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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: Next Victim by Helen H. Durrant


Print Length: 319 pages
Publisher: Joffee Books (January 17, 2019)

From Goodreads.com: A young man’s body is found burnt and tortured by a Manchester canal. Detective Rachel King investigates. But she has a secret, the love of her life is a well-known villain. He has recently come back on the scene. But what does he really want?

A brutal serial killer with a taste for good-looking young blonde men.

A student who believes she has a lost brother. But even her own father doesn’t believe her. She was involved with the first victim.

As the murders continue, can Rachel keep her family together and stop the killer?

THE DETECTIVE DCI Rachel King. Thirty-nine year-old mother of two teenage daughters. Divorced from Alan. She lives in the Cheshire village of Poynton – about ten miles from central Manchester. She is good at her job, gets results but does make mistakes. One of them was getting involved with a budding villain in her teens. No one, family, friends or colleagues know anything about this.



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is the second time this year (which is a shame as this is only my 7th book of 2019) that I have started a new series that has left me feeling like I've been missing out on a huge back story. 

Rachel King as stated in the synopsis is divorced, and has a criminal ex. Pretty straight forward to start, but once you get into the story you realize there is simply too much about her life that you don't know. And with the way this story was laid out overall, what you don't know actually hurts your enjoyment (for myself at least). 

Let's begin with Alan and Rachel shall we? They were married and had two children together. Somewhere along the way, they end up getting divorced. It is never explained in this story just what happens to their marriage, but apparently they are still amicable. To the point her ex-husband bought the house next door to her and is currently making plans to install a sort of connection between the two houses. Which leads me to wonder just WHY he felt this sort of thing was acceptable? Usually exes no matter how civil don't end up living next door to one another and they certainly don't build additions to their homes to connect them. They divorced for a reason. 

Then you have Rachel's ex. This budding villain she dated in her teens. During the time from then until now, he has become something of a "crime baron". A well known crime boss, or something, its never really explained what he does, just that he's a bad guy and everyone knows his name. Again, we get no real backstory on him, on his rise to power in the criminal underworld, nor do we get any real information on his relationship with Rachel, other than he still very much wants to be a part of her life. Whether she likes it or not. 

Once you get past all of the things you don't know or understand about the players in this game, you can start to focus on the story. As I have come to expect from this author having read prior series' of hers, the story itself moves at a steady pace. There are several characters that flow well together, each bringing a different flavor to the story, and I enjoyed the way the author was able to weave Rachel's' two daughters into the story making them more than just a note in the background. While I admit that I did not expect the ending, I also found it to be a bit .... unbelievable as well. How did no one see the truth? Or at least suspect something was off about the person? I also found it to be a bit weird that Rachel's daughter Mia didn't recognize him due to some prior information that had been revealed. I would have thought she would have at least had some idea of who he was. 

Overall, I would definitely read more from this author, and I will continue on to the next book in this series if only to see what happens now that the cat has started to wiggle its way out of the bag.

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.

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                                      Next Victim  is available from Amazon.com



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