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The Scorched Earth

(DCI Jansen #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  207 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Who really killed Leo Fenton?

Two years ago, Ben Fenton went camping with his brother Leo. It was the last time they ever saw each other. By the end of that fateful trip, Leo had disappeared, and Ben had been arrested for his murder.

Ben's girlfriend Ana Seabrook has always protested his innocence. Now, on the hottest day of 2018's sweltering heat wave, she receives a phone
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 14th 2019 by Head of Zeus
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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  207 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
“Jess knows. The village knows. Everyone knows.”

A dead body shows up, and this quote is the resulting inner thought in the opening chapter of the character whose world we are being introduced to. This instantly hooked me, and I knew this was a book for me.

I didn’t realise that this was the second book in a series, and luckily it turns out that it works perfectly as a standalone book. I will, however, be adding the prequel to my TBR list!

The Scorched Earth is a deliciously meaty crime thriller th
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, arc
This book had an intriguing start. Two years ago brothers Ben and Leo went camping. In the morning there was no sign of Leo and Ben was covered in his brother's blood. Now Ana, Ben's girlfriend, hears that a freshly buried body has been found in her local graveyard - can there possibly be a connection? And did Ben really kill his brother - he is currently in prison for that offence.

The book explores this story in a "then and now" format looking at the time Ben went camping on the one hand and th
The Scorched Earth is the second book in the DCI Maarten Jansen police procedural series. The story begins when Ben Fenton wakes up covered in blood in a camping trip with his brother Leo. Leo’s body was never found, but Ben was convicted for his murder. Ana Seabrook, Ben’s girlfriend always believed his innocence.

Present day 2018, one of the hottest days on record, bones are found in the Hertfordshire Village of Ayot, close to Ana’s house, in a local churchyard. Ana seems to know so much more
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Scorched Earth is the second police procedural in the DCI Maarten Jansen series and is perfect for those long, drawn-in nights with a cup of hot chocolate curled up in front of the fire. Having read the first book, Under the Ice, I can say that I felt it was necessary to gauge Jansen's personality but if you don't have an issue with going in not privy to that information the story in itself is a self-contained one. It revolves around two brothers, Leo and Ben Fenton, who took a camping trip ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a slow start to a police procedural where a grave found led to the case of a missing man probably murdered with brother incarcerated.

Ben and Leo went camping. The next morning, Leo went missing. Ben was soaked in his blood. Traces of it found at the cliff edge led to murder charges. But Ben's partner Ana was convinced he was innocent.

My first book by author Rachael Blok, the first section laid the foundation of the police team along with showing me the details of Ben's term in prison
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Two years ago, brother Ben Fenton and brother Leo decided to go camping in a remote area of Blakeney Norfolk. The next morning Ben Fenton woke up drenched in blood and Leo Fenton feared dead but, his body was never found. Ben was accused of his murder, but always claiming he was innocent. Present day, a body was found in a freshly dug grave. The body believed to be Leo’s is found near to were Ben’s girlfriend lives.
I liked the premise of the Scorched Earth. It had it usual twists and turns and k
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
*I voluntarily reviewed this book from Netgalley.

A twisted tale of secrets and lies, THE SCORCHED EARTH by Rachael Blok is a solid story with solid characters.

Two years ago Ben's life was changed forever when he went camping with his brother and awoke to find him missing, and blood everywhere. Tried and found guilty of his murder, Ben is now in prison where he desperately tries to survive and come to grips with the fact that there is no hope for him. Until a body is discovered in the village wh
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
I gobbled this up! I loved Under the Ice and The Scorched Earth is every bit as good - very atmospheric, excellent story telling and a a fascinating story. I love our team of detectives led by the sensitive DCI Jansen. In the last novel, cold weather played its part. Now it's the turn of the heatwave of 2018 and it works very well indeed. review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
PS This has 409 pages and not 304.
Renita D'Silva
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If there's one thing I like to do, it's to discover new authors. Rachael Blok is definitely a new author for me but having enjoyed reading 'The Scorched Earth' as much as I did, I can guarantee that I will read more of her work in the future. As soon as I have finished typing this review I am going to scoot off and buy a copy of Rachael's first book 'Under The Ice'. I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Scorched Earth' but more about that in a bit.
I can't say that I took to any of the characters in
Elaine Tomasso
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Heads of Zeus for an advance copy of The Scorched Earth, the second novel to feature DCI Maarten Jansen of the Hertfordshire Police.

