Author: Mark Sennen
Publisher: Avon (Imprint of Harper Collins)
Publication date: 27th February 2014
Paperback: 400 pages (or in my case advanced proof ring bound!)
Why did I choose to read this book? I was invited by Avon’s PR agency LightBrigade to take part in the blog tour and since I hadn’t read a psychological thriller for quite some time I accepted the invitation.
Where to read this book: At home with a comfort blanket – John Lewis do an excellent and affordable range – and all the lights on!
Refreshments: The sinister and really quite gruesome descriptions in the story doesn’t really lend itself to a snackathon in fact your appetite will be gone after a few chapters. However, to drink due to it’s Devonshire setting perhaps a nice refreshing Cider to keep your wits about you!
‘He could be out there right now. Passing you on the street. You’d never know …’
DI Charlotte Savage is back, chasing a killer who was last at large ten years ago, a killer they presumed dead … Now he’s back and more dangerous than ever.When three headless bodies are found mutilated in a pit, it’s a particularly challenging case for DI Savage and her team. The bodies bear the hallmarks of a killer who was never caught, last at large ten years ago, butchering girls on Midsummer’s Day. Could this be a copycat or has the original killer resurfaced? With a steady stream of bodies arriving at the morgue and gruesome secrets from the past emerging DI Savage is up against it to find the killer before he attacks again? The past has caught up with them. And so has he…
The style of writing for this crime novel is a multi-narrative, dividing the chapters between the voices of the police force, namely DI Charlotte Savage but also that of our psychopathic serial killer. This is effective in building not only tension but fear within the reader especially with the added countdown to the next murder on the 21st June, which is only 7days away from when they find the bodies.
The extracts from the serial killer are really chilling. As a reader we are brought as witnesses to not only the selection of his next victim but also the descriptions of what tortures he is going to bear down on her. Added to this are the snapshots of his unimaginably trouble childhood and the events that led up to the moment of his first kills. Finally the details and introduction to his assistant ‘Micky’ who’s psychological disabilities and predilections towards the women which is nothing short of grotesque provide us with a nightmare duo.
I enjoyed immensely the detailed descriptions of the police procedures especially the aspects of having to deal with the PR machine and the media sensationalizing the story. Equally, the extracts regarding the mob mentality and the pressures to make an arrest were particularly interesting given today’s social expectation in regards to the police force.
Running parallel to the central storyline is that of DI Charlotte Savages personal vendetta against the unknown hit and run driver who killed one of her twin daughters. This provided a supporting role to the themes of family and motherhood that consistently run through the story. It also highlights Charlotte’s determination to catch the killer and combined with a huge plot twist at the end of the novel creates a smooth transfer into Sennen’s next outing with DI Savage.
Occasionally I found the odd sub-plot unnecessary; perhaps it was to provide a distracting red herring. However, the addition of a murdered local prison warden and a series of bribes were I found rather superfluous to the overall story. Also there were a number of names of police detectives that I either lost track of or forgot instead I focused my energies on the main roles of Savage and XX.
Overall, this is a dark, sinister and immensely satisfying crime novel. Having not read any of the other DI Savage series I was pleased to discover that this didn’t affect my enjoyment.
I would recommend this to all crime enthusiasts, however, if like me you read before bed perhaps it’s best you bolt the doors and buy a night light as it doesn’t guarantee the sweetest of dreams – even with the cake!
Rating: 7 out of 10