Book review: The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson

The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson
The Perfect Victim by Corrie Jackson

From the cut and thrust of the newsroom to the scene of a grisly murder, reporter Sophie Kent is at the top of her game.

But behind the tough-nut façade is a vulnerable and emotionally fragile young woman, and her latest assignment will test her to the limit.

Welcome back to Corrie Jackson’s crime thriller series set in the the ruthless and and unforgiving world of frontline journalism.

The Perfect Victim is the follow-up to last year’s blistering debut Breaking Dead which introduced us to the intriguing Sophie, an ambitious and fearless star reporter on a busy London newspaper.Sophie is the captivating creation of real-life journalist Jackson who has worked on Harper’s Bazaar, the Daily Mail, Grazia and Glamour, and whose personal experience brings an exciting authenticity to these fast-paced, gritty thrillers.

Here we find Sophie in therapy after a close shave with a serial killer and a stint in hospital. But her ‘big black nightmares’ have more to do with the unsolved death of her drug addict brother Tommy than more recent events.

Her job at the London Herald sees Sophie investigating the murder of lawyer Sabrina Hobbs whose mutilated body was pulled out of the Thames.

But soon the victim is being linked to Charlie Swift, the Herald’s popular, laid-back business editor and one of Sophie’s best friends.

Charlie and his wife Emily are the Instagram-perfect couple, gorgeous, successful and in love, and now Charlie is a prime suspect and Emily's world is falling apart.

Sophie knows police have the wrong man; she trusts Charlie with her life. Then Charlie flees and Sophie puts her reputation on the line to clear his name.

But as she is drawn deeper into Charlie and Emily's unravelling marriage, she realises that there is nothing perfect about the Swifts. And as she begins to question Charlie’s innocence, something happens that blows the investigation - and their friendship - apart.

Now Sophie isn't just fighting for justice, she is fighting for her life...

Jackson delivers the goods again in this second, high octane outing with the flawed, fallible but feisty Sophie as she becomes embroiled in a gritty, labyrinthine mystery that will keep readers guessing from the disturbing opener to the haunting and dramatic finale.

Sophie is proving to be an irresistible leading lady; her personal battles and work pressures played out on a perpetual knife edge that makes for a gripping rollercoaster ride.

Written with Jackson’s distinctive narrative energy, that special brand of journalistic cynical humour, and lashings of tension and emotional intensity, The Perfect Victim is a dark and addictive page-turner and ensures that crime fans will be coming back for more!

(Zaffre, paperback, £7.99)