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Dirty Secrets

(DS Ava Merry and DI Jim Neal #5)

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,534 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Looking for a gripping crime thriller which you won’t want to put down?


Val Marsh gets home to find her husband Russell shot through the head. Russell’s ‘angel investment’ company had made him many enemies. His business was struggling and his family and friends weren’t all on his side. But did any of them rea
Kindle Edition, 258 pages
Published June 25th 2018 by Joffe Books crime, thriller and mystery
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,534 ratings  ·  51 reviews

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Linda Strong
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it

The wife of businessman Russell Marsh is headed home. She's spent the week taking care of her flu-ridden daughter and her husband and baby and she's looking forward to being home again. She's imagining him sitting at his desk looking at papers he brought home from work. She was half right .... he's at his desk, but he's not working. Actually he's bleeding all over the carpet from the gunshot wound in his head.

DI Jim Neal and DS Ava Merry are called in to investigate only to discover things are n
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
No written review
mrs j a hewitt
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Intriguing !

I always enjoy these stories with DI Neal and the team . Just when you think you might have worked out what is going on there’s another twist in the plot which makes you think again !
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

DI Jim Marsh and DS Ava Merry are back in the latest installment of the series of police procedurals.

Wealthy businessman Russell Marsh is found dead by his wife upon her return from a week-long stay at her daughter Ruth’s home. He has been shot in the head. Neal and Merry respond to the call and at first what may be a suicide suddenly turns out to be a murder. They begin by questioning Russ’ wife Val. She insists it was not a suicide.

Neal and Merry then discover infidelities, dislikes a
Donna Maguire

This is the fifth book in the series and for me they are just getting better and better and I honestly do think that this is the best that has been released so far through Joffe Books!

I love Neal and Merry - they are strong characters in their own right and they work so well together. They come up against a really complicated and complex murder in this one and I loved what was unravelled about those involved as the story moves on.

I was addicted to this one
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have discovered lots of good authors via Joffe Books. Janice Frost is one such author. I have been a fan of hers for quite a while now and I eagerly read each and every book that she releases. When I found out that Janice was due to release ‘Dirty Secrets’, I knew it was one book that I just had to clear the decks to read. I am so glad I did as I absolutely loved ‘Dirty Secrets’ but more about that in a bit.
I loved the characters of DI Jim Neal and DS Ava Merry. DI Neal is a career police offi
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it, have-read
This story is very well written that it keeps the reader wondering what is going to happen next and to who. That in itself is the same problem the police are having. DI Jim Marsh and DS Ava Merry have too many things going on in this case to be able to narrow down on a particular person. Marsh is also going through some personal issues that really isn't helpful at this time. Can they get through all the 'dirty secrets' and find the killer and why? Read the book to find out. I received a copy of ...more
Elaine Tomasso
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Joffe Books for an advance copy of Dirty Secrets, the fifth novel to feature DI Jim Neal and DS Ava Merry, set in the fictional East Midlands town of Stromford.

When Val Marsh returns from staying with her daughter, Ruth, she finds her husband, Russ, dead from a gunshot wound. Neal and Merry soon establish that he has been murdered but finding the perpetrator will be difficult with the family and friends constantly lying to hide a morass of secrets.

I thoroughly
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
A Cluster of Dysfunctional People

This well-written British police procedural and murder mystery is set in the East Midlands. The storyline is complex with several good twists, and I enjoyed this book as a stand-alone without reading any earlier books in this series.
The police characters are well-developed, and DI Jim Neal has an outstanding team working with him, without a lot of personal drama. It was refreshing that this team relied on hard work, interviews, intuition, etc. instead of concent
Paul Thompson
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read

I enjoyed the sense of place that the story evoked for me - small town England with a glimpse of a larger world. The characters have enough depth to be interesting and i was glad that for those involved in the crimes/plots did.not have all issues resolved at the end. I like having some outcomes left open-ended as is the case in life
Adrian Robinson
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Family secrets

Straightforward sensationalist murder. Neatly put together although rather predictable with little realistic police procedure.Easy to read but ultimately unrewarding overall.
Cindy Chambers
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another great read

So enjoy these books and hope more are coming. Highly recommend all these books and can’t wait for more. Enjoy a good who done it and get hooked.
Marcia Sleeper
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Twists and Turns

I liked how she kept the flow exciting and mysterious. It was a story with many characters having their own issues that brought the story to its conclusion.
LJ (On The Shelf Reviews)
This is the fifth in the Neal and Merry series but can easily be read as a stand-alone without feeling like you’ve missed too much.

This is another book that it’s taken me almost a year to get round to, oops, but I heard that Janice Frost has another book out very soon (which I believe is a stand-alone) so it gave me the kick up the bum to actually read this one.

Dirty Secrets is a solid police procedural that really focuses on the investigation of the crime and everything that goes into it.

