all the cha
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Brilliant book. Had me gripped from the beginning. The characters are believable and engaging. Helen Lavery comes across as a dedicated if slightly nervous detective running the show for the first time.

Anna Cottrell is a strong lead and made me sympathize and want to shake her at the same time.

Read it in two sessions and am looking forward to reading more from this author. Well done.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good mystery and story.
Susan May
Mar 23, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

The DNA of Murder

You know it is going to be a page-turner when in the first chapter a strange body turns up in the home of the protagonist, Anna Cottrell, who is not a spy but just your average school teacher.
After the police accept Anna is not the murderer and release her, she then discovers that she and the murder victim are linked and that perhaps her past is not exactly as she was led to believe. What is even more frightening is that those past secrets could quite possibly place her and
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An Unfamiliar Murder is the first book in the DCI Helen Lavery series.

The author had my attention straight from the start. I mean to come home to find a stranger there, and a dead one at that, well it certainly had me hooked.

Anna is your every day type of young woman and to be honest things kind of go down hill for her after finding the body. Her whole existence to a certain extent comes under question after finding out a web of lies about her past. I think I was as shocked as her at some of the
Patricia Paris
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
AN UNFAMILIAR MURDER is a well crafted mystery that keeps the reader guessing. Just when you think you know "who done it" the plot takes another turn. The story is fast paced and believable. It kept my interest, never lagging, and I ended up reading it in one night. Author Jane Isaac certainly has a gift for weavng a story, one filled with a diverse cast of characters, different from one another and yet, every one of them well developed, interesting, and believable.

The story opens with the heroi
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Jane Isaac's books that I have read, but I can tell you that it definitely will not be the last!

Anna arrives home after work, and to her surprise finds the body of stranger in her apartment. Of course she becomes the first suspect, but her alibi checks out. Then new evidence brings her back to the forefront of the investigation. Leading the investigation is DCI Helen Lavery. It is her first murder investigation and she is determined to bring the guilty party to justice. I w
Joanna Doster
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jane Isaac's An Unfamiliar Murder Is An Engrossing Read!

The director Alfred Hitchcock always said he was fascinated by stories whereby someone is arrested for a crime they say they didn’t commit, but the evidence is overwhelmingly stacked against them. The author Jane Isaac must prescribe to the same philosophy, since right from the start the reader becomes drawn into a chillingly frightening situation when a young woman, Anna Cottrell, comes home after a day of work and finds a stranger’s dead
Tracey Walsh
May 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why did I leave this languishing on my Kindle for so long? I won't make the same mistake with Book 2!
"Arriving home from a routine day at work, Anna Cottrell has no idea that her life is about to change forever. But...becoming prime suspect in a murder enquiry is only the beginning. Her persistent claims of innocence start to crumble when new evidence links her irrevocably with the victim... Leading her first murder enquiry, DCI Helen Lavery unravels a trail of deception, family secrets and betr
Anna Cottrell arrived home from work one day to find the body of a dead man in her flat. Despite her protests of not knowing him she became the prime suspect of his killing. It is up to DCI Helen Lavery to investigate the case where family intrigue and secrets are central to the case. She needs to uncover which of the secrets are relevant to her investigation and which can stay secrets.

Helen is balancing leading her first murder case with a not altogether deputy along with being a single mother
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book from The Book Club (TBC) in exchange for my honest review.

Anna returns home after work, discovers not only a break-in at her flat but a stabbed dead body of a stranger and becomes the prime suspect! The character of DCI Helen Lavery leads her first murder enquiry and uncovers a trail of deception.

This is an extremely well written and thrilling read by Jane Isaac. Great characters and a great story. Gripped from the beginning. You just wa
Vicky Herbert
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given a copy of this book to read through The Book Club (TBC) in return for an honest review and am so glad I took the opportunity. The author was new to me and as far as debuts go, this is pretty good. Loved all the characters, learning about their different pasts and wondering how it would all tie together as the investigation developed and will definitely be reading more from this Author. A well written and gripping thriller.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by this author but it will not be the last . It gripped you from the beginning and never let you go . Just when you think that you have all the answers something changes and you have to totally rethink . Loved all the characters and can not wait to read more about DCI Helen Lavery
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, I loved how instantly I was pulled into the story. This was my first ever read of Jane Isaac's books, it certainly will be the first of many, such a brilliant author! This book was so good that I actually forgot to add it to my "currently reading" on Goodreads until I had finished, such a page turner, you don't want to put it down.
Jo Craig
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So, I've just finished reading An Unfamiliar Murder and I'm finding it very easy to review - I loved it! A fast paced, twisty, turning tale that kept me engrossed right from the off. Great characters, mystery and intrigue all the way through. A thoroughly enjoyable few days of easy reading.
Feb 06, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I thought this was an encouraging debut. The story had a murder, family secrets and some action. It will be interesting to see how the character of Helen develops in the second book.
I'd like to thank TBC and the author for the ARC.
Jun 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book, but I didn't particularly like the main character, Anna.
Colette Lamberth
This was always going to be a tricky read for me as I love the author's Will Jackman series and this is earlier work (and he's not in this). Jane Lavery grew on me as the book progressed and I will read book 2 to see how she develops.
The opening chapter definitely grabs your attention and you need to read further to see what lead to that point. While some of the police procedural stuff didn't seem quite right to me, I thought the author was spot on with the characters of the acting DI and the Su
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, crime, series
This started well but got a bit slow in the middle.
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Jane Isaac is married to a serving detective and they live in rural Northamptonshire, UK with their daughter, and dog, Bollo. Jane's debut novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, introduces DCI Helen Lavery and was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.'

The Truth Will Out, the second in the DCI Helen Lavery series, was nominated as 'Thriller of the Mon

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DCI Helen Lavery (2 books)
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“at the floor, cursing her clumsiness. As he returned, and started to sweep the shards of glass out of the thin pile carpet, she fastened her backpack and shot another look” 0 likes
“him again.” That thought hadn’t occurred to Anna. She pondered it for a moment, before she said, “Why do you think he was killed in my” 0 likes
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