A Life for a Life by Carol Wyer
Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.
When a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.
Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.
With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?
Although the CE read Book 1, An Eye for An Eye, and greatly enjoyed, I chose to read this one. Perhaps it could be read as a standalone, but I struggled for a time with all the characters, the names, their association with the investigation.
DI Kate Young lost her husband Chris about a year ago and is still agonizing over his death to the point that she feels she can talk to him and he will answer, guide her. She is working hard to find the connection of his death to Superintendent Dickson to prove Dickson was culpable. The more she uncovers, the greater the corruption, and she’s getting dangerously close to proof.
At the same time, a body has been discovered killed by a dead bolt pistol (the kind used to dispatch animals) shot in the head. Apparently, the tip of the iceberg as there follows additional deaths by the same MO. The problem is the absolute lack of a sense of correlation as they appear totally random.
The descriptions get rather graphic and the perps begin to have their own voice, discussing the next potential victim. It is greatly disturbing.
I thought the start of the book slow, a little disjointed, and it was some time into the book before I was able to piece together the plot points. Kate as a protagonist is damaged to the point she is seeking Chris’ voice over and over like an addiction but his voice is beginning to fade. She is alarmed she may be losing his connection. She is also paranoid about trusting anyone regarding her investigation into the superintendent. The author carefully paints a picture of Kate’s frustration with both issues.
I liked the characters of DS Emma Donaldson and DS Morgan Meredith as they help to form what appears to be a solid investigative team.
The tension ramps up closer to the end of the well-plotted narrative, adding suspense, switching goals between the quest for vengeance or justice, and the solution to the bolt murders and arbitrary victims.
This might be one of those books of a series that makes more sense to begin with Book 1. While the novel is engaging, it might be better appreciated knowing the back story.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author and publisher through @NetGalley that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars
Genre: Serial Killers, Serial Killer Thrillers, Murder
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Print Length: 363 pages
Publication Date: March 15, 2022
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
The Author: Carol Wyer is a USA Today bestselling author and winner of the People’s Book Prize Award. Her crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages.
A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost and proved that Carol had found her true niche.
In 2021, An Eye For An Eye, the first in the DI Kate Young series, was chosen as a Kindle First Reads. It became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Australia. The third, A Life For A Life, is due out March 15th, 2022, but is available to preorder.
Carol has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and written for the Huffington Post. She’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows and on Sky and BBC Breakfast television.
She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband, Mr. Grumpy . . . who is very, very grumpy.
When not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.
To learn more, go to http://www.carolwyer.co.uk, subscribe to her YouTube channel, or follow her on Twitter @carolewyer
©2022 V Williams