The Essence of Evil (DI Dani Stephens Book One) by Rob Sinclair #Crime #Thriller @RSinclairAuthor #FridayReads

Author: Rob Sinclair

Published: September 2019 by Canelo Hera

Category: Crime, Thriller, Police Procedural, Book Review

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He’s your attacker.

He’s a murderer.

He’s your twin. 

When DI Dani Stephens returns to work after an attack that almost ended her life, she’s quickly plunged into a horrific new case, as dead bodies are discovered on the streets of Birmingham.

But with no link between the victims, Dani has to get inside the killer’s mind – so turns to the murderer she knows best. Her own twin brother…

After two years recovering from a vicious attack by her twin brother that almost killed her and left with a traumatic brain injury and visible scars, DI Dani Stephens has returned to work. It has been a long, hard road to to reach this point and, much as she wants to get back to some sort of normality, she’s feeling anxious. The injury has changed her, she isn’t the same person she used to be.

Spread throughout the story are extracts from her diary, charting Dani’s rehabilitation and fight to regain her physical and emotional health. Although she has made great progress there are long term consequences, and she still sometimes needs a cocktail of drugs to function normally. She desperately wants to prove she’s up to the job, but is unsure of herself and her ability to cope.

On her first day back Dani is assigned to a murder investigation. An unidentified woman had been found stabbed to death, also with surface wounds which suggested she’d been bound and held prisoner.

’She’d been tied up,’ Dani said. A statement. She’s already known about those marks which were the key reason why she’d asked for a pathologist in the first place. She held back the rising nausea at the thought of the poor woman’s ordeal.

While trying to identify the victim, Dani realises how many young women have disappeared and are still unaccounted for. She suspects a serial killer but there are no obvious links, and no-one else of the same mind. As a last resort, Dani visits her brother to see if she could gain any insight into the mind of a killer. She desperately needs a breakthrough in the case.

The course of the investigation brings Dani into contact with Professor Steven Grant, a lecturer in Criminology who himself was abducted and tortured by a serial killer many years ago. This terrible experience resulted in him writing a book which became a best seller. 

The story follows on from Dark Fragments but is easily read as a stand alone. The narrative is paced steadily, with a lot of emphasis on Dani’s traumatic previous two years and her interactions with old and new colleagues, which does take away a little from the investigation itself but at the same time adds a new dimension. There’s still a well written police procedural element with a well crafted and dark plot, some surprise twists and a protagonist you can root for. A promising start to a new series.

I chose to read and review The Essence of Evil based on an advance reader copy of the book kindly supplied by the author/publisher via NetGalley. 

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US  

About the Author

Rob is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling Enemy series and James Ryker series of espionage thrillers. He worked for nearly 13 years for a global accounting firm after graduating from The University of Nottingham in 2002, specialising in forensic fraud investigations at both national and international levels. Rob now writes full time. Originally from the North East of England, Rob has lived and worked in a number of fast paced cities, including New York, and is now settled in the West Midlands with his wife and young sons.

Author links ~ Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon  

The Paperboy (DCI Peter Hatherall Mystery #6) by @DianaJFebry ~ two crimes more than 20 years apart – are they linked? #RBRT #FridayReads

Author: Diana J Febry

Published on Kindle

Category: Murder, Mystery, Police Procedural, Book Review

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A young mother brutally stabbed in a busy park in front of her son. 

A paperboy shot in an isolated farmhouse twenty-four years previously. 

This is a murder mystery with its roots in the past. Amanda Beresford is a single mother with a young son, Freddie. She is struggling to make ends meet and Freddie’s father is no help. While walking in the park one day with Freddie, in a seemingly random attack she is stabbed twice and her attacker flees without being caught. 

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The Boy Who Fell (Inspector Tom Reynolds #5) by @SpainJoanne ~ In this place, people cover up for each other #IrishCrimeFiction #PoliceProcedural

Author: Jo Spain

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Released: June 2019 by Quercus

Category: Irish Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Audiobook, Review

In the garden of an abandoned house, Luke Connolly lies broken, dead. The night before, he and his friends partied inside. Nobody fought, everybody else went home safely. And yet, Luke was raped and pushed to his death. His alleged attacker is now in custody.

