"London, 1986. A newspaper editor is horrifically murdered, his death quickly followed by a series of more brutal, and often bizarre, slayings. The police are baffled, the only clear link between the murders being a single blood red rose left at the scene of every killing. Why? What does the rose mean? What connects the killer to each bloody corpse? Scotland Yard detective Alan Winters leads a hunt for the elusive prey. As the body count rises, Jennifer Chapman, renowned investigative journalist and daughter of the murdered newspaper editor, sets out on a personal quest for revenge. Drawn together in their pursuit of a deadly quarry, Winters and Jennifer unwittingly face a fatal surprise, for the killer is closer than they think. As they close in on the truth of the blood red rose, their unseen foe plots a shattering end to his reign of terror, and death awaits them all…."
Being an '80's queen, I loved the fact that this novel was set in the '80's - and so well too, even down to little things like the fact that one guy, talking on the phone, went to the telephone table - who even has one of those any more? EVERYONE HAD ONE IN THE '80'S! This was a brilliant, if a little gory, crime thriller - it's not for the faint-hearted, there are some parts that are pretty descriptive, but if you do enjoy a good murder, this one is definitely for you.
The characters are well-written, however I was expecting the story to focus on one detective, when in actual fact it focussed on another - not a problem, it was actually quite refreshing to have a novel paying attention to a detective who might have had a smaller role in an average crime thriller. I also was a bit stunned by the way the detective and the victims daughter's relationship in the initial stages, but it led to an excellent ending, with a subtle twist that I wasn't expecting.
In all, a brilliant crime novel, with just enough goriness to delight those of us who love a good murder, strong characters and it's set in the 80's!
Blood of the Rose is out now and you can get it here:
**Thanks to Matthew Smith at Urbane Publishing for my review copy**