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Imprint: Point Blank

Subject: Crime & Thriller

The Chemical Detective


Fiona Erskine


‘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?

  • Publication date: January 16, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781786077141
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 432
  • Publication date: April 4, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786074928
  • RRP: £14.99
  • Pages: 432
  • Publication date: March 7, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781786074935
  • RRP: £1.99
  • Pages: 432


‘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

'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

'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

Fiona Erskine

Fiona Erskine is a professional engineer based in Teesside, although her work has taken her around the world. As a female engineer, she has often been 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. The Chemical Detective was shortlisted for the Specsavers Debut Crime Novel Award. Her second thriller in the Jaq Silver series, The Chemical Reaction, was shortlisted for the Staunch Prize.

Author page

More books by Fiona Erskine

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