Published by Avon
Publication date – 27 July 2017
Source – review copy
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 in an Edinburgh alley, strangled with her own woollen scarf.
D.I. Ava Turner and D.I. Luc Callanach have no leads and no motive until around the city, graffitied on buildings, words appear describing each victim.
It’s 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.
A young man is murdered in front of a crowd of thousands, though no one sees the killer. A nurse is brutally murdered in her own home. DI Luc Callanach and DI Ava Turner soon find that their separate cases are linked. It appears the murderer is announcing their next victim and as more murders occur Luc and Ava are on a race to decipher the clues before the next person is killed.
This is not a slow build novel. It opens with an unusual and somewhat barbaric murder at a music festival and soon more bodies are piling up. The murders are gruesome, the kind nature of the victims making the reader perhaps feel even more sorry for them that they met such untimely and grisly ends.
The characters are beginning to develop more in this novel. There are flashes of humour from Ava Turner, which lighten the tone to just the right amount. The more I read of the novel, the more I liked Ava. Luc still has his issues, tied over from an incident from his past whilst working at Interpol. This lead him to move to Scotland and has had a somewhat physical effect on him. I’m going to sound very unsympathetic but his issues began to grate on me again, as they did with the first book. It seemed as if the issue was a little laboured. I was glad to see that a little peccadillo of his from the last novel didn’t emerge in this one. I was able to be a little bit more sympathetic towards him as a result. (I know this sounds a little vague but I don’t want to give too much away and spoil the story).
Despite my issues with Luc I still enjoyed the story. The dark web features heavily and it made the story feel all the more oppressive and gritty (in a good way) for it. It also made me glad that I really don’t know much about the dark web! The motive for the murders was dealt with in a clever way. I also love the setting of Edinburgh. The story, and back stories kept me engaged, so much so that I went to check my bookshelves to see if I had the next book in the series.
An entertaining, dark, interesting second installment in the Callanach series. I look forward to reading more Callanach and Turner stories in the future.
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