Today I am delighted (and a little bit jealous) to hand over the blog to Mandie who has a review of The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham as part of the blog tour to celebrate the paperback release. Thanks to Tracy Fenton for inviting us to join in and to publishers Trapeze for providing the copy of the book for review. This is one I’m looking forward to reading myself and, having seen how Mandie devoured it, even more so now. Here is what it’s all about.
About the Book
A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…
When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?
I think the only thing I can say about this book is “wow”. From the very first few pages it had me gripped, so much so I devoured the entire thing in a day. Those who know me know that I am not always the fastest reader, but every now and then I come across a book that I just can’t put down and everything else has to wait….including sleep. The Tattoo Thief is one of those books.
Having been newly promoted to Detective Inspector over a more experienced colleague, Francis Sullivan is handed the investigation into the death of a man whose body is found dumped in some bins near to a convention centre. When another body is found he is not sure if the cases are connected or if they have multiple killers on the loose. To add to this his investigations are sometimes hampered by his DS who is still smarting over being passed over for the promotion that he believed should have gone to him and an uncooperative witness.
The story is told from four different viewpoints throughout however I found that far from confusing the story it somehow seemed to enhance it. I loved the main characters as despite any faults they may have you could still relate to them. I think my favourite has to be tattooist Marni. She is a feisty person, who due to events in her past has a total distrust of the police. That being said however she has a chemistry with DI Sullivan and her sense of doing what is right overtakes this and she eventually ends up assisting them in solving the case by giving them valuable insights into the close knit tattoo community. The antagonistic relationship between DI Sullivan and DS Mackay running throughout the story will resonate with anyone has ever felt they were passed over for promotion. Even though he is sure that he could do a much better job than Sullivan, Rory Mackay eventually realises that maybe they could get much further and solve the cases working together than against each other.
The Tattoo Thief is certainly not a book for those looking for easy reading, especially with what the killer subjects their victims to whilst they are still alive. Thanks to Alison’s way with words I know that I certainly won’t be able to look at a pool of Koi Carp in quite the same way again. This is the first novel by Alison Belsham and boy what a way to begin her career as an author. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for her readers next.
If you would like your own copy of The Tattoo Thief it’s available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Alison Belsham initially started writing with the ambition of becoming a screenwriter-and in 2000 was commended for her visual storytelling in the Orange Prize for Screenwriting. In 2001 she was shortlisted in a BBC Drama Writer competition. Life and children intervened but, switching to fiction, in 2009 her novel Domino was selected for the prestigious Adventures in Fiction mentoring scheme. In 2016 she pitched her first crime novel, The Tattoo Thief, at the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and was judged the winner.
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