The Dying Season by Rachel Amphlett

Today I am delighted to share my thoughts on The Dying Season, the brand new Kay Hunter novel from Rachel Amphlett. I’m a real fan of this series so my thanks go to the author and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the tour invite. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Advance Reader Copy
Release Date: 06 February
Publisher: Saxon Publishing

About the Book

When a man is shot at point blank range outside an isolated country pub, Kay Hunter is thrust into one of the most dangerous cases of her career.

As personal and political disputes threaten to undermine her efforts to track down the killer, Kay’s investigation is complicated further when her superiors elect to coordinate the subsequent manhunt themselves.

Uncovering a covert trade in outlawed weapons and faced with witnesses too scared to talk, Kay will have to do everything in her power to stop the killer and prevent another tragedy.

Except this time, one of her team is in the direct line of fire…

The Dying Season is the 12th book in the Detective Kay Hunter series by USA Today bestselling author Rachel Amphlett, and perfect for readers who love fast-paced crime thrillers.

My Thoughts

I love this series and I can’t believe we are twelve cases in already! In Kay Hunter, Rachel Amphlett has developed a brilliant character, one who exhibits warmth and humour, garnering the support and trust of her team, whilst also having the strength and determination to tackle the most challenging and draining of cases. Which is just as well really as, in The Dying Season, she is faced with a series of dead ends as she tries to track down a cold blooded killer. Gun crime is always going to create tsunami sized waves, and it’s the last kind of crime you’d expect to occur outside a pub in rural Kent, however dodgy its Landlord.

What I really enjoyed about this case is the way in which Rachel Amphlett manages to keep motive, and indeed, victim, under wraps until just the perfect moment. There is a double mystery in play here. First of all, and perhaps most important, is who is the victim. His injuries have rendered him unrecognisable and with no ID on him, tracking down his name is the first step in determining why someone would want to kill him in such a vicious and devastating way. Beyond the mystery of the victim lie the who and whydunnit elements, taking us into the world of shady gun deals and people who put status and standing before safety and protection. It’s an interesting look into the world of those who own guns for fun – imagine that – and the reasons why people’s licenses have been revoked. But how this ties back into this particular case, and what connections they have to the victim remain to be seen.

There are a raft of suspects who move in and out of frame over the course of the investigation, each seemingly ruled out by air tight alibis. That suspicion and the twists and turns of a very high profile, high stakes case, keep the tension and pacing just right and really hooked me into the narrative. By all accounts, the victim seemed like a kind individual and that makes the why of their murder all the more interesting. The truth is actually hidden in plain sight and the resolution both surprising and somehow not. The emotional toll of the investigation is felt by all, and there is further tragedy to unfold, but all handled in a none gratuitous fashion, despite the abhorrent nature of the first murder.

I do really love the team that surrounds Kay in the investigation. From DCI Devon Sharp, Kay’s boss and mentor, through to her direct team, DS Ian Barnes and DC Gavin Piper, they are all great, original, characters who bring their own personalities to the story. There is a good camaraderie between them and the necessary banter and humour to counter the darker days. There is that sense of unconditional support that I love – far better a team that works together than one in perpetual conflict – and over the course of the series I have become completely invested in all of them. Piper is really coming into his own, and seeing his continual development makes me intrigued to see where the author will lead him next. Outside of the Police family, Kay’s home life is gloriously settled with her partner, Adam, providing a much needed crutch and distraction from the darker days at work. No major starring role for one of his clients this time around, but I guess even Vet’s need a night off.

Another brilliantly creative and mystery laden tale that kept me hooked to the very last page. Definitely recommended and fans of the series will love it. Roll on case thirteen!

About the Author

Before turning to writing, USA Today bestselling crime author Rachel Amphlett played guitar in bands, worked as a TV and film extra, dabbled in radio, and worked in publishing as an editorial assistant.

She now wields a pen instead of a plectrum and writes crime fiction with over 30 novels and short stories featuring spies, detectives, vigilantes, and assassins.

Rachel’s stories are available in eBook, print and audiobook formats from libraries and retailers as well as her own shop.

A keen traveller, Rachel has both Australian and British citizenship.

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