Time to pass the baton back to Mandie who has a blog tour review of Her Last Breath, the latest book in the Marni Mullins series from Alison Belsham. We are both loving this series, and are delighted that Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers invited Mandie to take part in the tour. Here’s what the book is all about:
About the Book
The body count is rising…and the clock is ticking.Available from: Amazon | Kobo | Waterstones | Googleplay | Apple Books
When a young woman is attacked and left fighting to survive in hospital, the police are pulled into a race against time to save her life. But just 24 hours later, she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body.
And when another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton.
His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of Francis’s lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?
A gripping crime thriller from the author of The Tattoo Thief.
Having read The Tattoo Thief in one day and absolutely loving it, I had Her Last Breath on pre order as soon as it was available and eagerly awaited its publication. Was it worth the wait…that is a big resounding yes from me and once again I found myself devouring the book in a day (much to my OH’s disgust as apparently it is not acceptable to disturb his sleep until after midnight by reading in bed).
Once again we are back with DI Francis Sullivan and his team as he tries to find out who is behind the murders of several young women in Brighton. When the first victim turns out to be the girlfriend of Alex Mullins, Sullivan is thrown into the path of Marnie Mullins as Alex is her son. Although nothing happened, he is acutely aware of the attraction between them, so he is not best pleased when Alex becomes their prime suspect (at least in the eyes of some of his team and his boss). He also needs to keep her on side for her testimony in the trial of the killer from the first book (no spoilers here in case you have not read The Tattoo Thief). If the increasing body count was not enough for him to deal with, issues in his personal life are leaving him torn between his duty and commitment to both his family and his job, which do leave him a little distracted at times and ripe to be undermined by his Sergeant.
I can understand why they were only looking at Alex, he really didn’t help himself as like most teenagers he became surly and uncooperative when cornered, so not the sign of an innocent man as far as the police were concerned…plus he knew all the victims.
This is a fast-paced book that keeps your attention from the start. The attacks on the girls are gruesome and their suffering whilst short lived is excruciating so this book may not be for the feint hearted (personally I love a book that has me going eugh and ooo in equal measure). As they race to find piece together the evidence you are taken along for the ride to identify the killer. I have no problem in admitting that I didn’t have a clue right until the end and some of the events even left me reeling. Although this is a sequel, there is enough history in this book to work very well as a stand-alone.
My only warning with this is that if you read this book first it does contain spoilers for what happens in the Tattoo Thief so you may want to start with that one. Alison Belsham has produced another absolute corker of a book and I am so looking forward to the next in the series and begin my stalking of Amazon awaiting the day I can put it on pre order.
About the Author
Alison Belsham initially started writing with the ambition of becoming a screenwriter—and in 2000 was commended for her visual story telling 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. The Tattoo Thief is out now, the sequel is coming soon and she’s currently working on the third book in the Francis Sullivan trilogy, Death’s Needle. Alison lives in Edinburgh, and when she’s not writing she spends her time visiting tattoo conventions.
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