Book Review: The Flower Arranger from JJ Ellis

Agora Books, 26th September 2019

Today’s blog tour features the debut novel, The Flower Arranger from JJ Ellis. 

And now he knew what was wrong with the arrangement. It was the Ma… the negative space… There was only one thing beautiful enough to fill it and — finally — she was with him. Ready, if not willing, to play her role.

Holly Blain wants to cover real news. The entertainment beat — pop stars and teen trends — was not why she moved to Tokyo. When she meets Inspector Tetsu Tanaka, head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-jin unit, it might just be her big break.

Tanaka isn’t so sure. Always one to do things by the book, he’s hesitant about bringing this headstrong reporter into his carefully controlled investigation.

But young women keep disappearing and Tanaka is given no choice. He and Blain must trust each other if they are to stop a tormented killer from bringing his twisted plan to its shocking conclusion.

Filled with twists and turns, this unforgettable thriller is JJ Ellis’ first novel.

Holly Blain is quite new to Tokyo and wants to make her mark as a crime reporter. Covering the entertainment wasn’t exactly what she envisioned when she thought about her reporting ambitions.

She is delighted when she is introduced to Inspector Tetsu Tanaka from Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-Jin unit. He could be her way to gain the scoop to further her career.

Tanaka isn’t so sure about Holly and keeps her at arm’s length.

Wow…. just wow.

The Flower Arranger is the debut novel from JJ Ellis but it won’t be the last I read from this author.

Told from the point of view of Tanaka, Holly and the killer, this book pulled me in from the moment I picked it up. I found it compelling and quite frankly unputdownable.

I had what I call itchy book fingers when I was forced to put it down. I just wanted to pick it up and continue reading.

The setting is so vivid. I have never visited Japan but I could see myself walking the streets with the characters. I felt totally emerged.

Tanaka is a strong and believable character. He’s an honourable policeman and wants to do his due diligence. He is one for the rules and his reaction to Holly was an interesting one. His relationship with her has a fascinating arc to it and I certainly want to see these two together in another novel.

Holly was more of an enigma to me. Not a lot is given away about where she’s come from and what has happened before she reached Tokyo. This is a book in itself I think and one that I would also read. There is certainly more to Holly than we see here. She and Tanaka are total opposites but they work.

It took me a few pages to get my head around who everyone was. Not a bad thing, just me.

I found this novel to be a wonderfully engrossing novel full of mystery and twists. I didn’t know, even when reaching the last few pages, how it was going to end. I was transfixed.

Bravo to the author. This has joined the list of one of my favourite books from this year. A great crime debut and the making of a spellbinding crime solving duo.

 

About JJ Ellis: 

JJ Ellis was born and raised in Yorkshire in northern England although now lives near London. The author’s interest in Japan was sparked when a family member won a trip there by singing in Japanese at an exhibition in the UK. Several visits followed — to Tokyo and further flung places such as Ishigaki and Iriomote — as Ellis developed the idea for The Flower Arranger.

Two more crime novels featuring the team of Tanaka and Blain are planned.

The Flower Arranger is JJ Ellis’ first novel.

The Flower Arranger is due to be released by Agora Books on 26th September. Click to pre-order on Amazon UK.

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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