Book Review: The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 496 pages

Published: March 16, 2021

Publisher: Hanover Square Press

Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Crime


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…

When body parts are found on the banks of the River Thames in Deptford, DI Angelica Henley is tasked with finding the killer. Eerie echoes of previous crimes lead Henley to question Peter Olivier, aka The Jigsaw Killer, who is currently serving a life sentence for a series of horrific murders.

When a severed head is delivered to Henley’s home, she realises that the copycat is taking a personal interest in her and that the victims have not been chosen at random.

To catch the killer, Henley must confront her own demons – – and when Olivier escapes from prison, she finds herself up against not one serial killer, but two.

Look out, James Patterson! Here is a new and great writer of the mystery genre that will make any mystery lover take notice of this fast-paced mystery that will have readers on the edge of their seat. The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson is a book that needs to be on readers’ radar.

DI Angelica Henley returns from leave to encounter a horrific crime scene, body parts found by the banks of the River Thames. But that is not the perplexing thing. This crime has similarities to another one Henley solved not too long ago. It matches the crimes of Peter Olivier, aka The Jigsaw Man, a serial killer who is serving a life sentence in prison. However, a body part is left at Henley’s doorstep, and Henley realizes this copycat killer is taking a particular interest in her. The victims have an unusual connection with Olivier. Henley takes a trip down a dark rabbit hole full of past demons and playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse when Henley faces not just one serial killer but two. 

I’m not a big fan of horror/crime books. I get immediately turned off, and I know that it isn’t something that Patterson does all the time, but it is one reason I don’t read him a lot. But the gruesome elements did not deter me from this compelling and fast-paced thriller. It made me become engrossed in the story and try to put the clues and puzzles together of this enticing mystery. This story is one mystery that will have fans of the genre on a satisfying ride.

Another reason I enjoyed this novel because of the personal connection with Henley. Knowing about Henley’s personal life and the trials and struggles she goes through while on this case made her a well-rounded detective instead of a one dimensional one. With a lot of fictional detectives, readers don’t get a chance to know them. That is what Matheson has done here. She has created a protagonist that readers want to see succeed and a protagonist they want to see more. And that is a valuable trait, especially when you want to continue this character in a book series, which I think (and hope) this will be.

The Jigsaw Man by Nadine Matheson is a must-read for mystery fans. Not only does the book feature a black woman as a detective written by a black author, but this book also features a compelling and intriguing start of a series that will be hard to put down. Fans and novices of the mystery genre need to this one up. 

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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