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The Patient Man by Joy Ellis

18 June 2020 | Joffe Books | Available in paperback (£7.99) & ebook (£2.99)


Book of the Year: Crime & Thriller

The Patient Man is the sixth in the popular Jackman & Evans series, where detectives DI Rowan Jackman and DS Marie Evans are pitted against their arch nemesis, psychopath Alistair Ashcroft in a lethal game of cat-and-mouse. But are the good detectives the cats or the mice?


Alongside the hunt for Ashcroft, normal police work must continue. The separate thefts of guns, six pigs, a thoroughbred stallion and some oil lead Jackman’s crew to the notorious Lorimer family, ruled over on their farm by the fearsome matriarch Rachel.

Meanwhile, a seemingly routine break-in at the home of gun-club owner Kenneth Harcourt quickly becomes more complicated when the man long held responsible for having killed Harcourt’s young daughter in a hit-and-run is shot dead in a carpark — by a sniper.

A killer is on the loose in the quiet streets of Saltern-le-Fen and he isn’t going to stop at claiming one life. But why is he focusing on young Kevin, so close to promotion to detective?


And the sniper, like Ashcroft, takes to taunting the police: they’ll never catch him, they need to respect him, they shouldn’t be side-tracked looking for their old adversary.

In a stunning conclusion, Jackman and Evans race against time to catch the sniper and track down their deadly adversary.

Full of twists and turns, this is a crime thriller that will keep you turning the pages until the shocking ending. Set in the atmospheric Lincolnshire Fens whose towns and isolated villages hide many dark secrets.




Although this is the sixth book in the series it can definitely be read as a standalone novel. The opening chapter accelerates the quickening of your pulse and even if you are new to the series you get a quick introduction to characters and the setting. The atmospheric setting, the Fenlands of Lincolnshire, adds to the beauty of this novel creating tension with its eerie vastness. Joy Ellis is clearly very familiar with the area and this is portrayed throughout the book. What a perfect setting for a killer to hide.

This police procedural was a delight to read with the multiple crimes that were taking place and the threat of danger everywhere, it was a real page-turner. Although, there was a lot going on with several different stories running parallel, it was extremely well balanced, completely comprehensible and everything came skillfully together. There was a steady pace throughout with shocking revelations that appeared with little warning. My hand was gripped tightly whilst holding the book and if I had been watching this on a screen I know I would have jumped at every twist and turn. Highly entertaining although not for the faint-hearted.

I adored the characters, from the police team to the Lorimer family. Here you had a real mix of personalities, each with their own flaws or insecurities and yet with the exception of Alistair Ashcroft, all were extremely likeable and relatable. My fear for the team's safety whilst trying to hunt down Ashcroft was immense, added to that, the threat of an unknown sniper on the loose made this quite the psychological thriller I was hoping for. Action-packed and gripping, it is no surprise why this has been selected for The British Book Awards 2021.



Joy grew up and lived in Kent, trained in floristry in Mayfair and ran her own highly successful floristry business in Weybridge for many years. Following the recession in 1991, her business, along with many others, folded to the pressures of supermarkets and, after a period of living practically out of the back of her car, in the mid-1990s, she followed her lifelong love of books, becoming the manager of an independent bookshop in Leatherhead, Surrey, and later a writer. When she retired, Joy and her partner, Jacqueline (a highly decorated police officer), and their two spaniels settled in a village just outside Boston, captivated by the Lincolnshire Fens.

Joy’s love of writing starting in the mid-90s, when she took part in a writing retreat run by Sue Townsend, but it wasn’t until much later that she’d put pen to paper. After the prerequisite series of rejections, Joy signed with publisher Robert Hale, but it was not initially the success story she hoped. Years later, Jasper Joffe of Joffe Books, stumbled upon Joy’s writing quite by chance, hooked in by her book The Murderer’s Son. He tried to track her down, but her books had gone out of print, she wasn’t on social media, and there were no contact details on the publisher’s website. Joffe thus reached out to Ellis through a local Lincolnshire paper, and since signing with Joffe Books, Joy is now a multi-million copy selling author, a No. 1 Amazon bestseller, and now, a British Book Awards shortlisted author – a true testament to never giving up.




Independent Publisher of the Year

A true David and Goliath story, the underdog Joffe Books is taking the publishing world by storm at this year’s Nibbies

Small independent publishing house Joffe Books is celebrating only its seventh birthday this year, yet this agile and innovative outfit is already giving the biggest UK publishers a run for their money, and has been recognised by double award nomination at this year’s prestigious British Book Awards.

With a turnover of £5m and sales topping 2.8m – up 28% from last year, a stellar achievement in a pandemic year – Joffe’s nimble and responsive business model has helped it weather and prosper the uncertain retail environment brought on by Covid-19. Currently with 74 authors, including Joy Ellis (shortlisted for the British Book Awards: Crime & Thriller Book of the Year), Faith Martin, Helen H. Durrant, Michael Hambling, and Taylor Adams, Joffe Books has big ambitions to continue growing their author list, with the ultimate aim to be have a catalogue of a breadth and depth to rival the Big Five.

Joffe Books was founded by Jasper Joffe in 2014. Disillusioned by the art world, Jasper turned to publishing when he found an old Mills & Boon-style manuscript, written by his mother but never accepted. He decided to go ahead and release it.

And so, Joffe Books was born.

In 2018, Jasper was named one of the Bookseller’s rising stars in the publishing world, and now, three years later, the publisher has made the shortlist for the British Book Awards.

Joffe Books is now a visible presence in the Top 100 bestseller list, thanks to their fleet-footed marketing and a self-described “holistic” approach to publishing, in which every aspect of the publishing process is integrated, that is at the core of its practice. The publisher has built a reputation for enthusiastically promoting brand-new authors and bringing overlooked books back to life and delivering them to millions of readers – transforming the careers of their authors in the process. Their partnership with Severn House has brought likes of New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Patricia MacDonald and Jeanne M. Dams to a whole new audience. The publisher is currently developing a competition, to seek and champion unagented crime fiction writers from Black, Asian and ethnic minority backgrounds at any stage in their career (be they debut or established writers). Susan Yearwood of the Susan Yearwood Literary Agency will act as one of the judges, and the rest of the panel will be announced in the coming weeks.

Currently, 98% of Joffe Books sales are digital, and paperback editions are available through Amazon. A new programme of distribution of some of their most popular titles is already underway, with special paperback editions available through Bookshop.org and independent book shops. Their demographic skews to older readers who prefer reading on a device. For Joffe Books, ebooks are truly proving their worth – they’ve allowed the publisher to build authors’ careers through their digital model, with authors now make a living solely from writing. The publisher spends over £1 million a year on digital advertising, and markets every single author they work with, determined to help authors build a career from the ground up. Because they don’t have the same overheads as larger publishers, they can provide their authors with more individualized support. And this is what makes them a gamechanger in the industry.

Joffe Books is a publisher of commercial fiction, specialising in crime, mystery and psychological thrillers. They are open to submissions from authors and literary agents but also look for overlooked, forgotten or out-of-print authors, such as Faith Martin https://www.joffebooks.com/faith-martin and Joy Ellis https://www.joffebooks.com/joy-ellis.

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