Book Birthday Blitz: The Fourth Victim by John Mead

Today I have my party hat on, already to be part of the #BookBirthdayBlitz for The Fourth Victim by John Mead. This ‘one day only event’ comes ahead of the publication of John’s next police procedural and follow up novel Geraldine, published on 28th September.

Thank you, as always, to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the opportunity to read, review and take part.

Ever start reading a book and immediately you can ‘see’ the story playing out in your head?

That is exactly what happened to me when I started read The Fourth Victim by John Mead.

As the story begins we join Detective Inspector Matthew Merry as he enters his last case. Having seemingly lost heart for active policing Merry is being sidelined into a desk job, his superiors questioning recent lacklustre performances.

Before he leaves he has one last case to solve.

The body of a young woman, Lynsey Hensley has been found in a local park. Nothing has been stolen and it seems the victim was attacked from behind in broad daylight.

Along with Detective Sergeant Julie Lukula, Merry begins chasing up the few leads they have. The case is quickly linked to an earlier attack on a young drug addict and prostitute Jody Grahame, and then a third girl, Madeline Turner is found dead.

Is there a serial killer on the loose? And if so what connects the three girls, apart from the hammer blow to the head that killed them all?

Does the key lie with Jenny Cowan, a young woman who is admitted to hospital after attempting to take her own life. Her prints match those found at one of the murder scenes.

But there is a problem.

Jenny suffers from Dissociative Identify Disorder (DID), meaning as witnesses or even suspects go she is unreliable in the extreme. Her multiple personalities work against each other, indeed the investigating team never know which one will come to the fore.

So when her therapist Dr Alima Hussan offers to guide the police through their interviews it seems like an offer too good to miss.

Or is it? Is the charismatic Alima everything she seems? Or is she about to blow this investigation wide apart?

The thing I loved about this novel was undoubtedly it’s characters. Bottom line is that the key characters are believable and crucially flawed.

Now I love a flawed character, especially in a police procedural. I always feel it adds an edge to the characters and makes them plausible and authentic.

And D.I. Merry is certainly flawed.

It is the human element of Merry’s behaviour and those around him that adds the feeling of jeopardy to this case.

The dialogue throughout is consistently well written. It flows seamlessly, creating situations which are within touching distance of the reader and all cloaked in impeccable research.

This is a novel filled with surprises, twists and turns. Nothing is quite what it seems at first or even second glance, and what you thought you knew at the beginning will be turned on it’s head by the end.

About the author

And there is more…

To read more reviews of The Fourth Victim check out the blogs below. Happy Reading.

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