Today it’s my absolute pleasure to be taking part in the blog blitz for Murder Game, the third book in the Ruby Preston series by Caroline Mitchell. Big thanks to Noelle Holten for inviting me to be a part of the blitz. I’ve read and loved the first two book in the series to was thrilled to get an advance copy of the book. Before we take a look at my thoughts, let’s see what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
A serial killer is playing a terrifying game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.
In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the twisted killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die…
But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby persuades her boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to use his criminal connections to set up a dangerous meeting. Because to catch this killer, she needs to think like one…
But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team become. Is Mason really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining Ruby up to be his next victim?
Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Peter James will be hooked by this dark and utterly disturbing thriller, packed with twists until the final page.
Holy moly. If ever there was the perfect case for Ruby Preston to sign off on, then I have to say this is probably it. From the very get-go this book draws the reader in. By the second chapter it sets your nerve endings a jangling and then it keeps you perched, rather uncomfortably at times, on the very, very edge of your seat. And then smacks you in the face. Repeatedly. In a good way. A very good way.
With a perfect combination of brilliant storyline, engaging characters, and an easy flowing narrative, Caroline Mitchell has provided fans of the series with yet another superb story, one which I am sure will be another big hit. There is no doubting what a great protagonist Ruby Preston is, and with such a wild array of characters, from the good to the bad, surrounding her, there is more than a little something for everyone.
Now I don’t want to go to much into plot detail as the blurb really does pretty well tell you all you need to know. It appears that there may well be a copy cat on the loose, one who is mimicking a rather sadistic serial killer, a case that DI Downes worked on meaning that he is taking the lack of progress in the case quite personally. With Ruby being drawn into killer Mason Gatley’s small, prison based world, it becomes a kind of game, one in which Ruby’s nerve and intuition are pitched against Mason Gatley’s cunning and sadistic nature. But just who will be victorious?
Well … if you want to know the answer to that, you’re going to have to read for yourself because I’m not going to tell you. What I will tell you is that the murders are somewhat macabre and the impact upon the victims families, often cruel. There is somewhat of a moral dilemma in the tale too; something specific about the victimology that the killer uses to justify their deeds. At the end of the day, there is no justification for murder and nobody deserves the fate that awaits the chosen few.
I really love the character of Ruby Preston. She is flawed, but only in a very minor way, making her feel so very human. She is no superwoman but she is also not on a mission of self-destruction either, although if the powers that be ever got wind of her personal situation, that could all change. For this time, sorry ladies, but she is playing happy families with everyone’s favourite bad boy, Nathan Crosby. After the major role he played in the previous book, some fans may be disappointed by his infrequent visits to this story. However, Caroline Mitchell more than makes up for it when he is around, the bad boy very much showing his softer, caring side for our Ruby.
As for Mason Gatley – well he’s a very strange character. very astute and manipulative but with a very dark aura. There is something very unsettling about him and his relationship with Ruby, how he tries to manipulate her kind of puts me in mind of Hannibal Lecter. Only without the charm. There is a certain, I don;t know, charisma about him, if that’s the right word, but I certainly wouldn’t trust him, and the way he loves to play games with Ruby means we are almost guaranteed to see even more victims along the way.
The pacing in this book is spot on, leading the reader from one chapter to another with a story which really is very hard to put down. I found myself, not for the first time, reading very late into the night to fit in that all important one-more-chapter and it was a bitter-sweet feeling as I approached the end as while I wanted to know the resolution, I really didn’t want the story to end.
This really is a brilliant series and if you haven’t read any, you must start from book one. Not because the book contains too many spoilers, it can easily be read as a standalone to be fair. It is simply that you will be missing one hell of a treat if you start and end here, a journey through some cracking stories with a heroine who is just one hell of a lot of fun.
Murder Game was released on 31st October and is available from the following retailers:
About the Author
USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author.
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. 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. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.
Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.