The Embalmer by Alison Belsham

Today I am handing back to Mandie as she has been dying to share her thoughts on The Embalmer, book three in the Sullivan and Mullins series by Alison Belsham. I think we both delight in reading this dark and twisted series so I can’t wait to hear what Mandie thinks of this latest offering. I know she absolutely ate it up. Here’s what the book is all about:

Source: Netgalley

About the Book

Has the ancient Egyptian cult of immortality resurfaced in Brighton?

When a freshly-mummified body is discovered at the Brighton Museum of Natural History, Detective Francis Sullivan is at a loss to identify the desiccated woman. But as Egyptian burial jars of body parts with cryptic messages attached start appearing, he realises he has a serial killer on his hands. Revenge, obsession and an ancient religion form a potent mix, unleashing a wave of terror throughout the city. Caught in a race against time while battling his own demons, Francis must fight to uncover the true identity of the Embalmer before it’s too late…

Mandie’s Thoughts

The Embalmer is the third in the Tattoo Thief series and boy do these books just keep getting better and better. From the moment I read the Tattoo Thief in a day I have always eagerly awaited the next instalment so I have been jumping around for ages waiting to be able to read this latest offering from Alison Belsham. For me it was well worth the wait and once again I devoured it is quick time.

When a mummified body is found in the local museum at first Sullivan and his team are not sure if this is just a practical joke or something more sinister. As other bodies start to turn up each one with one of their organs removed and placed in a canopic jar its soon clear that they have a serial killer on the loose and this one seems to also have Francis Sullivan in his sights, he just doesn’t know why. If this was not enough for him to deal with there is still the bad feeling between him and his Sergeant Rory Mackay and Marni Mullins once again finds herself on the wrong side of the law after someone close to her is killed.

With so much going on you really have to wonder how Sullivan is going to get to the bottom of everything especially when he realises its not just his sergeant he has to be weary of but those higher up too. The race is onto solve the riddle of what links all the victims and stop the killer before he gets to Sullivan, whilst trying to prove Marni innocent of murder.

What I love most about Alison’s books is that they make me go ewwww and oooh in equal measure. The action is quite fast, and you always seem to learn something new along the way whilst getting fully immersed in the story and the characters. Along with the police action there is the will they wont they element of the relationship between Sullivan and Marni that makes the sometimes gruesome storyline a little less horrific and enables the reader to become more invested in the characters.

Whilst you can read each of the books in their own right, there are definitely references to the previous investigations so for my mind you really should start from the beginning as you will be missing out on some brilliant books if you don’t.

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.

3 thoughts on “The Embalmer by Alison Belsham

  1. It was brilliant. Never sure where it was going to go next. Gutted that Alison told me on Twitter she’s not working on the next one – surely still some mileage with Francis and Marni


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