I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for Sarah Flint’s latest book The Trophy Taker!
After managing to get the perpetrator of a horrific racist attack to court, DC Charlie Stafford is feeling pretty proud of herself. All feelings of relief are short-lived, however, when he manages to flee custody, leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Meanwhile, a body is found in a cemetery. While this might not seem out of the ordinary, this body has had its heart ripped out and a finger removed, the finger joining those of the other people killed by the same man. He’s stalking and mutilating his victims but what links them? The investigating team at Lambeth are pushed to their limits as they try to find both men before more lives are ruined and more bodies are found.
The Trophy Taker is Sarah Flint’s second book in the DC Charlie Stafford series. The first, the brilliant Mummy’s Favourite, was published last year and, in my opinion, this one is even better! Like many books of its genre, the story is told from the perspective of multiple characters: Charlie, the unknown killer and Cornell Miller, the aforementioned racist attacker. This helped to move the plot along nicely and gave a good insight into all aspects of the case.
The book is, at times, graphic, as it deals with such heinous crimes as paedophilia and racially-motivated attacks. When a depraved killer is added to the mix, this certainly makes it a book for those with a strong stomach! I found myself longing for Cornell Miller to be caught and admired his victims for their ‘never say die’ attitudes. The horrific nature of the crimes also give us a chance to fully understand Charlie’s personality and how she wants, more than anything, for the perpetrators to be off the streets.
As in the first book, I loved the character of Charlie – a woman devoted to her work but still very much in the real world. It is also refreshing to read a police procedural where colleagues actually get along and there is no animosity between the lower and upper ranks. The other main characters are also well-written and likeable and I particularly enjoyed reading any scenes featuring Ben and hope that he can continue to fight his demons in any sequels.
Sarah Flint has done a good job in keeping you guessing right to the end as she introduces several suspects who could quite feasibly be the killer. I found that there was a moment when the penny dropped and realised that there were little clues throughout the story that I only picked up on with hindsight. I would also like to thank her for piquing my interest in Cross Bones Graveyard in Southwark – an area I have visited but was not aware of the hidden history lurking off the trodden path.
Although The Trophy Taker is the second in the series, it is not essential to have read the first. I would recommend you do, though, as it is another brilliant read.
With thanks to Aria (Head of Zeus), Sarah Flint and Net Galley for the ARC and also to Yasemin Turan for allowing me to participate in this blog tour.