The Chemical Detective

Pages: 432
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Point Blank

The Chemical Detective


Fiona Erskine

She blows things up to keep people safe

9781786074928 (4 Apr 2019)
RRP £14.99
9781786077141 (16 Jan 2020)
RRP £8.99

The Book


‘Just the right blend of suspense and tension.' Forbes, Editors' Pick

‘Action, intrigue and a stonkingly modern heroine. It's a blast.' Sunday Times Crime Club


Dr Jaq Silver. Skier, scientist, international jet-setter, explosives expert. She blows things up to keep people safe. 

Working on avalanche control in Slovenia, Jaq stumbles across a problem with a consignment of explosives. After raising a complaint with the supplier, a multinational chemical company, her evidence disappears and she is framed for murder. Jaq must find the key to the mystery.

But can she uncover the truth before her time runs out?

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 432
Imprint Point Blank


About the Author

Fiona Erskine is a professional engineer based in Teesside, although her work has taken her around the word. As a female engineer, she has been often the lone representative of her gender in board meetings, cargo ships and night-time factories, and her fiction offers a fascinating insight into this traditionally male world. She is the author of The Chemical Detective and The Chemical Reaction. 


'Just the right blend of suspense and tension... I recommend this original and compelling debut novel for fans of mysteries and thrillers, as well as for those looking for a credible female protagonist in a genre dominated by male superheroes. Already, I am looking forward to reading the next instalment in this series.'

- Forbes, Editors' Pick

‘A very readable debut thriller with a feisty and likeable heroine.'

- Irish Independent

'Action, intrigue and a stonkingly modern heroine. It's a blast.'

- Sunday Times Crime Club

'Explosive science, strong women, and snowy landscapes, all within a gripping, smart, fast-paced read.'


- Helen Sedgwick, author of When the Dead Come Calling

'Imagine the love child of Jack Reacher and Nancy Drew...a delicious cocktail of dating and detonations. Call it Mills and Boom.'

- Evening Standard

'an audacious, female-led thriller which took the disposable women of the James Bond franchise and flipped the concept entirely on its head.'

- Chemistry World

'Fiona Erskine is an engineer, and in Jaq Silver, who shares her profession, she has created a wonderful antidote to all the resentful, floppy victims of much domestic noir... Her adventures are eye-popping and exciting.'

- Literary Review

'A fantastic read!'

- Mary Loudon, author of My House is Falling Down

'Erskine weaves her tale of suspense into a first-class thriller, the drama escalates with terrifying authenticity. A must-read for engineers.' 


- Nick Smith, Engineering & Technology

'Explosive to the very last page.'

- Press Association

'Absolutely devoured this on the flight across to the UK for #BloodyScotland. A stunning, cinematic debut that's going to land on the 2019 thriller scene like a half-kilo of silver fulminate.*

*stuff that goes bang'

- Andrew Reid, author of The Hunter

‘Intricate, seductive and thrilling. Erskine's writing glows with wit and danger. And can't help reminding you, with every page turned, of how close we all are to detonation.'

- Ross Armstrong, author of The Watcher

 'Bring it on! The entire mystery, the chase across so many locations towards Chernobyl was exciting and felt dangerously thrilling.'

- The Booktrail

'A complex and increasingly addictive story that soon becomes a page turner.'

- The Chemical Engineer

'The Chemical Detective is a rip-roaring page turner. Twists and turns, many locations and a topic which is only too current.'

- Netgalley

'[An] excellent, high-octane thriller...featuring the brilliant, kick-ass, female protagonist Jaq Silver. Who knew chemical engineers could be so cool?'

- Trevor Wood, author of The Man on the Street

'A great read!'

- TripFiction

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