A serial rapist is on the loose in Liverpool. DC Cassie Rowan is working undercover to flush out the culprit. But then a body is found: can he be stopped Before He Kills Again? Two men both receiving therapy: has one of them got a secret they aren’t sharing with Dr Palmer?
The main character Cassie Rowan is young and tenacious. She has had personal tragedy and is raising her younger brother. Cassie is prepared to bend the rules to keep evil off the streets but this puts her at odds with her superior officers.There is animosity between her and her colleagues as she feels they let her down when she had the rapist literally in her grasp. Further, she comes to the conclusion that one officer may be using his position for personal financial gain.
The other main protagonist is Alan Palmer, a therapist coping with the breakdown of his marriage as well as a professional issue which is not revealed to the reader until at least two thirds into the book. He is also a likeable character and is obviously devastated by his impending divorce.
To be honest, it took me a while to get into this book. There was plenty of action but I found it a little muddled to begin with, however by a quarter of the way through I was hooked! We see the perspective of abducted women which draws us in to their situation and makes us anxious for the police to save them.
As I have a masters in psychology, I enjoyed the consideration of the motives and psychological history of the murderer. There is not much forensic detail about the body but there is some violence. The torture of the victims is unpleasant to read because it feels very realistic. Cassie and Alan’s emotional responses to the events in the book are also very natural which endears them to the reader.
Before He Kills Again is a great introduction as the first in a new series and I definitely want to follow more of Cassie’s career.
BEFORE HE KILLS AGAIN (Detective Cassie Rowan #1) by Margaret Murphy
A serial predator on the prowl in Liverpool. Seven victims so far. And he’s already got his next victim.
The police can’t catch him. He leaves no trace of himself, and no one has been able to provide a reliable description of him.
Detective Cassie Rowan is working undercover and on his trail. But now he has Cassie in his sights.
DISCOVER A BRAND-NEW SERIES FROM ONE OF THE MOST THRILLING WRITERS OF CRIME FICTION!
This brand-new, unputdownable crime thriller series from Murder Squad founder Margaret Murphy is one of the must-reads of 2020!
MEET DETECTIVE CASSIE ROWAN
DC CASSIE ROWAN is a young policewoman who has been the main carer for her little brother NEIL since their parents died. She has to balance this role with her demanding job. She is working undercover on the streets of Liverpool trying to find the ‘Furman’, a man who has been brutally assaulting sex workers. Cassie blames herself and another detective, Wicks, for not catching him sooner. Forensic scientist Dr Ian Chan is on her side, but her boss Detective Chief Inspector Pat Warman thinks she is uncooperative and needs to work as part of a team.
ALSO BY MARGARET MURPHY
CLARA PASCAL SERIES
Book 1: DARKNESS FALLS
Book 2: WEAVING SHADOWS
DETECTIVE JEFF RICKMAN SERIES
Book 1: SEE HER BURN
Book 2: SEE HER DIE*
Margaret Murphy writes internationally acclaimed psychological thrillers. She is a past Chair of the Crime Writers Association (CWA), founder of Murder Squad, and a former RLF Writing Fellow and Reading Round Lector. She’s been a country park ranger, biology teacher, dyslexia specialist and Visiting Professor in creative writing. A Short Story Dagger and CWA Red Herring award winner, she has also been shortlisted for the ‘First Blood’ critics award and CWA Dagger in the Library.
ER nurse Jessie Novak who works alongside the police on investigations is thrown into a disturbing new case when a woman falls from a building. Suicide is ruled out as the woman was dead before she left the roof…
Her Mother’s Cry is the third book to feature Jessie and I have previously read and reviewed the second book in the series The Frozen Girl. There are mentions about some aspects of Jessie’s personal and family life but no plot spoilers from the previous books.
Jessie’s character is staunchly determined to care, support and find the truth. Her relationship with Sam is strained at times as she heads off in her own direction with little thought for her own safety. She acts from the heart and often on impulse which frustrates Sam as he plays by the rules and is worried about compromising the investigation.
The book is written mostly from Jessie’s perspective but we also see some chapters from the kiler’s viewpoint. This allows us insight into his motivation and increases the tension as we anticipate his next grisly move.
I felt that there was a slightly political side to the plot as the first victim is identified as an illegal immigrant. Yet Jessie treats the woman’s friends as equals and respects their choices and background. This shows her natural humanity as well as makes a wider statement about respecting others regardless of their circumstances. In contrast the killer has no respect for human life.
