ShortBookandScribes #BookReview – Leave No Trace by Jo Callaghan

Leave No Trace by Jo Callaghan was published yesterday by Simon & Schuster in hardcover, eBook and audiobook. My thanks to the Likely Suspects for the review copy.

One detective driven by instinct, the other by logic.
It will take both to find a killer who knows the true meaning of fear . . .

When the body of a man is found crucified at the top of Mount Judd, AIDE Lock – the world’s first AI Detective – and DCS Kat Frank are thrust into the spotlight as they are given their first live case.

But with the discovery of another man’s body – also crucified – it appears that their killer is only just getting started. With the police warning local men to be vigilant, the Future Policing Unit is thrust into a hostile media frenzy as they desperately search for connections between the victims. But time is running out for them to join the dots and prevent another death.

For if Kat and Lock know anything, it’s that killers rarely stop – until they are made to.

Leave No Trace is the much anticipated follow-up to last year’s big hit, In the Blink of an Eye. I’ve been looking forward to this sequel so much and I was not at all disappointed.

There was a brief moment when I started reading Leave No Trace when I wondered if it might not quite hit the spot in the way that the first book did. After all, In the Blink of an Eye was so unique that I thought it would be hard to replicate that feeling. I can now say categorically that this book is as good as the first book and I really struggled to put it down.

The unusual crime-fighting duo of DCS Kat Frank and AIDE Lock are back, along with the rest of the team (Rayan, Browne) and a couple of new additions (Karen-from-Comms and Dr Edwards, the pathologist). For those who don’t know, AIDE Lock is an AI detective in hologram form, capable of digesting huge amounts of data in a few minutes, and providing information that would take a human hours, if not days, to gather and assess. Jo Callaghan uses her own research into AI to give a balanced and nuanced view of just how useful it can be in crime-solving. I always have to smile when Lock takes things that humans say really literally and Kat finds it quite frustrating at times. I also like how Callaghan portrays Lock as a machine but one who is all the time gaining a greater understanding of what it is to be human.

The story in Leave No Trace is absolutely gripping as a man is found crucified and then another body is found. Is a serial killer on the loose? To stop a third death the team really are up against it and towards the end it was so fast-paced I wanted to be reading it all the time.

Given the ending, I’m hoping there is a book three on the way. I really loved Leave No Trace which thrilled me, chilled me, made me smile and provided a thoroughly immersive reading experience.

Jo Callaghan works full time as a senior strategist, carrying out research into the future impact of AI and genomics on the workforce. She was a student of the Writers’ Academy Course (Penguin Random House) and was longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Writing Competition and Bath Novel Competition. After losing her husband to cancer in 2019 when she was just forty-nine, she started writing In the Blink of an Eye, her debut crime novel, which explores learning to live with loss and what it means to be human. She lives with her two children in the Midlands, where she spends far too much time tweeting as @JoCallaghanKat and is currently working on further novels in the series.

Please leave a comment - I love to read them!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.