The gritty new standalone crime novel from the No. 1 best-selling author of Shatter the Bones and Dark Blood
Detective Constable Ash Henderson has a dark secret…
Five years ago his daughter, Rebecca, went missing on the eve of her 13th birthday. A year later the first card arrived: homemade, with a Polaroid picture stuck to the front – Rebecca, strapped to a chair, gagged and terrified. Every year another card: each one worse than the last. The tabloids call him The Birthday Boy. He’s been snatching girls for 12 years, always in the run-up to their 13th birthday, sending the families his homemade cards showing their daughters being slowly tortured to death. But Ash hasn’t told anyone about Rebecca’s birthday cards – they all think she’s just run away from home – because if anyone finds out, he’ll be taken off the investigation. And he’s sacrificed too much to give up before his daughter’s killer gets what he deserves…
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For those who can stomach strong violence
I would definitely listen to another book by this narrator but as for the author I'd be more picky. This book was very violent, gratuitously so in my opinion, and I didn't think much of the plotting or the main character. I'm prepared to give the author another go because there are hints of writing that I do like (particularly the humour) but I'm wary of more of the same.
The changes in voices for the different characters were subtle but noticeable enough to make the book easy to follow. I do like a Scottish accent too.
Revulsion mostly. I've had my fill of serial killer books featuring tortured souls on disgusting quests that require the mutilation of innocent people - being a crime fiction fan I've come across a lot of these but am well and truly done with this particular sub genre. I've also had it with excessively violent blokes using their fists to solve every problem they come across.
This book was not for me but I don't think it's badly written. It just takes readers down a path I have trodden too often before.
- C. D. Mitchell