A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald

An assured debut novel superbly constructed and plotted

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Red Dog Press

Opening with a some what gruesome murder where life seems to be literally imitating art,with a few subtle changes.

Enter DI Erika Piper, back on the job after a year long absence due to being injured in the line of duty. The victim a well known actress, the crime on the face of it appears to be a copy cat of one of her best known roles. This is a clever concept and makes for a highly engaging read

What follows is a most assured debut novel, in fact it would be true to say that it doesn’t feel like a debut, it’s that good.

There is a wonderful cast of suspects all with the motive and opportunity to have carried out the crime, and these are cleverly interwoven into the storyline.Erika Piper is an interesting character and clearly there is more of her back story to be developed, however, in this book the author draws on her vulnerability due to her previous injuries to bring out a softer side to her character, however do not be fooled into thinking she is a push over, there is also an apparent warmth and bonding with her partner Liam and the two obviously gel and have a mutual respect and understanding, they make for highly likeable characters, this cannot be said of her boss where there is an air of underlying tension, but these just all add superbly to the book

As for the storyline and plot it self this is slick and superbly constructed, paced just right and the story moves in real time as the case moves forward and the body count rises. Filled with plenty of subtle twists and turns to keep the reader second guessing themselves, with an assured air of suspense by the end you can feel the fear as the story comes to a nail biting and gripping finale.

Tension abounds A Wash of Black will appeal to all fans of Police procedurals and those who enjoy a cracking read. It is totally absorbing and adrenaline fuelled from the opening pages. Importantly it has that air of authenticity that is so important. Be warned it will be hard to put down once started.

Highly recommend and cannot wait for book two

5*

Categories 2020 Reviews

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