Beware the Past

Beware the Past

One terrible case always haunted Detective Matt Ballard. Now many years later, the killer seems to be back, and this time he's after Matt.

When Matt Ballard was starting out his career, three boys were murdered in the same area, the remote and bleak Gibbet Fen. When the main suspect was killed in a hit-and-run, the killings stopped. But Matt was not satisfied that the real murderer had been caught.

Over 25 years later, Matt gets a photo in an unmarked envelope. It’s of the Gibbet Fen crime scene. And the picture was taken before the murder took place.

More photos arrive, relating to the historic murders, as well as intimate pictures of Matt’s very secret private life.

A killer who will stop at nothing to destroy a detective.

Then another murder happens, with some of the hallmarks of the old case. Has the killer returned or is this just a sick copycat determined to ruin Matt’s life and reputation? Everyone around Matt is in danger as the killer plays mind games with the detective.

In an absolutely breathtaking conclusion, Matt and his team race against time to stop a vicious killer who knows no limits.

“I think I forgot to breathe every now and then while I was reading and really begrudged having to put the book down.” Barbara

“A simply brilliant book, so many twists and turns, I had no idea what to expect at any time.” Janet

“The suspense starts on Page 1 and continues through the twists and turns until the very surprising ending.” Linda Strong

“OMG, this book was fantastic I absolutely loved it. I was gripped from the first page but as the tension and suspense mounted throughout the book it just got better and better and that ending, well just WOW!” Dawn Jones

Gripping from beginning to end.” Olga

“Without doubt Joy Ellis' best yet, this from someone who has read all of the Ellis novels.” Ron

“Full of suspense, many clues and leads that only lead to dead-ends. Interesting characters with a past and buried secrets.” Missmesmerized

The Setting
England's rural fenland is a strange place, with its never-ending fields, winding tracks, and long straight droves (the old livestock routes) that lead to nowhere. The lonely lanes are flanked either side by deep drainage ditches and are, for a good part of the year, filled with tall, whispering reeds. Closer to the Wash, high seabanks form a barrier between river and marsh, and the richly fertile soil of the drained land. But when the mists come down, as they so often do, perspective is destroyed and all sense of direction lost, and then the fens become a rather frightening place of mystery and danger. Somewhere that you do not want to be at night.

Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza, Mel Sherratt, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, or Ruth Rendell.


Title:Beware the Past
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

About Joy Ellis

Joy Ellis grew up in Kent but moved to London when she won an apprenticeship with the prestigious Mayfair flower shop, Constance Spry Ltd.

    Beware the Past Reviews

  • Louise Wilson

    Detective Matt Ballard is haunted by a traumatic case he never solved. In the 1990's three boys were murdered in the same area, the remote and bleak Gibbet Fen. When the main suspect was killed, the k...

  • Linda Strong

    4.5 StarsTwenty-Five years ago three young boys were murdered. The prime suspect was killed in a hit and run accident and the killings stopped. Detective Matt Ballard was never sure that the real murd...

  • Cheryl

    I didn't think anyone could supplant my favourite Detective, Nikki Galena, but author Joy Ellis has achieved just that with her new character DCI Matthew (Mattie) Ballard! I literally ADORE him. 😍 ...

  • Books n All  Jill Burkinshaw

    Joy Ellis is, probably, my favourite author and I was very much looking forward to reading this stand-alone book.  This book comes shortly after Thieves on the Fens and I absolutely loved that book s...

  •  Li'l Owl

    It's been twenty years since DCI Matt Ballard and his old partner worked case in which three eleven year old boys were savagely murdered. At the time they were certain they'd catch the monster respons...

  • Pat

    Oh my, Joy Ellis is a master of crime fiction. This book was a real mind bender.DCI Matthew Ballard (Mattie) is still haunted by a 26 year old case where three 11 year old boys were brutally murdered ...

  • G.J.

    I am not at all sure about this book, my first by Joy Ellis. This book sums up a lot about what I don’t like in contemporary crime fiction, we have the inevitable troubled/disturbed Detective, in th...

  • Greta Halliday

    This spine chilling, on-the-edge of your seat read surpassed all my expectations. Full of mystery and intrigue, so many red herrings and twists and turns make this Joy Ellis book a must for all crime ...

  • Joann

    I normally enjoy Joy Ellis' books but this one was just so so. For me, Detective Matt Ballard's constant reminiscing, re-criminations etc. was quite wearing and I began to tire of him as a character. ...

  • Jennifer Holder

    I don’t even know what to say. I was hooked the whole way through. Usually, I always guess the twist by the half way point of a crime thriller, even ones that everyone else said shocked them. So, me...