Title: Nailing Jess
Author: Triona Scully
Published: June 26th 2017
Publisher: Cranachan Publishing
Genre: Adult, Crime
Source: eARC from the author
Book Blurb (Goodreads):
What if Adam had taken the first bite?
Welcome to Withering, a small town with a big problem in modern, matriarchal Britain. Here the women are in charge while the men hold the handbags.
There’s a serial strangler on the loose and the bodies of teenage boys are piling up on maverick D.C.I. Jane Wayne’s patch.
She needs to catch ‘The Withering Wringer’, but it’s not going to be easy. Demoted for her inappropriate behaviour, she must take orders from a man – and not just any man – an ugly one.
Still, at least she can rely on her drug stash from a recent police raid to keep her sane…
When I first saw this book, I was super intrigued. The concept is something that I’m sure many of us have thought about at some point or other but I’ve never actually read anything that focuses on such an idea in such a way. It was definitely an interesting read, that’s for sure!
In a world where the women are top dogs and the men hold the handbags, Ben Campbell is trying to prove himself in a woman’s world. Technically the boss of DI Jane Wayne, Campbell must rise above her sexist remarks and outdated mannerisms as they work together to solve the case of the Withering Wringer – a serial killer who is murdering young boys.
Going into this book, it wasn’t quite what I had expected and so it took me a couple pages to get my bearings. With the way that we instinctively view the world around us, and the mindset that we have ingrained in us, it’s a little challenging to get a grip of who’s who in the beginning. Once you fall into the rhythm of the world that Scully has created though, it doesn’t strike you as odd at all that the women are the ones in charge. For such a simple thing as a gender flip, it’s remarkable for how it really makes you think about the way men and women behave – both in the book and in reality.
Personally, the only character I really liked was Campbell. I loved his attitude and the way he managed to wrangle Wayne. I’m not saying that I hated the other characters though, I just didn’t find them as endearing as Campbell. Wayne was actually a brilliant character: loud, brash… she’s the kind of person that if she was a dude, you’d call sleazy and a jerk and there’d be a billion sexual harrassment slips about them. To be fair, Wayne does get called out for her sexist attitudes.
This is a difficult book to describe really. I thought I knew what I was getting in for but it was so much better than I could have hoped. Wrapped in a classic crime mystery is a really hard look at the way society treats the different genders and what it’s like to live on the other side. I found it to be a much more fascinating read and once I got over my initial stumble, I flew through the book.
This is definitely the book for people looking for something different but with enough familiarity to still sink into.
About the Author
Irish born Triona Lives in Edinburgh with her son Mikey. ‘Nailing Jess’ is her debut novel.