Today I’m delighted to wish a very happy publication day to L.J. Ross as the second book in the Dr Alexander Gregory series is sent out into the wild. I’m loving this series and the different locations it is introducing us to and want to say a big thank you to the author for providing an advance copy for review. Here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
In a beautiful world, murder is always ugly…Available from: Amazon
Recently returned from his last case in Ireland, elite forensic psychologist and criminal profiler Dr Alexander Gregory receives a call from the French police that he can’t ignore. It’s Paris fashion week and some of the world’s most beautiful women are turning up dead, their faces slashed in a series of frenzied attacks while the world’s press looks on.
Amidst the carnage, one victim has survived but she’s too traumatised to talk. Without her help, the police are powerless to stop the killer before he strikes again – can Gregory unlock the secrets of her mind, before it’s too late?
Murder and mystery are peppered with dark humour in this fast-paced thriller set amidst the spectacular Parisian landscape.
I have to say, I’m loving this new series and it’s protagonist, Dr Alexander Gregory. After the big revelations about his past in book one, you’d think there was little left to learn about him as a person, and yet LJ Ross still manages to drip feed new tidbits into the story all along the way, and the more I know, the more I warm to him and understand what drives who, and how, he is.
This time around the action moves from Ireland to France, with Gregory and his mentor, Bill, speaking at a conference in Paris. At the end of gregory’s lecture, they are summoned by the Brigade Criminelle, the French equivalent of a Major Investigation Team, to attend the main Police Headquarters where they are asked to consult on the case of a vicious attack. The victim, a Paris fashion week model called Camille, has not spoken since the attack. With the police struggling to understand a motive, or to obtain any information about the victim, and turn to Gregory for his help in breaking through the wall of silence.
What I love about this series is that it takes us beyond the normal everyday process of a police investigation and allows us more of a glimpse into the minds of both the victim and the perpetrator. With Gregory being a clinical psychologist, his focus is every bit as much about the ongoing impacts of the event as it is simply finding out who is responsible. The way in which the human psyche is opened up to readers in a clear and accessible way, means that rather than being pushed out of the story by a lot of psycho-babble, you actually find yourself empathising with the victim even more than you may imagine, even though the victim in this case is a very unique and yet complicated soul.
The characterisation in the story is, as usual, spot on, with a wide variety of different personalities being brought to life before your eyes. As well as the largely controlled and stoic Gregory, you also see the darker side of his existence, and by that I mean the nightmares that plague him. He is a very troubled soul – understandably so – and it takes a lot to penetrate that hard protective shell he has built up. Someone in this story makes a good go of it, but you’ll need to read the book to see if they succeed.
Beyond Gregory’s inner turmoil, we meet a number of troubled souls, all caught up in the fashion world. Each character we meet has their own demons to battle, their own secrets that they are reluctant to share, each one of them drip fed to readers building tension and expectation perfectly. There is a thread which feeds through the story that kept me completely intrigued, wondering how it tied in with what was happening. Needless to say it did, with the author using her skill to pull all loose ends together in a very satisfying way.
How much the story reflects what really happens behind the scenes in the fashion world I don’t want to guess. Certainly the storyline reflects a number of revelations that have come out about the entertainment industry as a whole in recent years – the whole ‘Me Too’ movement being reflected in the women’s rights protests which take place in the story. It made the story very plausible, gave the reader a number of potential suspects to mull over, but left me with a conclusion which was still a complete surprise.
I’m really looking forward to seeing what comes in book three, and hoping that this series will continue on as Gregory is a character who has a lot to give. Don’t get me wrong – I love Ryan and co and want to keep seeing them too, but Gregory is slowing worming his way into my heart and it is a series that has a lot to offer. (Sorry – I’m being a terribly demanding reader …) If, by some freakish chance, you have missed book one, Impostor, you can buy a copy here.
About the Author
LJ Ross is an international bestselling author, best known for creating atmospheric mystery and thriller novels, including the DCI Ryan series of Northumbrian murder mysteries which have sold over four million copies worldwide.
Her debut, Holy Island, was released in January 2015 and reached number one in the Amazon UK and Australian charts. Since then, she has released a further fourteen novels, all of which have been top three global bestsellers and twelve of which have been UK #1 bestsellers.
In addition to her DCI Ryan series, Louise has created a new series of thriller novels based around the central character of ‘Dr Alexander Gregory’, whose work as a psychological profiler takes him around the world.
She is also writing several standalone romantic suspense novels featuring strong female protagonists which will be available in 2020.
Louise was born in Northumberland, England. She studied undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Law at King’s College London and studied abroad in Paris and Florence. She spent much of her working life in London, where she was a regulatory lawyer for a number of years before taking the decision to change career and pursue her dream to write.
Now, she writes full time and lives with her husband and son in Northumberland. She enjoys reading all manner of books, travelling and spending time with family and friends.