So last month Belinda Bauer featured on the November First Monday Crime Evening Panel, so when asked whether I would like to review this book I jumped at the chance.
‘I give you the art,’ he said, as if he’d read her mind. ‘And you put on the show.’
Eve Singer needs death. With her career as a TV crime reporter flagging, and increasing pressures at home, she’ll do anything to satisfy her ghoulish audience. Her career is built on the bones of the dead; her one aim to secure that perfect shot of the body bag. And luckily for Eve, there is a serial killer at work in London…
The killer needs death too. He sees beauty in death and revels in watching his victims take their final breath. For the killer, the line between artist and executioner is irrevocably blurred. He even advertises his macabre public performances, inviting the public to see his ‘show.’
When he contacts Eve and offers her unpresented access to his plans, she welcomes the chance to be first with the news from every gory scene. Until she realizes that the killer has two obsessions.
One is public murder.
And the other one is her . . .
The story centres around Eve Singer, a TV crime reporter who is always looking for the next big exclusive to keep her at the top of her career and to satisfy her viewers. But the sight of blood and gore makes her sick, which in her line of her work makes her a target of her colleagues. So when the killer starts messaging her with hints at his next kill, Eve jumps at the chance to get the story first – but little does she know that the killer has set his sights on her.
I loved this story!
I have previously read Backlands by Belinda Bauer which I adored, so when I was recommended this novel I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this.
The story opened with an absolute corker – I won’t spoil it for you here but what I will say is it really sets the tone to this novel and hooked me into the story right away.
The story is told from the point of view of Eve and the killer, who I must say is such a fascinating character and not your average murderer. He had such a twisted mindset and acted in such a way that I couldn’t guess what he would do next! I was so engrossed in his crimes I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from the page.
Eve is such a strong character I couldn’t help but rooting for her and her determination to keep her job in order to care for her father comes through the narrative and makes her actions realistic if somewhat questionable.
I also loved the characters of Eve’s father Duncan, who suffers from dementia but has such a sweet soul, Mr Elias, Eve’s bumbling and lonely neighbour and Joe, Eve’s cameraman, who she has a lot of banter with. I was so absorbed in the lives of these characters I couldn’t get enough of this book.
I found myself sympathising with all the characters throughout – I know worryingly even with the killer. I thought Eve’s relationships with both her dad and Joe made this an emotive and pacey story.
The story is a slow burner where the pace really ratchets up towards the last third of the novel but this just kept me on my toes.
I thought this was a new twist on the classic serial killer thriller making this a refreshing and exciting criminal read. I would recommend this for any crime fan who loves a good psychological thriller with a difference.
With thank to Becky Short at Penguin Random House for my advanced review copy.
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First Monday is a crime night devoted to readers, writers, hard core crime fans or industry professionals a chance to mingle and to hear about the latest crime books. First Monday happens on the first Monday of each month with a different panel of authors designed to cater to a wide-range of tastes. I love First Monday evenings which never fails to deliver!