Review: Blood of the Rose by Kevin Murray

Print Length: 382 pages
Publisher: Urbane Publications (May 1, 2015)

From "It started low and soft, but grew slowly, increasing in pitch and volume into an unceasing scream so loud and so desperate it pierced his primeval soul. The detective was stunned, his mind blank. On the ragged edges of his consciousness a prophecy took hold. He could see, with shattering clarity, that there would never again be a time in his life when that scream did not exist"

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.


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Let me begin by saying that I almost didn't finish this book after reading the first few paragraphs. Now normally, I don't post anything that could be considered a "spoiler" - and I really don't think this fits into that category. In fact, I completely understand that the author may have chosen to use this scene for no purpose other than to show the depravity of the killer themselves. However - I feel this scene may actually be a TRIGGER for some people, so I am mentioning it. 


In one of the very first scenes of this novel, the killer targets a stray cat. And not only uses his crossbow on it without remorse, but then stomps its head for good measure. And the author uses great detail about it. Now maybe I'm weird - and in a minority - but you can brutally murder all the adults that you want, but children and animals are off limits. 


Even though that scene almost made me decide not to read anymore due to the graphic details provided, I decided to keep reading - after all if the author was going to spend that much time on a scene of that nature, perhaps it was a book worth reading. 

And I feel that it was. 

This was one of those stories that (to me) feels like a realistic representation of how actual police work goes. Evidence doesn't just fall into their laps - in fact the first part of the book showcases how every clue is being followed up, and still the detectives in charge are getting nowhere. It all comes down to not only solid police work - but to a few lucky breaks. As the story progresses, you also get a look inside the twisted mind of the killer (via his own diary) that allows the reader to better understand what has happened in their life and how the darkness has finally overcome them. 

Filled with surprising twists, some personality conflicts, and a tiny bit of romance and betrayal I would definitely recommend this to  anyone who enjoys a gripping and well put together investigative novel.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


 Blood of the Rose  is available from

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