Today it’s my great pleasure to be taking part in the blog tour for Black Heart, the brand new thriller from Anna-Lou Weatherley and the first in the Dan Riley series. I’ll be sharing my thoughts in just a moment after we’ve seen what the book is all about.
The Official Book Blurb
There’s a letter on the floor covered with blood next to a heart-shaped box of chocolates. The note says: ‘My beautiful darling, I’m sorry, please forgive me.’
When the body of a man is found with his wrists slashed in a London hotel room, it appears at first to be a tragic suicide. But Detective Dan Riley suspects there is more to this case than meets the eye and the pathology report confirms his worst fears – the victim was poisoned and suddenly Dan is dealing with a murder inquiry.
Then he makes a disturbing discovery, uncovering links between the victim and a woman calling herself Goldilocks on an online dating site. Is she seeking revenge or something more?
Still grieving the devastating loss of his girlfriend and unborn child in a car accident two years ago, Dan throws everything he has into the investigation. Yet just as Dan begins to piece together the clues of this complex case, the body of a woman is found in her bed with identical wounds.
Dan is on the trail of a twisted individual who is much closer than he realises. Can he overcome his own demons and stop the killer before it’s too late?
An all-consuming and totally unputdownable read that will have you holding your breath to the very last page. Perfect for fans of Rachel Abbott, Robert Bryndza and Karin Slaughter.
Previously published as Last Cry.
When you think of fairy tales you automatically think of the Disney effect, don’t you? Well before Disney, fairy tales had a much darker heart and a much darker feeling, courtesy of the Brothers Grimm. Well Black Heart is a new take on an old classic with far more in common with the Grimm tales than the sparkly fairy dust, hearts and flowers.
This is a serial killer novel with a difference. A murderer with a very unique calling card and a disturbing story to tell. They are not unknown to the reader, their identity revealed very early in the novel, and indeed a proportion of the story told from their point of view. Their motives though … not entirely clear. Their methods … well it’s almost old school in a sense but oh so effective. And as their plan is uncovered the end game stands to be the most shocking and potentially heartbreaking story of all.
The central protagonist in this book is Detective Inspector Dan Riley. Now this guy is broken emotionally having lost his partner and their unborn child some years before. He is still a very keen Detective but it is clear that he is hurting and decisions he makes in the course of the story have the potential to upend the investigation completely. We as readers know things that Dan doesn’t and it makes this a very interesting premise. His story is told in first person narrative so we are privy to his emotions and decisions and it makes the book read more in the style of an American PI novel than your typical police procedural. It took a little getting used to at first but as I got to know Dan more I found the easy and open style of his narration made for a very exciting read.
The story itself is gripping as you can see early on where it is likely to be leading. You even know, to a certain extent, who one of the future victims may well be. And there are elements which will make you smile as the knowledge we have as readers is often something that the police have yet to discover. And there are certain aspects of the book, certain coincidences, which will make you smile as well as often despair.
The pacing of this book is not always the fastest, but there are some chapters where the level of jeopardy is high and you will be kept on the edge of your seat as you wonder how far the killer is willing to go. Can they truly be as heartless as their actions make them out to be or is there another side to them? As you learn more of the killers past, you may feel some empathy, perhaps even understanding, if not absolute forgiveness for their actions. Is there possibly any redemption for such a cruel killer? Well read the book and decide for yourselves.
I really liked the characters that the author created in and amongst Riley’s team. Although Riley is the main officer on the investigation, and a lot of the action and investigation centres on him, there are other characters who have made an impression and I am intrigued to see how they are developed in future novels. PC Lucy Davis is one who I think has real potential, as does Riley’s superior Woods who is harsh but has the best interests of his team in mind. And there are others, Martin Delaney for one, who looks set to be a thorn in Riley’s side.
If you like your fairy tales with a darker edge, then this is the perfect read for you. An exciting opening to the series and I can’t wait to read more about Dan Riley and his team.
My thanks to publishers Bookouture for the advance copy of Black Heart for review and to Kim Nash for inviting me to be a part of the tour. The book is available not from the following retailers:
About the Author
Anna-Lou began her career as a dancer but a moped accident in Ibiza put paid to those aspirations and so she went back to her first and one true love – writing! She re-trained as a journalist, specialising mainly in women’s interest and celebrity, becoming the Editor of J-17 and Smash Hits as well as writing for a host of women’s magazines.
Anna-Lou has written three Adult Fiction titles – Vengeful Wives and Wicked Wives, both published by Avon in the UK and Bookouture in the US and Canada and Pleasure Island published by Bookouture.
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Do make sure to check out some of the other brilliant blogs taking part in the tour.