The Devil’s Mark by W.D. Jackson Smart

Today I hand back to Mandie who has a blog tour review of The Devil’s Mark by W.D. Jackson Smart, the latest book in the DI Graves series. With thanks to Emma Welton of Damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting Mandie to join the tour, here’s what the book is all about;

Source: Advance Reader Copy
Release Date: 31 January 2021
Publisher: Panther Publishing

About the Book

Bloody remains. Multiple victims. Ritual sacrifice? When a blood-stained effigy of body parts is found in a central London park, D.I Daniel Graves must set about trying to discover what it could mean and find the person responsible. Symbols at the crime scene suggest the occult. Who would leave a murder victim in such a way, and why?

As Graves and partner DI Charlie Palmer begin to investigate the ritual and the act of human sacrifice, they enlist the help of Charlotte Gooding, a talented professor specialising in the subject. They hope to narrow down on a motive. Could the killer believe in the supernatural? Witchcraft even?Then the next crime scene is found. More blood, more symbols, and out in the open. It seems the killer wants the world to pay attention, but why? How are they choosing their victims?The pressure is on for Graves to put an end to the murders before more remains show up in brutal tableaus. One thing is for sure, this killer is out for blood and is not afraid to make it a very public display.

There’s just one problem. Grave’s past is still not behind him. Someone is eager to make sure he doesn’t forget, cannot move on. And they’re not playing games anymore. There may be an occult killer out there, but now there’s another out for blood, Daniel Grave’s blood.

Mandie’s Thoughts

The Devils Mark in the third book in the DI Graves series and this time sees him and partner DI Palmer dealing with an investigation that has them delving into the worlds of witchcraft and rituals.

When body parts are found in a London park by an early morning jogger it’s the last thing that Graves and Palmer want to see. With no clues to the identity or even where the murder took place this is not going to be easy. When more body parts turn up in another location, they know they are dealing with a serial killer, but they still have no idea what the connections are or even why the victims have been chosen. To try to at least work out what all the strange markings mean they enlist the help of Professor Charlotte Gooding. As things develop between Graves and the professor it puts her life in danger from another assailant that has links to Graves and has unfinished business with him.

As the book progressed, I did work out some of the links between the perpetrators and the victims but this didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book and as the investigation progressed and one of the team inadvertently ends up in danger, solving the crimes becomes a race against time and I was not expecting the events of the final chapters. These are probably the most violent of the whole book as although the crime scenes are described the author never actually depicts any of the murders in the book.

There is great teamwork and friendship between Graves and Palmer and they always have each other’s back even if they don’t always see eye to eye in their personal lives. This easy relationship is also extended to the less experienced members of the team and this makes the unit one that always works well together. Normally I am not a big fan of supernatural type thrillers but there is something about this series that has me hooked. Maybe its because nothing is quite as it seems and despite them always ending up with cases that have the element of the unexplained, they always go in with their minds open and are willing to follow any line of investigation that will lead them to the truth. This is definitely a great addition to the series and will look out for more.

About the Author

WD Jackson-Smart, 35, is a London-based horror and crime fiction author who has been writing crime and horror fiction since 2011. His novel Red Light was self published on Amazon and charted in the top twenty best selling Suspense / Thriller Kindle books on release. 

His horror short story, What’s Yours Is Mine, was shortlisted for the Horror For Good anthology.

His first crime thriller Slasher, about a serial killer targeting slasher movie actresses in Hollywood, is out now, and he has launched a brand new crime series set in London and starring D.I. Graves. The Demons Beneath is the first in the series, and the sequel From Inside The House was published on July 1st 2019.

As well as his passion for horror and crime thrillers in all forms, WD Jackson-Smart also loves art and design, having studied Fine Art and Art History in Leeds and Toronto and working as a graphic designer for the majority of his career.

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