I enjoyed the forensic detail and the police procedural elements of the book. Neither seemed too gruesome or graphic yet they conveyed the medical and investigation sides to the plot with appropriate depth.
Her Mother’s Cry is an entertaining crime thriller with a very strong female lead character who is unusual due to her nursing background.
The girl in the photo was laughing, her head thrown back, her lips painted a bright red. Jessie could feel the simple joy reflected in that moment. And as she looked closer, she saw the same gold cross and chain that had adorned the first victim’s neck.
When a young woman falls to her death from a parking garage, the Boston police department rule it as a suicide. But when Jessie Novak examines the scene, she isn’t so sure… The girl’s delicate hands are bruised and her fingernails torn: evidence of a struggle. Did someone push her from the roof?
Then a second young woman is found dead, this time at the foot of her dorm building, her hands injured in the same way as the first victim’s with a gold cross and chain clutched in her fist. Jessie is convinced there is a connection and that a twisted killer is on the loose.
Just as Jessie thinks she is closing in on the culprit, her worst fears are realized: a third girl is found dead. The gap between murders is closing: the killer is getting more confident. He will never stop until he is caught.
But little does Jessie know that, while she works to pick up the trail of her suspect, he is already on hers. She is the only one who can stop this monster before he kills again—but to save the next innocent life, is she prepared to risk her own?
A thrilling and totally gripping crime thriller that will grab you from the start and not let go until the final, heart-stopping page. Utterly addictive reading for fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Melinda Leigh.
Author Bio and Social Media
Roberta Gately, lives in Boston where she works as a nurse at the Boston Medical Center. It was in the ER where she developed an interest in the investigations behind the crimes and the victims she encountered. Working in a busy ER is much like being a detective—the search for answers is a methodical process, not unlike the work required to solve a murder!
Her crime series with Bookouture stars the brave and brilliant ER nurse Jessie Novak who teams up with her detective friend to solve tricky Boston murder cases. Expect addictive mysteries, breathtaking suspense and a gutsy heroine you’ll never forget. When she’s not writing or working at the hospital, Roberta enjoys reading, working out and spending time with friends and family.
She has also worked in humanitarian aid, providing medical care in some of the world’s bleakest spots ranging from Africa to Afghanistan. Her two previous novels, Lipstick in Afghanistan and The Bracelet were based upon her experiences of nursing abroad. Her memoir—Footprints in the Dust tells the true stories of some of the extraordinary people she met.
Roberta loves hearing from readers and you can get in touch with her using the links below.
Detective Kay Sharp’s latest case is a murder and kidnapping. Her only witnesses are two girls under the age of 10. She is suspicious that the victim’s family and neighbours are acting oddly, but are they capable of such a wicked crime…?
The case itself is highly emotional and we witness the murder and kidnap in the opening chapter. The book is written in the third person with the majority of focus upon Kay and her investigation. We do get some chapters from the killer’s perspective and from kidnapped Julie: this ramps up the tension as we anticipate a further death…
Kay needs to use her psychology skills to encourage the two young girls to provide evidence and clues to the motive and identity of the killer. This puts her at odds with her chief as well as the family who gain legal backing to regain control of the girls.
Kay and Elliot’s romance doesn’t move forwards much as their entire focus is on the case. Personal considerations do not feature much in the book as Kay is determined to find the killer and save Julie if possible. Her focus is upon her psychology skills and this results in a dramatic ending as Kay refuses to give up on finding Julie alive.
The Angel Creek Girls is an enjoyable and entertaining crime thriller and I hope for more personal aspects for Kay in the next book.
Her chestnut hair, long and shiny, fanned around her head, moving gently in the wind. Eyes, still open, stared at the back door, and her hand stretched out in a pleading gesture. Her lips, pale under the rosy lip gloss, were parted slightly as if to whisper one last word, to draw one last breath.
9 HOURS AGO: In a sleepy mountain town, widow Cheryl Coleman stares anxiously out of her kitchen window while a storm rages outside. When the knock comes, she glances back at her daughters before opening the door with trembling hands…
NOW: Detective Kay Sharpvows to get to the bottom of a heartbreaking murder that has rocked Mount Chester. A single mother has been brutally killed in front of her three daughters. The youngest, three-year-old Erin, is lying inches from the body, her pigtails loose, her face tear-stained. Eight-year-old Heather is discovered hiding under her bed. Sixteen-year-old Julie is nowhere to be found.
