Today it is my pleasure to be sharing my thoughts on the first book in the brand new Kate Young series by Carol Wyer, An Eye For An Eye. I have loved reading Carol’s Robyn Carter and Natalie Ward series so when I heard that she had created a brand new Detective series for Thomas & Mercer, I was very excited. My thanks to the publisher for the gifted copy of the book for review and to Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me to join the tour. Before I share my thoughts on the book, here’s what it’s all about:
About the Book
A killer running rings around the police. A detective spiralling out of control.
DI Kate Young is on leave. She’s the force’s best detective, but her bosses know she’s under pressure, on medication and overcoming trauma. So after her bad judgement call leads to a narrowly averted public disaster, they’re sure all she needs is a rest.
But when Staffordshire Police summon her back to work on a murder case, it’s a harder, more suspicious Kate Young who returns. With a new ruthlessness, she sets about tracking down a clinical, calculating serial killer who is torturing victims and leaving clues to taunt the police. Spurred on by her reporter husband, Young begins to suspect that the murderer might be closer than she ever imagined.
As she works to uncover the truth, Young unravels a network of secrets and lies, with even those closest to her having something to hide. But with her own competence—and her grip on reality—called into question, can she unmask the killer before they strike again?
Well, flipping heck. For book one in a series this is certainly one that gets the adrenaline flowing, the mind whirring and the heart thumping. We may have only just met Kate Young but I can already tell that she is going to be one heck of a character to get to know. This tale will leave you reeling and thinking long and hard about just who you can trust.
Now as this is a Carol Wyer novel, I already knew coming into it that I was going to be faced with a complex and multi-faceted storyline and I wasn’t disappointed. When we meet Kate, you can tell that she is going through some kind of breakdown, the reasons for which are not immediately clear but are drip fed to readers throughout the course of the novel. This means that when she is called back from sick-leave to investigate a complicated and high profile murder, we know that we are faced with a tortured soul. Just how tortured remains to be seen, but she is forced to face her demons, both real and of the emotional kind. As she is almost always on edge, it put me, as a reader, on edge to, wondering whether her position would be compromised by her mental state and whether she could overcome her troubles long enough to see the case more clearly.
And what a case this is. A high profile businessman murdered in his own home, his eye removed and taken from the scene. The murder weapon is somewhat innocuous in reality, the method of deployment less so, and all of it left me completely intrigued as to why the killer might go to such lengths when there had to be far easier ways in which to despatch their victims. And I say victims as it becomes clear quite early on that they have more than one target in mind. Whilst the murders are a bit grizzly, it is not played out on the page the focus more on the who whilst at the scene, the puzzling nature of the mess left behind taking a little longer to uncover.
I really did grow to like Kate and her small team. And for a murder squad it really is a small team – just two Detective Sergeants, Morgan Meredith and Emma Donaldson – the powers that be intent on keeping the investigation low key and out of the spotlight of the media. The two Sergeants back Kate up to the nth degree, even when it is clear that they have some concerns over how the case is progressing. They are all determined and focused and I feel like we have much more to come from all of them over the course of the series so I’m intrigued to see where the author takes us.
The pacing in the book is just right, the narrative moving back and forth between the current investigation and the inciting incident which led to Kate’s sick leave. The past is slowly revealed, as are the dark motives of the present. The author keeps the killer well and truly hidden until the end, the reveal coming as both a surprise and, with the benefit of hindsight, completely fitting. There is an underlying tension throughout that peaks and troughs as the story dictates, the edginess and threat building at just the right moment, and the author uses that slow build to good effect, contrasting the patience of the killer with the urgency of the investigation.
As you can probably deduce from the title, this is a tale of vengeance, but the biggest surprise is revealed about two thirds of the way through the book giving readers a promise of what is yet to come, not just for this story, but for the series as a whole. With a myriad of suspects, but no clear motives, the book kept me hooked and I am looking forward to the follow up this summer.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer writes feel-good comedies and gripping crime fiction.
A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, saw the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in LITTLE GIRL LOST and demonstrated that stand-up comedian Carol had found her true niche.
To date, her crime novels have sold over 750,000 copies and been translated for various overseas markets.
Carol has been interviewed on numerous radio shows discussing ”Irritable Male Syndrome’ and ‘Ageing Disgracefully’ and on BBC Breakfast television. She has had articles published in national magazines ‘Woman’s Weekly’, featured in ‘Take A Break’, ‘Choice’, ‘Yours’ and ‘Woman’s Own’ magazines and the Huffington Post.
She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband Mr Grumpy… who is very, very grumpy.
When she is not plotting devious murders, she can be found performing her comedy routine, Smile While You Still Have Teeth.
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