Blood of the Rose by Kevin Murray
BOOK COVER SYNOPSIS:
“It started low and soft, but grew slowly, increasing in pitch and volume into an unceasing scream so loud and so desperate it pierced his primeval soul. The detective was stunned, his mind blank. On the ragged edges of his consciousness a prophecy took hold. He could see, with shattering clarity, that there would never again be a time in his life when that scream did not exist” London, 1986. A newspaper editor is horrifically murdered, his death quickly followed by a series of more brutal, and often bizarre, slayings. The police are baffled, the only clear link between the murders being a single blood red rose left at the scene of every killing. Why? What does the rose mean? What connects the killer to each bloody corpse? Scotland Yard detective Alan Winters leads a hunt for the elusive prey. As the body count rises, Jennifer Chapman, renowned investigative journalist and daughter of the murdered newspaper editor, sets out on a personal quest for revenge. Drawn together in their pursuit of a deadly quarry, Winters and Jennifer unwittingly face a fatal surprise, for the killer is closer than they think. As they close in on the truth of the blood red rose, their unseen foe plots a shattering end to his reign of terror, and death awaits them all.
The book blurb on this is fantastic and I couldn’t sum it up any better!
I found it interesting that the author took us back to 1986 in this book. I’m not sure what the purpose was but it did make communication between the characters more difficult in a time before cell phones. Hard to remember those days!
This was a very enjoyable book! All of the lead characters were very likable. Jan Van Deventer, known as “The Dutchman” had an air of mystery as the older, has-been detective. Jennifer Chapman, as a journalist and the daughter of the first murder victim, was a strong, independent force to be reckoned with. Alan Winters as the up-and-coming detective, had a mind of his own and took as good as he got from both Jan and Jennifer. I wouldn’t mind seeing any or all of these three characters carried over to another book. And this from one who gets tired of those never-ending series!
Seriously, these were great characters and even if we don’t see them again, I know I will definitely recommend this book. It was well-written, suspenseful and had a touch of romance. The POVs from the killer are absolutely chilling and we are given multiple suspects to focus on, leaving it very hard to guess which is the culprit. I didn’t guess before the reveal.
Now excuse me while I go decide which of Kevin Murray’s books to read next!
I want to thank the publisher (Urbane Publications) for providing me with the ARC through Netgalley for an honest review.