Today I’m delighted to join the blog tour for A Life For A Life by Carol Wyer, the latest book in her Kate Young series and to wish the author a very happy publication day. I’ve loved getting to know Kate over the course of the series and this is possibly her most difficult case to date. My thanks to publisher Thomas & Mercer for the advance copy for review, and to Zoe O’Farrell of Zoo Loos Book Tours for the tour invite. Here’s what the book is about:
About the Book
Nobody can get into the mind of an erratic killer—except an unpredictable detective.
When a young man is found lying on a station platform with a hole in his head, DI Kate Young is called in to investigate the grisly murder. But the killing is no one-off. As bodies start to pile up, she is faced with what might be an impossible task—to hunt down a ruthless killer on a seemingly random rampage.
Meanwhile, Kate has her own demons to battle as she struggles to come to terms with her husband’s death. And she is hell-bent on exposing corruption within the force and bringing Superintendent John Dickson to justice. But with the trail of deception running deeper—and closer to home—than she could ever have imagined, she no longer knows who she can trust.
With her grip on reality slipping, Kate realises that maybe she and the killer are not so different after all. But time is running out and Kate is low on options. Can she catch the killer before she loses everything?
Kate Young is a very complex and troubled character and for very good reason. And it’s fair to say that this is perhaps her most complicated case to date, which, given her current state of mind makes for one hell of an electrifying combination. If you are a fan of the series, then you are going to love this as it sees one element of Kate’s very dark story brought to a rather dramatic head, whilst still giving all the twisted mystery and tension that we’ve come to expect from author Carol Wyer. If you are new to the series, this may not be the best place to start if you like to uncover every part of a character’s history for yourself, but the case itself, the perplexing and seemingly unconnected murders that plague Kate and her team, are most definitely a standalone story that can be read in isolation.
Now the opening of this book is quite dramatic. It sets the scene for what comes to pass and it is fair to say that, once you have read it, you will automatically be on high alert. The killer in this case is no surprise to us as readers, the full circumstances of why they choose to do what they are doing may be. Although It’s true that I’ve come to expect the unexpected in this series, and given Kate’s own past, it is actually a very fitting way to take the series to the next level. It’s tragic and emotional, but no excuse for what happens, and not something that the team are easily able to connect to the vicious, seemingly unconnected and almost clinical nature of the killings they are asked to investigate. It puts Kate and the team very much in the spotlight, and potentially gives those who want to see Kate’s downfall, the ammunition they need to end her once and for all.
I really like Kate as a character. Yes she’s a woman who is really on the edge, often battling with her conscience in pursuit of the truth, and there are many quirks to her character which give us, as readers, and her colleagues, pause for thought, but she is very likeable in spite of this. Her dedication to her job is never in question, although her private obsessions do prove to be often distracting and there is an element of her character which is in absentia this time around and it is really making a mark. That whole question over who she can trust, who is for or against her, is really brought front and centre over the course of the case, with surprising revelations throughout the book, If you know, you know. If you don’t … well start at book one and it will all be clear.
The book is packed with tension and emotion. There are scenes which are borderline uncomfortable, when you wonder if the author really has the darkness within to take the story where it appears to be heading. Whether she does, whether Carol Wyer is that twisted, you’ll have to read to find out, but there were many moments when I felt my heart rate increase and I had that edge of the seat tension that I love in her books. Perhaps it is that question of ‘can I really do this’ that is reflected in the perpetrator of the crimes, that inner conflict and turmoil that prevents them from becoming a completely irredeemable character and amplifies the emotional impact of the crimes that are committed.
I have loved getting to know Kate and the team over the course of the three books, and seeing the development of Emma and Morgan, getting to know a bit more about each of them, has really added to the story. I like the camaraderie, and perhaps more, between the pair. They complement each other and they are fiercely loyal to Kate, even in her most abstract moments. Even Jamie shows another side to his character this time around which will only serve to make the next in the series an even more interesting prospect. And then there is profiler Samuel. It’s fair to say he’s a somewhat unusual character, although perhaps exactly what I’d expect in this particular team. Even by their standards though he’s kind of out there and gives more reason than most for us to cast a sceptical and perhaps accusing eye his way.
This is another great addition to the series with an absolutely dynamite ending. Quite where Carol Wyer is likely to take us all next I do not know, but I’m damned sure I’ll be going along for the ride.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author and winner of The People’s Book Prize Award, Carol Wyer’s crime novels have sold over one million copies and been translated into nine languages. A move from humour to the ‘dark side’ in 2017, with the introduction of popular DI Robyn Carter in Little Girl Lost, proved that Carol had found her true niche.
In 2021, An Eye For An Eye, the first in the DI Kate Young series, was chosen as a Kindle First Reads and became the #1 bestselling book on Amazon UK and Amazon Australia.
Carol 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’s also been interviewed on numerous radio shows, and on Sky and BBC Breakfast television.
She currently lives on a windy hill in rural Staffordshire with her husband, Mr Grumpy…who is very, very grumpy.
Follow the tour: