It gives me absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Sleep Tight, the brand spanking new DS Ruby Preston novel from Caroline Mitchell.
The Official Book Blurb
Close your eyes … Just pray you don’t wake up.
A killer stalks the streets of East London. All over the area, murdered young women are discovered, their bodies posed into a sickening recreation of fairytale princesses.
Detective Ruby Preston is determined to hunt down a disturbed individual who is using the women to realise their twisted fantasies. But when body parts are found at the home of her lover, Nathan Crosby, Ruby is torn between her job and her heart.
Convinced that he is being framed, Ruby must catch the killer before Nathan becomes the number one suspect. But as more victims are found, it becomes harder to prove his innocence.
Ruby is in too deep, knowing that the cruel individual is getting ever closer, looking for his next beautiful victim. But can she stop a killer hell-bent on fulfilling their horrific desires – before it’s too late? And how well does she really know the man she loves?
A terrifying, addictive serial killer thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, for readers of Angela Marsons, Peter James and Rachel Abbott.
Good golly, Miss Molly. If you thought Lucy was Grimm, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Oh how and where to begin with this book. I absolutely loved Love You To Death and after starting a series so brilliantly,with such a memorable and formidable foe as Lucy was, you have to wonder whether or not it is possible to match that in the books that follow. The answer in this case is a resounding yes. Oh yes, yes, yes.
Driven to kill for initially undisclosed reasons, the murderer in this novel has very deliberate tastes, at least in how he wishes to present his victims. Each victim is laid out in their own personal tableau, a recreation of the original Grimm Fairy tales, far more macabre and chilling than the beautiful princesses you used to read about in the Ladybird books of your youth. There is no Disney magic at play here, this is more a Nightmare on Nile Street. (Hey – cut me some slack – it was the most similar sounding road I could find close to Shoreditch Police station).
For some reason the killer, known to at least two of his victims as ‘The Doctor’, seems to want to lay the responsibility for his crimes at Nathan’s door, making the murder investigation more than a little personal for our heroine, DS Ruby Preston. And as her daughter is not dissimilar in age to the victims, all of whom have links back to the Crosbys’ less than honourable activities, she has reason to be fearful for her safety. Not only that but as her boss knows of her links to the Crosbys, Ruby is under pressure to get Nathan to hand himself in, leaving her caught between the will of the force and the wrath of Nathan’s thug of a brother, Lenny.
The tension throughout the book is palpable. There is diversion galore, especially as a victim is found who seems to have no connection to the case Ruby is working on, and yet she is certain the links are there if only she can find them. And while the violence meted on the women is not described in any graphic detail, there is enough depicted, enough hinted at, to create a clear picture of what has occurred, and that makes for a stomach churning feeling for sure. Lucy… well she was a pure pussy cat in comparison.
The motivations of the killer are so well hidden in this book that the ending really took me by surprise. It wasn’t what I had been expecting at all. And while the victims were predominantly prostitutes, people who put themselves naturally in harms way by their choice of career, Caroline Mitchell managed to make them sympathetic enough, make their back stories harrowing without overplaying the poor me angle, that you couldn’t help but feel for them.
I really like the character of Ruby. She is, at heart, a true Blue Blood – a copper through and through. There is nothing she would not do for the job and her determination to solve the murders is unwavering. And yet she is torn by her loyalty to the Crosbys, in particular Nathan, the boy who stole her heart all those years ago. She is a straight talker, obsessed with bright red lipstick, has a clear understanding of the need for humour that only a long serving officer could have, has an overwhelming empathy for the victims and potential victims and she is truly respected by her team. She is perhaps a little battle weary, particularly given that she finds herself in the thick of all of the tension surrounding the chance to finally nail Nathan, and yet she is strong and (mostly) focused. She may not always follow procedure to the strictest letter of the law but she is ultimately incredibly likeable and a brilliant character to lead this series.
And as for Nathan and Ruby. The relationship that shouldn’t happen, that shouldn’t work. Well the chemistry between them is as strong as it has ever been, and as Ruby gives into temptation, you know that she is about to embark on something that could change her future forever. Nathan is as stoic and poised as ever, even under the intense pressure of being a murder suspect, but in spite of all of the people around him who could potentially be working against him, the one person he never lacks faith in is Ruby. This is something which is returned ten-fold, with her never wavering in her certainty that Nathan is innocent.
With shocks in store from within the force and betrayal happening all around the Crosby organisation, you will have no end of suspects. While we know from half way through exactly who the killer is, it does not alter the pace of the story, in fact if anything it speeds things up even more as it becomes a race to find the mysterious Doctor and to secure the evidence required to prove Nathan’s innocence, before he has a chance to claim another victim.
If you like your books with a cluster of murders that rest just a touch on the dark and unusual side, enjoy strong, well written characters with an undeniable chemistry, and like tales which twist and turn with unrelenting heart-thumping pace and tension, then you definitely want to read this book. I loved it, was hooked from first page to last and didn’t want to put it down. I was gutted when it was over, I was enjoying it that much, and I cannot wait to see what Caroline Mitchell has in store for old Ruby next.
A totally grim, grizzly and twisted 5 stars from me.
My thanks to publishers Bookouture for the ARC of Sleep Tight and to Caroline and Noelle for inviting me to join the blog tour. It is available to purchase now from the following links:
What readers are saying about Sleep Tight
Oh my friggin God! Thisssss booooook! Su-bloody-perb! …a quadruple #HellYeah recommendation from me! Tantalisingly terrifying, twisted, and dark’ Crime Book Junkie
Just superb!! I can tell you, you will NOT know the ending until you get there!! It’s a shocker!’ Next Book Review
‘OMG what a corker of a book. I absolutely love Ruby. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough … Loved it, loved it, loved it.’ By The Letter Book Reviews
‘Ruby is an excellent character. Real, raw and utterly relatable’ Bibliophile Book Club
‘Caroline Mitchell creates some seriously dark and scary stuff’ StefLoz Book Reviews
Oh my God…this book blew me away! Kept me hooked right till the last page’ The Book Guzzler
‘It’s a compelling and dark read; it gives you thrills, it gives you the fear and it gives you all the twists and turns you are looking for’ Chapter In My Life
About the Author
A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences.
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. She now writes full time.
Be sure to check out some of the other fantastic blogs taking part in this tour.