Two years ago brothers Ben and Leo Fenton went camping in Norfolk. Ben woke up covered in blood and Leo went missing. Ben was convicted of Leo’s murder but his wife Ana is sure he is innocent. Now bones have been discovered reburied in the graveyard in the Hertfordshire village of Ayot, just yards from Ana’s house. Ana is hiding s
Jane Hunt
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
The second book featuring Dutch detective DCI Jansen, who finds himself mystified by the close-knit English village community. It seems no one believes in plain-speaking, preferring closing ranks, and relying on innuendos.

The story is a sad one. Two brothers take a camping trip two years earlier. One is presumed dead, the other convicted of murder, but is it that simple. Ana, the accused brother’s partner. believes not. She has no chance of proving this until the missing brother’s body is found
A police procedural that also follows a number of the non-police characters.

In a village in Hertfordshire, in the middle of the heatwave of 2018, skeleton remains are found freshly buried in the local churchyard. Suspicions are quickly raised that it is the body finally of Leo Fenton, whose brother Ben is behind bars for his murder. Ben’s partner Ana lives in the village with her family, and much of the book follows her as she tries to assist police with their enquiries while keeping on top of h
Martha Brindley
Oct 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who did kill Leo Fenton? He went missing whilst on a camping trip with his brother Ben, who was subsequently arrested and charged with his murder. Ben's wife Ana, has always protested his innocence but when a body is found in the local churchyard, she begins to doubt herself. DCI Jansen, of St Alban's police is the investigating officer. Tensions mount and secrets start to unravel in the sleepy village. The book is well written and I liked the setting and lead character but some parts left me a ...more
Sarah Sansom
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whilst each book is a standalone story, The Scorched Earth is the second in the Detective Jansen series. Admittedly this was news to me, but it’s not the first time I’ve entered a series mid way through … and I was probably only a couple of chapters in to this book when I made up my mind to go back and read the first novel at a later date. It’s that good.

The Scorched Earth sets its stall out early, with an oppressive and atmospheric start. The country is in the grip of a stifling heatwave, with
Amy Taranis
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’ve just finished The Scorched Earth by Rachael Blok. It’s brilliant, had me hooked. I stayed up really late last night reading the last 40%! If you love thrillers you’ll love it. A twisted tale of revenge, there are tit bits through out that have you guessing but without revealing the end. I sort of guessed killer but was still desperate to find out the details and it wasn’t what I expected. Characters are relatable and it’s really well written. I’ve just downloaded another of Rachael’s books ...more
Carolyn Perkins
May 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Well, I confess I was gripped but the ending was so implausible that I was left disappointed and frustrated. The old trope about people not being recognizable with just a change of hair colour and contact lenses has been done to death (no pun intended) and should be laid permanently to rest. Normally I would immediately seek out books by the same author and I see this was the second in the DCI Jansen series but have no plans to read the first one. - for a good while at least. Plausible character ...more
Jillian Higham
May 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very atmospheric mystery and my first introduction to this series. Initially I couldn't place the setting and thought it must be in Australia with all the references to drought and oppressive heat. Gobsmacked when I found it was set in green old England. 28 degrees C is a nice day where I come from. I guess the English just aren't used to warm weather. Anyway apart from that it was a really riveting and intriguing read that I found hard to put down. ...more
Edwin David
Jun 12, 2020 rated it liked it
Set in a near future, where global warming has made the south of England unbearably hot, this is a pretty good murder mystery. It's one of those where Amazon were selling on example in a series to entice you to buy the others. I enjoyed it, but not so much that I'd be tempted to pay full price for the others. ...more
Apr 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Meh. OK storyline. I didn't click with any of the characters at all. I found the end to each chapter incredibly annoying. One sentence, like it was supposed to be deeply profound. "And the night was dark." "It falls like a flood." ...more
Natasha Gruenke
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've read a lot of crime thrillers and often find myself working out the "whodunnit" long before the author intends-however this book kept me guessing right to the very end! The pace was excellent, varied and interesting and I really engaged with the story and the characters. ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down, very cleverly written. I felt the characters were solid and the storyline is gripping ...more
Lisa Clift
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this, but some aspects made me roll my eyes so hard they practically fell out of my head, and that coloured my whole experience. Disappointing.
Emma Maguire
Aug 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I'm sure it's somebody's vibe but I can't stand her writing style. ...more
Jo Furniss
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Atmospheric and gripping read with a feverish intensity! Set during a sweltering heat wave, the story has enough twists and turns and guilty secrets to satisfy thriller-fans.
Diane Warburton
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. Took a while to get into the story but a great mystery nevertheless. The pace built up nicely towards the end. A satisfying read.
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Keeps you guessing almost till the end
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
really brilliant read,
Martin Turner
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic whodunnit in the classical style of the past greats
Mary Ann Nobbs
Dec 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

A bit hard to follow, as it seems to jump from one country to another. The names would have been better if anglicised. That said I enjoyed the book
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