The first twenty-four hours are critical in child abductions, and the girls are the key to saving their missing sister. But Heather is in shock, unable to communicate, and all tiny Erin can say is “A monster came”. When Kay finds three suitcases lined up in the hallway, it’s clear that the family were about to run away. But why? And who were they trying to escape?
Thanks to her own past, Kay knows all about traumatic childhoods shrouded in tragedy, and she works around the clock to get justice for the orphaned girls. Turning the town upside down, she uncovers the shocking truth about their peaceful community: it’s home to a serial killer who preys on helpless girls. Faced with the most twisted case of her career, can she catch the monster before another innocent life is lost?
Think you know the meaning of gripping? Think again! Leslie Wolfe takes gripping to a whole new level. Fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Kendra Elliot will be totally addicted to this twist-filled page-turner.
Leslie Wolfe is a bestselling author whose novels break the mold of traditional thrillers. She creates unforgettable, brilliant, strong women heroes who deliver fast-paced, satisfying suspense, backed up by extensive background research in science, technology, and psychology. Her engaging writing style and addictive story lines have made Leslie one of the most read authors in the genre.
Leslie Wolfe lives in Florida with her husband, “the Wolfe,” and their dog. She enjoys engaging with her readers every day, exchanging emails and Facebook postings.
A brutal murder sees Ray Paterson back on the police force with his irreverent colleague John Clocks. But their superior officers do not trust them. Can they solve the case before any other murders take place and they are arrested?
His Mother’s Bones is the seventh book to feature Paterson and Clocks, and it is the second book that I have read (see link in list at end of post for my review).
Detectives Paterson and Clocks are reunited for another dark case. The murders are very grisly, featuring ancient forms of torture to maximise pain to the victims. It is extremely unpleasant and there are also several violent incidents which are graphically described.
Paterson and Clocks are an unlikely pairing which makes their relationship so much more enjoyable to witness. Paterson bends the rules with an air of wealthy confidence. Clocks breaks the rules and stamps on them! Their banter is superbly enjoyable, the language is almost more swear words than not!
Clocks definitely seems to be stuck in the 1970s with his attitudes to women. Some may find this offensive but I suspended my disbelief that he would have been allowed to get away with this behviour in the modern police force.
The pace is intense as the drama unfolds and this was a gripping read as Paterson and Clocks attempt to foil the avenging killer. The ending is action packed and enthralling with a high level of swearing and violence due to the nature of the scenario.
His Mother’s Bones is a brilliantly written book with wonderful lead characters and I loved it!
HIS MOTHER’S BONES an absolutely gripping killer thriller full of twists
(Detective Ray Paterson Book 7)
By Steve Parker
Discover a crime thriller full of shocking twists by one of the most exciting new authors you’ll read this year.
YOU WON’T WANT TO PUT THIS DOWN, PAGE AFTER PAGE OF ACTION AND CLIFFHANGERS. . .
This could be the case that breaks Paterson and Clocks. The police detectives who NEVER play by the rules.
Christine Lord, a judge, is tethered to a court roof. And sentenced to death. By her son.
Detectives Paterson and Clocks are called to the scene of a murder. A man has been publicly displayed in a local park. His method of death is an ancient ritual known as a ‘Blood Eagle’.
The victim is someone with very close ties to the detectives.
And now another gruesome ritualistic killing . . . who is behind them and why the elaborate murder methods? Time is running out for Paterson and Clocks to stop their ultimate enemy.
A RACE-AGAINST-TIME THRILLER WHICH WILL HAVE YOU TOTALLY ADDICTED.
This is the seventh in a series of action-packed, edge-of-your-seat crime thrillers, with an ending that will have your heart in your mouth.
Perfect for fans of Kimberley Chambers, Damien Boyd, Rachel Abbott, Patricia Gibney or Martina Cole.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING ABOUT STEVE PARKER’S BOOKS:
“A must read for all crime thriller fans.” Viv
“A fast-moving action-packed thriller which will keep you enthralled from page one.”
“Another gripping, fast-paced and twisted caper for the most unorthodox police duo in UK fiction.” Donna
“Loved the book, Clocks makes me laugh out loud.” Aileen
Detective Superintendent Ray Paterson is a young and (thanks to family money) wealthy womaniser, separated from his model wife and tipped to be the youngest ever commissioner of police. He knows he’s weak when it comes to practical policing and struggles to find a place among his peers, desperate to be a good policeman and not just a ‘climber’.
