A serial killer is stalking Tyneside. But there is a pattern to his killings, his choice of victims, his method of slaughter. David Carlisle, a criminal profiler, is brought in to assist DCI Jack Mason with his task of identifying the killer and stopping him in his tracks. The Wharf Butcher is a fast-paced thriller that shines a light on the dark forces at work within the corridors of power, in the board room and the police force itself. The clock is ticking to catch the monster that has been unleashed. But first Carlisle must get inside the killer's head...
With all of the fantastic books set in the North East, you could be forgiven for thinking that Newcastle was the murder capital of the world. We really are blessed that there are so many interesting landmarks in the region, making it a perfect setting for dark and gritty Northern crime.
We are introduced to two excellent main characters in The Wharf Butcher: DCI Jack Mason and David Carlisle, a criminal profiler. Mason and Carlisle have some past history of working together and I think that there is a lot more of that story to come in future books (hurrah!). As they hunt for a killer who likes to use Ford Mondeos and the Metro system as his mode of transport they start to see a link to the victims. As the net closes in on the killer in a nail-biting finale I was left gasping for breath.
As a resident of the area, I really enjoyed reading about places I knew from King Street in South Shields to The Malting House in The Felling. I've no idea why we call Felling 'The Felling' but it's definitely a Gateshead thing so it did tickle me a little bit. The whole undertone of the book reminded me of the darkness and violence of The Sopranos. As one of the locations is the North Shields Fish Quay, there may very well be a victim who ends up swimming with the fishes.
There were quite a lot of characters to get my head around at times, but I do sometimes read too fast so that's mainly an issue with my reading style. Overall it's a great start to a series and I look forward to reading the next book, Satan's Beckoning, for another Mason and Carlisle adventure.
I chose to read an ARC of The Wharf Butcher and this is my honest opinion.
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