Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on The Beauty Killers by Ann Girdharry, the latest book in the Kal Medi series. My thanks to the author who provided an advance copy for review. Here is what the book is all about.
The Bookish Bits
A string of beautiful women go missing.
And when an undercover policewoman disappears, Kal and Marty take the case.
Women will go missing. And none will return.
A collector who lures women
And then keeps them
Kal and Marty track a killer who lures women, captures them and keeps them.
But it soon becomes clear the case is even more sinister than they imagined.
A high-level detective is linked to a cover-up and Kal and Marty are caught in a complex,
The clock is ticking to find the missing women and it seems the perpetrator has more than one accomplice…
I loved books one and two in the Kal Medi series from Ann Girdharry, Good Girl, Bad Girl and London Noir, with Kal quickly having cemented herself as one of those very likeable, if somewhat unique, strong action heroes. When I was offered the opportunity to read the third book by the author, I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
Now if you have read any of the series at all you will know that Kal is a woman of high principals who will risk life and limb to help others, so when her old friend DCI Spinks asks her for help in finding a missing young woman, she doesn’t have to think long before accepting. The woman in question is an undercover police officer, one of a number of young women to disappear under suspicious circumstances, the only known link being a shelter for the homeless. With the help of best friend Marty, Kal sets off on an investigation which could well prove to be deadly.
What I have loved about this series, something which carries through into this book, is the central characters who lead us through the action. Kal Medi is a formidable young woman, trained well by her father in psychology so that she understand the way in which the human mind works and can easily get into the psyche of those she is hunting. Not only is she strong of mind, but of body too, and she would give any potential nemesis a run for their money. Which is just as well in this case as she is up against a very dark force here, a person who is very malevolent and whose motivations are skin crawlingly sadistic. Now Kal can be impulsive, never hesitant to act, and to balance this you have Marty who is now in business with Kal and who acts as a kind of safety net, forcing Kal to think more about what she is risking. Marty is the far more hesitant of the pair but together they are a brilliant team and more than enough of a match for anyone who should cross them.
This book has some very dark elements. The reason behind the women’s disappearances is quite macabre and although the actual violence is kept off the page, enough of a picture is given to make the reader feel uneasy. For them missing police woman is not the only person whose life is at risk here, something which becomes abundantly clear from the scenes which interject Kal’s investigation when the plight of the victims becomes very clearer. Some scenes are told form the point of view of the Officer, Jennifer, some are told from the points of view of the perpetrator and each of those scenes has the potential yo make you feel uncomfortable, be it due to the nature of what you are reading, the voyeurism at play, or because of the simple, resigned emotion of the young victims. Ann Girdharry has a brilliant way of capturing all of that mis of emotions on the page and making the reader feel it.
Now you do get a mixture of both action and investigation in this book, and the suspicion you feel as you read will switch between a whole host of suspects. Even DCI Spinks is clearly hiding something, something which puts both the reader and Kal on edge as she interacts with someone she’d considered to be a friend. Whilst you can feel the menace building throughout, it is towards the end of the book, as the threat increases and you know we are marching towards a dramatic showdown, that the tension really builds and so does the pace. I’ll be honest and say that while some elements were expected, the author still manages to throw in a good few surprises to keep the reader guessing and certainly enough moments of jeopardy and action to keep you on the edge of your seat.
Brilliantly using the authors own experience in psychology to add an extra edge to this series, The Beauty Killers is a fab blend of action, intrigue and thriller that fans of the series are going to love.
About the Author
Ann Girdharry is a British crime suspense thriller author.
A trained psychotherapist, she worked for many years as a manager in the not-for-profit sector, for agencies working with carers, vulnerable older people, survivors of abuse, and victims of racial attacks.
She currently lives in Montpellier, France with her husband and two children.
Her debut novel, GOOD GIRL BAD GIRL, is an ERIC HOFFER BOOK AWARD Finalist 2017.
Her second crime suspense thriller, LONDON NOIR, was published October 2017.
She is also author of Chilling Tales of the Unexpected Short Reads.