Review: Blood for Blood (Ziba MacKenzie #1) by Victoria Selman

Print Length: 319 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (February 1, 2019)

From Ziba Mackenzie profiles killers. Now one is profiling her.

Rush hour, London. A packed commuter train is torn apart in a collision. Picking through the carnage, ex-special forces profiler Ziba MacKenzie helps a dying woman who passes on a cryptic message: He did it. You have to tell someone.

When a corpse is found bearing the gruesome signature of a serial killer dormant for twenty-five years, Ziba is pulled into the hunt for the perpetrator. As the body count rises it becomes clear he’s on a new spree. But what’s brought the London Lacerator back after such a long hiatus? And does his sudden return have anything to do with the woman on the train?

Ziba scrambles to profile the killer in the hope of predicting his next move. But time is running out. And the closer she gets to uncovering his identity, the closer he gets to destroying hers.

My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The first chapter of this story by an unknown to me author had me hooked. Half-way in, I was beginning to have some small doubts, and by the end? I was left utterly conflicted. 

To begin with, how does book one in a series leave you feeling like you missed something? Was there a series prior to this where Ziba was a background character? The fact that I came into this novel simply hearing about her husband's death, I don't feel as though her grieving made me feel what I'm sure the author intended. Nor did I feel any strong feelings one way or another about her working with, or being around, his former friends and colleagues. I feel like I am missing some major plot-line by simply being introduced to her after her husband's death.

Then, while it is quite obvious that this author has a solid grasp on what makes a good story, and how to execute just enough "is it or isn't it" to keep you guessing, however I was left with A LOT of questions. The most glaring of which is how did the killer keep their identity a secret for so long? Considering the things that happened to them, I feel like someone, somewhere along the way would have caught on. Mental Health treatment is often expensive, and I cannot imagine his therapists, doctors, facilitators, etc, calling him just by the name he gave himself. How did they get paid? How did they keep tabs on him? Perhaps things are different in the UK, and this is plausible, however I just don't understand it. 

I also found Ziba to be a bit... snobbish? Standoffish? Unbelievable? Even with her impressive record (even more impressive when you take into consideration how old she is compared to what she has done), she still comes across as the person with all the answers. Even working with detectives who have been around awhile, she still sees things that (to me) should have been obvious, and she takes risks that are wholly unnecessary. 

All in all, this is a well written first novel, and I do think I will continue on with this series, just to see how the author and her characters evolve.

DISCLAIMER: This was an Amazon First Reads for January. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.


                              Blood for Blood is available from

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