Review: The Mark (Detective Inspector Louise Blackwell #4) by Matt Brolly


Print Length: 331 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (November 23, 2021)

From Brutal attacks. A sinister conspiracy. Time is running out.

In the quiet seaside town of Weston-super-Mare, a man is found unconscious on the beach with a strange symbol carved into his skin. The victim―a local drug addict―has no recollection of who attacked him or how he got there.

The sleepy coastal community is sent into shock. And when another victim branded with the same vicious mark dies from his wounds, DI Louise Blackwell realises she is dealing with a sadistic serial killer.

But why is the twisted attacker targeting Weston’s most vulnerable people? And what is the meaning behind the mysterious symbol? Still struggling to overcome her own demons in the wake of her brother’s death, Blackwell must stay one step ahead of both the killer and corrupt DCI Finch, whose meddling in the investigation makes her more determined than ever to bring him down for good.

As the body count rises, and her feud with Finch puts her own life in danger, Blackwell faces a race against time to discover the dark crime that unites the victims and put an end to the carnage―before someone puts an end to her.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Although this can technically be read as a stand-alone novel, there are a lot of references to past cases (and past histories) that I feel would have made this one more meaningful had I started from the beginning. Especially where DCI Finch is involved, I got the gist of why he wasn't liked, but I would have liked to have seen it as it unfolded (which it appears happened in the prior novels as well). 

Speaking only to this novel, I enjoyed the alternating point of view between Lousie, her colleagues as they investigated the case, and the perpetrators as they completed each kill. I felt as though being able to get inside of the killers' heads gave this story an added depth, and made it all the more intriguing in terms of then trying to figure out just who was behind the crimes. I will admit there were a couple of times when I thought I knew for sure who was behind everything, only to be proven wrong in the end. 

There is also a lot of police work involved in this story, so if you don't care for that sort of monotony, then you probably won't care for this one. I, however, enjoy seeing how things come together over time (and occasionally with a little luck). 

I can easily see why this series is so popular, and I look forward to going back and reading this series from the beginning. 

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

                                                              The Mark is available from
                                                        (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)


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