As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Head of Zeus, 4 May 2017. ISBN: 978-1-78408296-9 (HB)
DCI Eve Clay is hunting a murderer. No surprise there; in the first two
titles in Mark Roberts's well-regarded Red River City series, Eve has already
established herself as a renowned detective whose relentless pursuit of justice
has put away several high-profile serial killers.
Third time around, though,
it's a little different. This time the killer is rather more popular with the
general public than the police are, because the victims he is hunting down are
paedophiles. But to Eve Clay and her dauntless team, a murderer is still a
murderer, and their investigation is as meticulous and inexorable as ever. The
Day of the Dead follows the progress of that investigation almost minute by
minute. The team are so determined to bring the culprit in that no one sleeps
for more than forty-eight hours, and the various stages and breakthroughs are
charted in the kind of detail I'm tempted to describe as forensic.
The murders – there are three
– appear to be the work of Justin Truman, AKA Vindici, who became a media hero
when he was put away some time earlier for murdering multiple paedophiles.
Truman has escaped from prison, but it soon becomes apparent that he was elsewhere
when these crimes took place, and a copycat is at work. This makes the job
harder, but Eve Clay's team remain undeterred, even when it emerges that
someone close to them is leaking information.
Eve's troubled childhood in
care has played a small part in each of the two previous titles; this time it
becomes more prominent as the case triggers memories, both pleasant and
Once again, Mark Roberts
builds a cast of sharply-drawn characters, this time around focusing more on
the bad guys than the team of detectives; and the victims are no less bad than
their tormentor. The two main suspects are larger than life, and there's plenty
of tension as the detectives dig and delve for proof of their guilt or
Roberts's research is as
meticulous as the investigation; not only does Liverpool come to vivid and
subtle life, there's also the annual Mexican festival to which the book's title
refers, details of which serve as useful clues as well as background. Add in a
generous dollop of the macabre, something of a trademark of this series, and
the result is a horrifying but gripping novel which it might be best to read
with all the lights on. Liverpool may never seem quite the same again.
Reviewer: Lynne Patrick
Mark Robertswas born and raised in Liverpool and was educated at
St. Francis Xavier's College. He was a teacher for twenty years and for the
last ten years has worked as a special school teacher. He received a Manchester
Evening News Theatre Award for best new play of the year. The Sixth Soul was his first novel for adults.
Lynne Patrick has been a writer ever since she could pick up a pen,
and has enjoyed success with short stories, reviews and feature journalism, but
never, alas, with a novel. She crossed to the dark side to become a publisher
for a few years, and is proud to have launched several careers which are now
burgeoning. She lives on the edge of rural Derbyshire in a house groaning with
books, about half of them crime fiction.