I grew up in Durham and now live in Hertfordshire. My crime series is set in the cathedral city of St Albans. Here, Maarten Jansen struggles against his plain-speaking Dutch upbringing when faced with the seemingly polite world of the picturesque city.
Under the Ice is the first novel in the series, available now from bookshops and online. The Scorched Earth is out in hardback in November.
I'm constantly surprised how differently stories turn out on paper than in their original planning. Fiction has a life of its own.
Follow me on Twitter at @MsRachaelBlok
Under the Ice and The Scorched Earth are the first two novels in the DCI Jansen series. The crime novels, set in St Albans, are part-psychological thrillers. The first follows and young mother, who is struggling to work out why she seems in the grip of a breakdown or a supernatural force. The Scorched Earth follows Ana, who finds herself looking over her shoulder, unsure of who is lurking there.
Praise for Under the Ice
'Supremely atmospheric and suspenseful, this debut from a former English teacher announces the arrival of a special talent. It is that good'
Praise for The Scorched Earth
Under The Ice
It is the week before Christmas and the cathedral city of St Albans is blanketed by snow. But beneath the festive lights, darkness is stirring. The frozen body of a young girl is discovered by the ice-covered lake.
The police scramble for clues. A local woman, Jenny, has had visions of what happened the night of the murder. But Jenny is an exhausted new mother, whose midnight wanderings pull her ever closer to the lake. Can Jenny be trusted? What does she really know?
Then another girl goes missing, and the community unravels. Neighbour turns against neighbour, and Jenny has no idea who to believe. As Christmas Eve approaches, Jenny discovers a secret about her past – and why she could be key to everything...
PRAISE FOR UNDER THE ICE:
'Twisty, atmospheric and haunting ... I devoured this thriller in one tense sitting' Erin Kelly.
'An outstanding debut, so atmospheric it made me literally shiver' Angela Clarke.
'A fantastically evocative book that twists you expertly up in the world of its vivid characters, making you feel the unfolding plot blow by blow' Gytha Lodge.
'Packed with atmosphere, suspense and a cold that chills the heart. Under the Ice announces Rachael Blok as an exciting new voice in crime fiction' Lesley Thomson.
'A lyrical, haunting thriller that's impossible to put down ... Under the Ice will get under your skin' J.S. Monroe.