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Anglican Cathedral

Dead Silent by Mark Roberts

51h+jCAxF8LProfessor of medieval art, Leonard Lawson, has been mutilated and murdered, the attack witnessed by his traumatized daughter, Louise. To add to the horror, DCI Eve Clay must try to discover the significance of his body being arranged into a parody of the art work he has spent his life studying. Despite the professor having no known enemies, Clay knows that this attack was personal and is desperate to find the culprit before they find another victim to exact revenge upon.

I was first introduced to the books of Mark Roberts earlier this year after looking for reads set in my home city and thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the Eve Clay series, Blood Mist. Having fully intended to read the series in order, I was given the opportunity to participate in the blog tour for the superb Day of the Dead, meaning that I have actually read the books out of sequence, Dead Silent being the second of the three. This was not a problem, however, as it not completely essential to have read them in order.

If you have read any of the Eve Clay books, you will already know that there is a touch of the macabre about them and this is indeed evident in Dead Silent. The descriptions of the crime scenes were particularly graphic and not for the faint-hearted. It is easy to imagine these novels on the small screen and some of the scenes in this book were reminiscent of the BBC series, Messiah, starring Ken Stott.

In Eve Clay, we have a very likeable, if troubled protagonist. In Dead Silent, we get to find out a bit more about her childhood in the children’s home, helping to explain why she is so dedicated to her job yet neurotic about the safety of her family. It is also good to see a police department where everyone seems to get on well and is just as devoted to solving the case as Clay.

What I enjoyed most about this book is that Mark Roberts drip-feeds you information throughout, allowing you time to try to fathom out what is taking place. Just when you think you have it all worked out, though, he throws a complete curve-ball and makes you reconsider everything you thought. This made Dead Silent a genuinely enjoyable read, and one which makes you think about how important and formative the early lives of children are.

A fantastic read and I can’t wait for the next installment!

 

Hope to Die by David Jackson

51BcZVVrpeL__SX324_BO1,204,203,200_It’s winter in Liverpool and the city is shocked when a woman is brutally attacked and murdered in the grounds of the world-renowned Anglican Cathedral. The victim, a local school teacher, seems to have led a perfect life… too perfect? This is the question DS Nathan Cody asks himself as he tries to unravel the motive behind what seems to be a completely unprovoked attack. Cody is also battling his own demons as an event from his past, once again, rears its ugly head, threatening his sanity. When the killer strikes again, the detective must try to hold it all together before more victims are found.

I was very late to the ‘Nathan Cody’ party, having only discovered David Jackson’s previous book, A Tapping at My Door, as a result of seeing so many bloggers rave about it. I, therefore, count myself lucky that I have not had to wait too long to read the sequel! Set, once again, in Liverpool, the author has used a mixture of real and fictional locations to create an atmospheric backdrop to a story about cold-blooded murder, childhood abuse and voyeurism. One location in particular, the entrance to St. James Cemetery (in the grounds of the Anglican Cathedral) evoked strong feelings for me personally, as I have passed through the tunnel on several occasions and each time have felt a feeling of uneasiness. After reading Hope to Die, those feelings will definitely be heightened! The title of the book is also very clever, Hope Street being the thoroughfare linking the two Liverpool cathedrals.

Hope to Die follows on from the previous book but it is not essential to have read it. It does, however, provide relevant information about the reason DC Webley is returning to work after a prolonged absence and also details the circumstances behind the PTSD that Cody is apparently suffering from. In this book, we see Cody becoming more and more on edge as events from earlier in his career come back to haunt him. These scenes are extremely well-written and, annoyingly, the author has left this particular story line hanging – ready to be picked up in the third book hopefully?! Without giving too much away, anyone with a clown phobia will be checking that their doors and windows are locked after reading this!

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book was that although we are dealing with a depraved killer, the author really has you sympathising with his plight as we discover his horrific upbringing. These interspersed chapters, written from the perspective of the killer as a young child, were incredibly emotional and, more than anything, I was willing someone to rescue him from his living nightmare. This was completely at odds with the rest of the book, where I hoped Cody would end his killing spree as quickly as possible!

Hope to Die is a well-written, action-packed book that you will not want to put down. A must read!

With thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and Net Galley for the ARC.

(Why not take a look at the piece I wrote about the setting of A Tapping at My Door, hosted on cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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