Review: Three Broken Bodies (DI Jack MacIntosh #5) by Michelle Kidd


Print Length: 319 pages
Publisher: Jofee Books (February 1, 2023)

From Detective Jack is called out to a body on the South Bank. The victim’s hands and feet are bound, her skin badly bruised, her lips crudely sewn shut.

Inside the dead woman’s mouth is the severed head of a rat.

This is the second body in two days.

The following night, a third body is discovered in a derelict brewery. The same bruising, the mouth sewn shut, a rat’s head inside. This time it’s a young man — and he’s been dead at least a week.

With no witnesses and no clues to who the victims are, Jack’s investigation is going nowhere.

Then he gets a call from journalist Jonathan Spearing. There’s no love lost between the two men — but now Jonathan needs Jack’s help.

Katie Spearing is missing. She’s been gone for two days. And Jonathan just received a text: We have your wife.

Jack uncovers a connection between Katie Spearing and the three broken bodies. Now he’s in a desperate race against time.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Full disclosure, I believe that this is a case of the writing style just not working for me. And while I struggled to finish this one for reasons I will go into in a moment, I do firmly believe that other people will enjoy this one much more than I did. 

To start with the positives, I found the plot to be interesting. The author definitely knows what they are doing when it comes to weaving together a cohesive story even when it seems like none of the elements will cross-over. The characters, for the most part, seemed well thought out (although one or two of them, to me at least, felt like they fit into the stereotypical mold of good guy vs bad guy).

Here is where I lost interest. 

To begin with every chapter or "location change" was met the same way. 
Time: x.xx am/pm (depending)
Date: Day of the week, monthly date
Location: any one of the many locations 

To take an example straight from the book it looked like this: 

Time: 5.15 pm
Date: Saturday 20 August 2014
Location: Metropolitan Police HQ, London 

This immediately pulled me out of the story. Especially because that grouping of items immediately meant that there was not only about to be a location change, but a change in character(s) / plot-lines as well. I feel like this story would have done better had the chapters been longer and focused on what was happening in that specific location instead of jumping around. For example whilst at the Police HQ, they could have talked about the two cases and how where each team was at in their own investigations. I didn't feel like we needed to jump from something happening at the police station, to something happening with one of the many criminals who also featured in this novel. 

The second issue I had with this one is also admittedly a pet peeve of mine. You do NOT need to end every damn chapter on a cliffhanger. Now and again to keep things moving I can understand, but this story had it happening at the end of literally every chapter. It was though the author didn't trust their writing to be strong enough on its own to carry the story forward without relying on that tactic. Which really was a shame as I have said before, the author's writing style IS strong. 

It's just all these little things that I feel will make it unappealing for readers like me, while still attracting a following all its own of other readers. 

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.

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