It cen
Misfits farm
A man is found with a bullet through his head by his wife who has been away looking after her daughter and family. Suicide? She is adamant that it isn’t. The victim was in business with a partner whom he regularly argued with, apparently in a good/’business way so no motive there. When the partners family domestic help also is killed there is more than a tentative link. What is behind the business and families and why all the secrets? DI Jim Neal and DC Ava Merry have a plot with more threads th ...more
pat gibson
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ive read a few books on crime and suspense but this was one of the best liked the characters in the story with different backgrounds and some well off some not and the way the story kept you guessing,The police finding the evidence they needed and worked together well

without all the tension between there colleges it was well put together and brilliant story well done keep going xx
Mary Johnson
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Yet again, a great story and the main characters are developing into my ‘friends.’ There is a lot to take in with myriad murders, drug involvement and the interconnected sexual nature of the cast. The author gives great detail about the background story of events and characters (sometimes too much with the ‘bit’ players) that helps put the here and now in the context of the there and then. It would help ebook readers if there was some differentiation when historical matters are raised relating t ...more
Katherine Sunderland
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018

Imagine Val Marsh's horror when she comes home to find that her husband Russell has been shot through the head while sat at his office desk. His business has been struggling and it soon becomes clear that he had plenty of enemies - even amongst his own family and friends, but did they hate him enough to want him dead?

As with any good police procedural, the case becomes more complicated when another body is discovered. And then a drug dealer is shot dead in London which adds yet another layer to
Nancy Silk
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"All Characters In This Weird Story Need To Go Into Therapy"

This is a brilliantly written story which will embrace you as a gripping, crime thriller. Val Marsh arrives home and finds her husband shot in the head. Being an investment broker, he has several enemies. Detectives Jim Neal and Ava Merry are assigned to investigate the complicated case. More deaths are being found. This novel is intoxicating which I couldn't put down. I loved it!
Pat Simpson
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is the fifth book in the series featuring DI Jim Neal and DS Ava Merry. The book opens when Val Marsh returns home after being away looking after her daughter, partner and baby. When she returns she finds her husband, Russ, shot dead. Suicide is quickly ruled out. The body of Russ’s business partner’s housekeeper is found. Both families are now under suspicion. There are lots of affairs, family secrets, drugs and money laundering that are factors in this investigation. I hope we see more de ...more
Sheila Howes
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book opens with businessman Russell Marsh being discovered by his wife Valerie. He's slumped over his desk shot in the head. DS Merry and DI Neal are called to investigate. Within the first chapter it's ruled as murder.

Marsh runs an 'angel investment' company with a partner, Paul Cornish. Neal calls in a financial specialist as Valerie mentions the business is in trouble. But when another body turns up, things get far more complicated.

Although this is the fifth book in the Merry and Neal ser
Aileen  (Ailz) Grist
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another good book from Janice Frost. Neal & Merry make a good team. There is plenty of suspense here among the secrets. People are being killed to keep those secrets, but it'll all come out in the end.

Interesting and compelling read.
Joanna Larum
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the 5th novel by Janice Frost in her series with Detectives Jim Neal and Ava Merry. I have read the others with great enjoyment and couldn't wait to read this new one. AND it didn't disappoint! A truly tremendous story which kept me hooked from the first sentence to the last.
A businessman (Russ Marsh) is found dead, sitting at his desk in his office at home. He has been shot at point-blank range and Jim Neal and Ava Merry are called in to investigate. Of course, Marsh's family members an
Judy Savage
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love these Neal & Merry procedurals!

The author does a great job of having lots going on, yet the reader is fully aware of all the actions. She keeps one so involved in the story, that you can't put the book down! I highly recommend this author and this series. Can hardly wait for the next one to be available.
M. Russell
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
DI Jim Neal and DS Ava Merry feature again in this domestic murder novel by the excellent Janice Frost.Her red herrings trail is carefully laid. Drugs are hinted at, famiy tensions spill over into the investigation and then marital infidelity is revealed as another murder happens.

Jim Neal himself has difficulties at hope while Ava Merry can only look on helplessly. Janice constructs layer after layer of this complex story with complicated characters making it a real whodunit! I was left guessing
Greta Halliday
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This police thriller is a juicy and gripping read that reels you in page by page and holds your attention to the very end. So easy to read but so unpredictable , you never know what is coming next. A new author for me I will be adding the rest of the series to my TBR list.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the first book in this series I have read by this author and it could stand alone quite well but I felt attempts to provide a little bit of background were a little forced. Quite a good story but too many of the characters were in need of a therapist, which did not ring too true. The fact that even the fairly innocent characters were lying to the police was a step too far Whether I would have felt more engaged if I had read the earlier books I am not too sure. An easy read but not the be ...more
Tina Bailey
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
It was okay, but not an explosive novel.

I liked the story, but it didn't have that twist I wasn't expecting, or that explosive moment where you couldn't put it down. It was an okay story.
Nerys Roberts
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Val Marsh returns home from a visit to her daughter’s in Cambridge and finds her husband Russ dead from a gunshot wound to the head in his study. When interviewed by DI Jim Neal and DS Ava Merry she is adamant that he has been murdered, that he would never contemplate suicide. Russ had been concerned about his business before Val went away but she didn’t know what his concerns were. Family tragedy, family secrets, affairs, drugs and money laundering are all factors in the subsequent investigatio ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This latest case for Neal and Marry involves a businessman Russell Marsh, found dead with a gunshot wound to the head, in his study by his wife when she returns from daughters house.
She has been away for a week caring for Ruth and her husband who have had a bad case of flu and needed help caring for their baby.
The investigation reveals the whole family,the maid and Russells business partner and his family all have secrets which make them possible suspects in his murder.
When the maid is subseque
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DS Ava Merry and DI Jim Neal (5 books)
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