In a small town full of secrets, everyone’s a suspect.
When a body is discovered, bled dry on a beach, the sleepy seaside town of Weston-super-Mare wakes up to a nightmare. For Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell, recently transferred to the town she last saw as a child, it’s her first case on the job.
The victim—Veronica Lloyd, an elderly volunteer at a local church—has puncture wounds to her hands. When a priest is found killed in a nearby church in a similarly grisly condition, it becomes clear that Blackwell is dealing with a righteous and bloody murderer. But the victims aren’t random. The killer has a vendetta and is hell-bent on exacting twisted revenge for a dark secret dating back years—and there are more murders planned.
As the body count rises, Blackwell faces a race against time to solve the mystery of the murderer’s identity and put an end to the carnage. She thought she knew Weston, but the town holds more secrets than she’d ever have imagined. Who can she trust and who knows more than they are letting on?
She must discover the crimes that unite the victims—before it’s too late.
I had a rough start to reading this book because I have yet again been suffering from a migraine. Added to that, I put my back out two weeks ago and am still dealing with a lot of pain, so it affected my reading in terms of me thinking the book was slow at getting started. In hindsight, it wasn’t at all, I clearly wasn’t in the right headspace when I started reading.
The book really captured my attention and it ticked a lot of boxes for me. The main one being that the ‘background’ story introduced at the beginning was used alongside the main narrative and that gave me a better idea of the main character and a better chance to understand them. One of my pet peeves is when a background is alluded to but never properly introduced or used. When that happens in a story, I get easily irritated because I think ‘it was important enough to be included’ so why wasn’t it important enough to be told?
So anyway, this book was winning from the start with the inclusion of that. I also thought there was added detail to the other characters in ways that I wasn’t particularly expecting – if you are reading this or are going to read this, you’ll understand.
There was a twisted aspect to reading that was very much pushed across by the main characters own feelings but I felt very much in control of the assumptions and theories I was making and not like I was unable to see anything other than the main characters pov.
This was a strong start to what I hope will be a series. I connected to the main character early on, so I was invested in what I was reading and wanted to see where the journey took me and what the end result would be.
I always find it interesting when I read a crime book with a female main character that is written by a man. I don’t know why, but I always find the portrayal incredibly interesting.
As an example, I loved the way Robert Bryndza wrote Erika Foster, in the Erika Foster series but towards the end, I began getting irritated that the main characters would always push her down and that her character seemed unable to push forward unless she was belittled in some way by the supposed ‘superior’ male officers.
In this book, I felt the main character supported her own and worked hard to carve a role out for herself that while hindered by male officers, didn’t force her to become reliant on that pressure the only way to advance her character story. There is much emphasis put on the hierarchy of the police force but I think it’s presented in a way that does justice to the characters and allows the reader to think objectively and see the actions as something that could realistically happen.
Parts of this story were easily solved but that is perhaps a by-product of having read so many crime books.
This was a stellar 5 star read for me. The characters were fully formed and easy to get along with. The plot was easy to navigate and easy to read. The story presented itself in a different manner, there were certainly elements I hadn’t come across before and the twisted nature of a few things increased my enjoyment and pushed me forward in a race to finish the book.