Matt Ballard Series
For fans of Rachel Abbott, Angela Marsons, Colin Dexter, Faith Martin and Mark Edwards
“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
BEWARE THE PAST (Book 1) – December 2017, 369 pp.
- Amazon UK #1
- Amazon US #3
- Over 268,950 copies sold
- Over 18,300 audiobooks sold
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.
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.
FIVE BLOODY HEARTS (Book 2) – February 2019, 333 pp.
- Amazon AUS #1
- Amazon UK #3
- Amazon US #10
- 77,600 copies sold
- Over 8,200 audiobooks sold
DETECTIVE MATT BALLARD’S LAST CASE MIGHT BE THE ONE THAT FINALLY BREAKS HIM.
Grace Repton, a beautiful older woman, walks into the police station to tell Matt she has information that could stop a murder. Her fiancé, the infamous serial killer Jeremy Reader, has told her that he has a disciple who is going to kill using Reader’s horrific methods. Reader murdered five women and was finally brought to justice by Detective Ballard. Reader is safely imprisoned in a high security prison, and claiming to be a reformed man who wants to help the police. But can Matt believe the serial killer or his peculiar wife to be? Can the love of a good woman really change a serial killer?
And the Fenland police also have another investigation on their hands. A Lithuanian migrant worker is found dead on the fens. There is no ID on him, but he has a Tree of Life tattoo. The third body to be found with this distinctive tattoo. Is this gang war or something even more sinister?
CAN YOU TRUST A KILLER TO HELP STOP A KILLER?
The police are stretched to breaking point with multiple copycat murders. And Matt and his girlfriend Liz will fight for everything they care about in a heart-stopping conclusion that will have you on the edge of your seat.
THE DYING LIGHT (Book 3) – July 2020, 308 pp.
- Amazon AUS #11
- Amazon UK #13
- Over 29,200 copies sold since publication
WHISPER FEN HOLDS DARK SECRETS
As the mists roll over the fens and enigmatic lights twinkle in the distance, only the locals know their way along the hidden paths through the mysterious watery terrain of one of England’s most beautiful and sometimes dangerous places. Detective Matt Ballard may have retired but there’s still plenty going on the fens to keep him busy.
Someone trashes an old lady’s garden and daubs her isolated cottage with hateful graffiti. Emilia Swain seems to be totally harmless, so why is she being targeted? Matt’s best friend Will and his wife Kate moved to Holland House to put their past behind them. But Kate’s mental state is deteriorating and she’s obsessed with the tragic history of the house and an old doll she finds in the garden. And why is Kate suddenly friends with a loner who haunts the fens? Has the dreadful past come back to haunt the present owners? Former detectives Matt and Liz want to help their friends and neighbors. But how can you help people who don’t want to be helped?
MARSHLIGHT (Book 4) – July 2021, 394 pp.
- Amazon AUS #1
- Amazon UK #2
Matt and Liz may have retired from the police, but that doesn’t mean a quiet life. An old friend’s sister disappears without a trace. There’s no sign of foul play, but she’d been acting very peculiarly . . .
Meanwhile, Liz’s cousin Christie comes to stay. She takes an immediate — and uncharacteristic — dislike to the local bookshop owner, Gina. Why does everyone put up with her awful behaviour?
Hunting will-o’-the-wisps on the marshes can be a very dangerous hobby. Christie is convinced that Gina is manipulating everyone around her. Is she onto something dangerous or just pushing her new friends away? No one believes her suspicions until another friend goes missing late at night on the misty Fen marshes.
Can Matt and Liz uncover the truth in time to save lives?
TRICK OF THE NIGHT (Book 5) – June 2022, 336 pp.
- Amazon UK #1
- Amazon AUS #2
- Amazon CA #57
Matt and Liz may have retired from the police, but that doesn’t guarantee a quiet life. A deserted building. A face in the window. A face that shouldn’t be there.
Photography student Toby Unsworth has found the location for the perfect night-time shoot. A cobbled street in the old part of Fenfleet. Later, when he looks at the images on his laptop, he thinks he sees a woman’s face in the window of an old, disused building. He asks his housemate Alex to come and take a look…
Two days later, Toby and Alex are dead. Carbon monoxide poisoning. An unfortunate accident. But Alex’s mother doesn’t believe it. She hires Matt and Liz to find out the truth.
Meanwhile, nine-year-old Simon is missing. He was staying with his Aunt Jessie in a cottage on the edge of the marsh. And his older sister Kellie is increasingly worried.
Matt and Liz’s investigations reveal that something very big and very dangerous has descended on the small market town of Fenfleet. And if they don’t get to the bottom of it, more deaths will follow.
- The author of 9 consecutive #1 bestsellers
- Over 3,300,000 copies sold in English
- Audible Debut Crime Author of the Year 2018
- Over 619,000 audiobooks sold
- Joy Ellis reached #1 in the Bookstat E-Book Top 10 chart of the Bookseller