A Wash Of Black by Chris McDonald #Review #BlogTour #Thriller #RedDogPress


Clever, chilling and absolutely addictive…” – Noelle Holten, author of Dead Inside

IT’S NOT LIFE THAT IMITATES ART. IT’S DEATH. Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead. The body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago. DI Erika Piper, having only recently returned to work after suffering a near-fatal attack herself, finds she must once again prove her worth as the hunt for the media-dubbed ‘Blood Ice Killer’ intensifies. But when another body is found and, this time, the killer issues a personal threat, Erika must do more than put aside her demons to crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences. If you like Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Cara Hunter, you will love this.


Having read a number of debuts over the few years I have been book blogging, I can say with some confidence that Chris Mcdonald has written an assured and engaging first novel. It is peppered with fascinating characters and a storyline which kept me as a reader glued to the storyline and firmly looking forward to the next in the series.

Many thriller writers allow the story to drown out the characters that the story revolves around, but I very happy to say Chris Macdonald has not fallen into that trap! In DI Erika Piper he has given us a fascinating and engaging lead. It is more common now to have female leads in thrillers, but often they somehow remain subservient to their male colleagues, but not Erika, she is strong, intelligent and very likeable. She is also perfectly flawed. Having just returned to work, her trauma is not forgotten, but woven into the story and we are made to care about her and her fate. I became invested in her and her wanted to overcome the terrible events that haunt her. We also have a killer, who is scarily believable, deranged and dangerous, he lives up to his nickname as the ‘Blood Ice Killer’, leaving me as a reader, equal parts fascinated by his motivations and scared of his tortured frame of mind.

The story is your typical thriller, mad delusional killer is targeting victims all of whom seem connected, but what marks this as special, is the was Chris Mcdonald, gives us multiple possible identities and manages to keep the reveal secret until the last few pages. I think I changed my mind numerous times throughout the story, thinking I had correctly followed the clues and identified the killer. I was wrong. Only when DI Piper figures it all out, did I and I loved that, sitting on edge to the very last pages. I don’t like to guess the killer and I didn’t and that made me a very happy reader. It is a story that keep me gripped, but didn’t insult my intelligence by making it all too obvious. I even sat up a few times, and said “omg, I didn’t see that coming” and genuinely I didn’t. He had me hook line and sinker, snuggled up in bed, reading like a fiend, and wishing I didn’t have to work the next day, so I could finish this book.

I’m most definitely looking forward to book two and spending more time with the intelligent, gutsy and wonderful DI Piper.

You can purchase this novel from Amazon

About the author 


Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.

He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.

You can follow the author on Twitter


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