The Fourth Victim
Whitechapel is being gentrified. The many green spaces of the area, which typify London as a capital city, give the illusion of peace, tranquility and clean air but are also places to find drug dealers, sexual encounters and murder.
Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula doesn’t dislike Inspector Matthew Merry but he has hardly set the world of the Murder Investigation Team East alight. And, it looks as if the inspector is already putting the death of the young female jogger, found in the park with her head bashed in, down to a mugging gone wrong. The victim deserves more. However, the inspector isn’t ruling anything out – the evidence will, eventually, lead him to an answer.
I would like to thank the author, publisher and blog tour organiser Rachel Gilbey for the ARC in return for an honest review.
The Fourth Victim is your classic police drama, just like the ones I wish they made more of on TV. It has a solid storyline with believable characters, whose damaged personalities mean you can never guess their real motivations. As a reader I was kept wondering, right to the end, about who really held the ultimate responsibility for the murder of the three victims. It’s full of tension and enough plot twists to keep thriller readers happy. What impressed me the most was the writer didn’t overload the story with unnecessary sub plots; every tangent taken away from the actual investigation into the murder of the girls was designed to tantalise us with added apprehension. For me no one felt safe from possible harm, even police officers like Julie Lukula felt like they were skating on thin ice, which could break at any moment.
Characterisation was really well done. Not one character felt under written and though flawed, those traits were what made them enjoyable to read about. My favourite had to be Inspector Merry, who progressed from not really wanting to be a front line police officer and a rotten husband to remembering why he joined to police in the first place. It’s hard to discuss the killer without ruining the story, but be reassured that evil, twisted, manipulative and scary sum them up to perfection. The realisation about why these girls were killed is chilling in its plausibility.
The very best thing about this book for me was how real it felt, the classic themes of a team fighting against the pressure of cuts, while still having to bring a killer to justice, meant it could be set in any real life investigation. The process of slowly untangling the story leading up to the killings and feeling of anxiety building up like a pressure cooker about to explode, all combined together to give me as a reader an exciting read.
I would happily recommend it to all lovers of this very varied genre.
About the author
Born in the mid-fifties in East London, on part of the largest council estate ever built. I was the first pupil from my local secondary modern school to attend university. I have travelled extensively during my life from America to Tibet. I enjoy going to the theatre, reading and going to the pub. It is, perhaps, no surprise that I am an avid ‘people watcher’ and love to find out about people, their lives, culture and history. Many of the occurrences recounted and the characters found in my novels are based on real incidents and people I have come across. Although I have allowed myself a wide degree of poetic licence in writing about the main characters, their motivations and the killings that are depicted.