Back of the book :
There will be blood ….
Welcome to Edinburgh.
Murder capital of Europe.
In the middle of a rock festival, a charity worker is sliced across the stomach. He dies minutes later. In a crowd of thousands, no one saw his attacker.
The following week, the body of a primary school teacher is found in a dumpster, strangled with her own scarf.
D.I Ava Turner and D.I Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive – Until graffiti appears around the city, describing each victim.
Its only when they realise the words are being written before rather than after the murders, that they understand the killer is announcing his next victim … And the more innocent the better.
What I think :
When a well-liked charity worker is slashed in the stomach and killed at a rock festival, no-one saw it. And then almost minutes after, across town, a woman is crushed by her own furniture. Her attacker/murderer pushed a heavy chest of drawers on her and jumped on it, Squashing her to death. There are no clues and again no-one saw anything. Are the two linked … ?
D.I Luc Callanach and D.I Ava Turner are put on the case, they have nothing to go on. They have no witnesses and no CCTV. Soon, however, there are two more murders. An elderly Librarian is skinned and strung up in the basement of the library where he worked and then a young woman is found strangled by her own scarf, and thrown in a dumpster. Are all four linked do they have a serial killer on the loose … ?
Then there is the graffiti that has started appearing around town …
Who is doing this and why .. ? Can Luc and Ava catch them before its too late … ?
Just like the last book, this one has a lot of blood and is pretty gory, the line on the front of the novel is very true … ‘There is a lot of blood”
This time however the author has split Luc and Ava up. Luc is more on his own as D.I Turner has her own cases to solve and also a face from her past has turned up in the shape of DCI Joe Edgar. He has arrived at the station with his own team to help investigate a cyber crime. DCI Edgar doesnt really seem to like Luc very much. He also seems to be taking up a lot of Ava’s spare time, so Luc isn’t even seeing her socially either.
I really liked all the twists and turns of this one and as usual the characters are really well written. I did think that Luc seemed slightly more human in this novel. But Ava seemed really unapproachable and different. I know she has a lot to deal with, but I do hope that in the next one she’s back to her normal self.
All in all a brilliant second novel in the D.I Callanach series and I’m really looking forward to the next one.
I give this a well earned 8/10 (4 Stars)
Published by Avon Books on 27/07/17.
A big thank you to Sabah Khan at Avon Books for the review copy of the book.
And here for your reading pleasure is an extract from the book.
Extract 2 Chapter 2 page 10 – 12
The cut was deep, even, and yet very little force seems to have been required to puncture far into the abdominal cavity. Whoever did this took pride in it, thought about efficiency, understood the mechanics of it. This was no impromptu stabbing or weapon grabbed in the heat of an argument.’
‘An assassination then?’ Callanach asked, bending over the body and taking stock.
‘More like a ritual, if you ask me,’ she said. ‘This was dreamed up, practised and perfected.’
‘How old is he?’
‘Between eighteen and twenty-two, I think. Five feet, eleven inches. Active, no spare fat, good muscle mass but not one of those types who live at the gym. Size ten shoe. Brown hair, hazel eyes. No defence wounds. Never saw it coming.’
‘So he didn’t recognise his attacker as a threat when they came for him?’
‘Most unlikely. You don’t look well yourself, Luc. Are you sleeping?’ Ailsa asked as she peeled off her gloves and made notes.
‘I’m sleeping just fine,’ he lied.
‘Eating properly? You’re pale and you have broken blood vessels in your eyes.’
‘I’ll phone you tomorrow for the tox results,’ he evaded. ‘Anything before that and you have my mobile number.’
‘Give my regards to DI Turner, would you? I haven’t seen her for an age. I used to catch up with her mother regularly at an opera appreciation group but I haven’t bumped into her recently either,’ Ailsa said, stretching her back. In her mid-sixties, tiny and birdlike, she was a force to be reckoned with.
‘I’ll pass that on,’ he said, stripping off his own gown and dropping it into the bin outside the door.
On his return to the station, a grim welcome party sat around in the incident room. Callanach looked directly to Detective Constable Tripp.
‘Just following up a lead from a phone call, sir,’ Tripp said. ‘Young woman called in to say she and her boyfriend got separated at the festival. He hasn’t turned up yet. I’ve sent a car to pick her up.’
‘Did she give his name?’ Callanach asked, grabbing coffee as he sat at a computer.
‘Sim Thorburn,’ Tripp replied, pressing a couple of keys and
waiting for a photo to load, one step ahead as ever. Some new social networking site popped up in seconds with a multitude of larger than life photos. In each one, the lad was smiling, laughing, his expression carefree and guileless. In the last, he was hand in hand with his girlfriend. Without a doubt, it was the same hand that Ailsa Lambert had been patting a short while ago.
‘That’s him,’ Callanach said. ‘So what do we know?’
‘At the moment, everything that’s on his home page. He didn’t bother with privacy filters, so it’s there for the world to see. He’s twenty-one, Scottish, lives in Edinburgh.’
‘Not that we can find.’ A phone rang behind Tripp and someone passed him a note. ‘The girlfriend’s here, sir. And DCI Begbie wants to see you as soon as you’re done.’
‘Of course he does,’ Callanach said, standing up. ‘Do you have any idea where DI Turner is, Tripp? Only Ailsa Lambert was asking after her.’
‘Off duty,’ DC Salter shouted from the corridor. ‘Said something about maybe being in late tomorrow too. Did you want me to get a message to her, sir?’
‘No thanks, Salter,’ Callanach shouted after her. ‘It’s nothing that can’t wait.’ Unlike Sim Thorburn’s girlfriend, no doubt already suspecting the worst but who’d be downstairs holding out for a miracle. She would be imagining some mistake, hoping perhaps that in
spite of the evidence, her boyfriend had met some friends and wandered off without telling her. Any number of excuses for his disappearance would be going through her mind. Until she saw Callanach’s face, he thought. People knew the second they looked at you.