This is the third in the Aector MacAvoy series and although I haven’t read the previous books it worked well for me as a stand-alone read. As in all the best novels in this genre there are a number of strands to the story, not least Aector’s struggles to get back to his previous self after whatever incident had injured him in his previous outing. To help him integrate back into his role he has to see the Police psychologist to get a clean bill of health. Aector isn’t really terribly enamoured with spilling his secrets to Sabine Keane and is relieved when he has a murder to investigate along with his superior Trish Pharaoh.
Aector comes across as a really likeable man who has a strong grip on what’s right and what is wrong. There is no falling out with either his superiors or the most junior members of his team but when it becomes apparent there is a sadistic serial killer menacing the good citizens of Hull, Aector is determined to find the culprit, and of course to catch him there he has to understand the motive.
A crime committed long ago, a drug dealer who wants to own the city and blackmail of another police officer are all put into the mix which meant that there was no time to sit back and relax for a moment during Aector’s race against time to stop any more murders.
This is not one for the faint hearted, this killer is brutal and David Mark doesn’t spare the reader any of the horrifying detail with more than a dash of violence in many an encounter. However, I think the subject matter is given a little lift by the observations such as walls being described as the colour of Elastoplast, the musing over whether his psychologist had been saddled with a rhyming name from birth and one action scene in a laundrette made me smile whilst simultaneously wincing, an art indeed!
Although the serial murder plot is neatly tied up with only a slight rising of my eyebrows as to motive the ongoing issue of the drugs plot that wove its way through the book is left to be continued in the next book where Aector may have to face the consequences of a long kept secret.
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher’s Quercus ahead of the publication date 3 April 2014 in return for my review.