Detective Inspector Johnny Clocks is a foul-mouthed, working-class officer. He grew up surrounded by rogues and villains to become a first-class thief taker with the Met police. However, his childish attitude has short-circuited his career and he spends his days antagonising as many people as he can.
Steve Parker was born and raised in south east London. At age twenty-one he joined the Metropolitan Police where he served for twenty years in numerous high profile squads before injury forced him out.
On leaving the police he took up an enforcement job with a local authority until being made redundant. Once the dust had settled, he decided he’d had enough of enforcement work and decided that early retirement looked good.
Thankfully, he was blessed with a complete lack of DIY skills so was legitimately able to get away with swanning around the house doing bugger all, all day long. Finding himself with plenty of spare time and a deep desire to never work for anyone again, he dug out an old screenplay he’d written when he was still a policeman and set himself a challenge to turn it into the book which eventually became his debut novel Their Last Words introducing Detectives Paterson & Clocks.
He currently lives in the windier part of East Sussex with his wife and the laziest Cockapoo you’ve ever seen.
At the moment, there are seven books in the series.
TRIGGER WARNING; this book includes child abduction and murder
A young boy is found dead and displayed in a way that suggests a ritual or Satanic influence. The police call in Dr Harrison Lane to help with their investigation. Another boy is abducted: can Dr Lane’s insights help to find him before another murder ensues…?
Preacher Boy is the first book in a new series. It features Dr Harrison Lane and the police team he works with. There are three characters that stand out for me and we are thoroughly introduced to them in this opening book.
Dr Harrison Lane has a dark past. He is facing his own demons in the form of an upheaval during his childhood, the death of his mother and the flashbacks which haunt him. His background also gives him extra skills and insights which help him advance the investigation.
Police officers Sandra Barker and Jack Salter have contrasting personal lives. Sandra is married to the job, rarely seeing her family due to long hours. Her addiction to chocolate gives her a human balance against the authority figure she presents. Jack has a newborn baby and a wife with postnatal depression. He is struggling to focus on his work due to his fears of what may be happening at home.
The case itself is quite nasty and deeply emotive. There are forensic details that are grisly but these relate to an adult body (thankfully?!) The personal dimension to the main characters counteracts the atrocities they investigate. It also serves to make us care about their wellbeing as the action ramps up towards the end of the book.
Preacher Boy is a fab start to a new series and I look forward to seeing where the author takes the characters in the next book.
Preacher Boy – first in the Dr Harrison Lane series
IT’S TIME FOR A NEW CRIME MYSTERY HERO
Dr Harrison Lane is everything you wouldn’t expect from a man with a psychology doctorate. For victims, he’s everything they need.
They look, but they don’t see…
As Head of the Metropolitan Police’s Ritualistic Behavioural Crimes Unit, Dr Harrison Lane knows his Voodoo from his Aum Shinrikyo and a Satanist from a Shaman.
Harrison had an unusual childhood, raised by a bohemian mother and one of the native American Shadow Wolves – the elite tracking squad that works with US Drug enforcers. After his mother’s murder, he dedicated his life to tracking down those who hide behind spiritualism and religion to do evil.
Following the discovery of a missing boy’s body in what looks like a Satanic killing, Harrison is called in to help detectives. When a second boy is snatched, it becomes a race against time to save him, and sees Harrison come face-to-face with some dark secrets from his own childhood.
Preacher Boy is the first book in a gripping new crime mystery series from Amazon Top 20 bestselling author, Gwyn GB. Perfect for fans of LJ Ross, JD Kirk, J.R. Ellis, J M Dalgliesh, Rachel Abbott, Joy Ellis and David Blake.
Gwyn is an Amazon Top 20 bestselling author. She’s a former UK national TV newscaster and presenter, and journalist for national newspapers and magazines. Gwyn became a journalist and has finally realised her dream of being a full-time fiction author. Born in the UK, Gwyn now lives in the Channel Islands with her family, including a rescue dog and 17-year-old goldfish.
Gwyn launched her debut novel, Islands as Gwyn Garfield-Bennett in 2016, the romantic suspense book rose quickly into the Amazon top 20. Her first crime mystery series, featuring DI Falle, launched with Lonely Hearts in 2017.