London. A newspaper editor is horrifically murdered, his death quickly followed by a series of more brutal, and often bizarre, slayings. The police are baffled, the only clear link between the murders being a single blood red rose left at the scene of every killing. Why? What does the rose mean? What connects the killer to each bloody corpse? Scotland Yard detective Alan Winters leads a hunt for the elusive prey. As the body count rises, Jennifer Chapman, renowned investigative journalist and daughter of the murdered newspaper editor, sets out on a personal quest for revenge. Drawn together in their pursuit of a deadly quarry, Winters and Jennifer unwittingly face a fatal surprise, for the killer is closer than they think. As they close in on the truth of the blood red rose, their unseen foe plots a shattering end to his reign of terror, and death awaits them all.
What did I think?
This was an excellent thriller that I read over the course of 24 hours. I was immediately hooked with the chilling description of the killer hunting his prey and my stomach did a huge somersault as the crossbow found its first target.
The reader is simultaneously immersed into a police investigation, a journalistic scoop and a fledgling relationship; barely giving us time to pause for breath. A continual string of murders gives the story its fast pace and as hints to the killer’s identity are revealed the pace definitely goes up a notch. I was flicking through the pages almost as fast as Winters when he was racing to St Paul's Cathedral for the final explosive showdown.
Jennifer is a great character; she is the daughter of the first victim and, as a journalist, she understandably begins her own investigation into who killed her father. She also begins a relationship with Alan Winters, who is heading the police investigation, and both he and I wondered if Jennifer was using him to get information on the case.
It kept me guessing right up to the end and even once the killer is revealed there’s another excellent twist. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this book to everyone; crime/thriller readers will love it and I think it could also introduce a love of the crime/thriller genre to other readers.
Many thanks to Matthew from Urbane Publications for sending me this outstanding book in exchange for an honest review.
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