It’s the night of the the annual Police Ball and DCI Tom Reynolds would rather be anywhere else.

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The Long Call (Two Rivers #1) by Ann Cleeves ~ Murder/Mystery set in Devon @anncleeves #MatthewVenn

Author: Ann Cleeves

Published: September 2019 by Macmillan

Category: Police Procedural, Crime, Murder, Mystery, Book Review

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In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his father’s funeral takes place. Once loved and cherished, the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Set in North Devon, where the rivers Taw and Torridge meet before joining the sea, we’re introduced to Detective Inspector Matthew Venn who is on the periphery of the mourners at his father’s funeral. Matthew grew up in the area and has recently moved back to Barnstaple from Bristol, where he has been living and working.

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Vendetta in Death (In Death #49) by JD Robb ~ Eve Dallas takes on a serial killer dispensing their own form of justice #PoliceProcedural

Author: JD Robb

Performed by Susan Ericksen

Released: September 2019 by Hachette Audio UK

Category: Police Procedural, Audiobook, Review

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When a family man is tortured, killed and left in front of his family home for all the world to see, Eve Dallas knows she is on the hunt for a particularly dangerous killer.

But death uncovers secrets and the killer leaves a note revealing the victim to be far from the family man he appears. As Eve scrambles to find out what she can to link victim and killer, another body is found. Another man with a dark and murky past.

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Penshaw (DCI Ryan Mysteries) by LJ Ross ~ When you sell your soul, the devil gives no refunds… #PoliceProcedural @LJRoss_author #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: LJ Ross

Kindle Edition

Category: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Book Review

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When an old man is burned alive in a sleepy ex-mining village, Detective Chief Inspector Ryan is called in to investigate. He soon discovers that, beneath the facade of a close-knit community, the burn from decades-old betrayal still smoulders. When everyone had a motive, can he unravel the secrets of the past before the killer strikes again?

Opening with a prologue set during the Miner’s strike in 1984, the location is the village of Penshaw, in County Durham. A terrible time for the country which resulted in the closure of mines and collieries, deaths, imprisonment and long held grievances.

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The Darkest Place (Inspector Tom Reynolds #4) by @SpainJoanne #PoliceProcedural @QuercusBooks #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: Jo Spain

Performed by Aoife McMahon

Published: September 2018 by Quercus

Category: Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Thriller, Suspense, Audiobook, Review

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‘Island of the Lost was the isle’s name long before the hospital was built. In winter, they say the fog falls so heavy there that you can’t see your hand in front of your face. Storms rage so forcefully you can be blown from the cliffs. Once St. Christina’s was built, the name took on a new meaning. Very few who went into that place ever left.’

DCI Tom Reynolds is bearing the brunt of a leak to the media implying he had mismanaged an investigation, bringing into question his reputation and his suitability to lead the team.

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The Fifth Grave (A DCI Jacob Mystery) by Rob Jones ~ Murder/Mystery set in Wiltshire @AuthorRobJones @BOTBSPublicity

Today I’m joining the blog tour for The Fifth Grave, courtesy of Sarah Hardy at BOTBSPublicity

My Thoughts

An atmospheric and tense prologue, events that happened more than twenty five years previously, opened the story.

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Beneath the Surface (Inspector Tom Reynolds #2) by @SpainJoanne ~ Irish #CrimeFiction #BookReview @QuercusFiction

Author: Jo Spain

Published:June 2017 by Quercus

Category: Irish Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Suspense, Book Review

Did I know it would come to this? That I was playing Russian Roulette? I would give anything to turn back time and to be with my girls. There is no shot at redemption. I am going to die. The gun is in my eye-line as the second bullet is fired. That’s the one that kills me.

Detective Inspector Tom Reynolds and his wife were enjoying a rare long weekend away. As much as Tom loved his granddaughter it would be a blessing to get good nights uninterrupted sleep. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

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The Moor (A DCI Ryan Mystery) by LJ Ross ~ The Circus Comes to Town #Murder #Mystery @LJRoss_author #TuesdayBookBlog

Author: LJ Ross

Kindle Edition

Category: Contemporary, Murder, Mystery, Police Procedural, Book Review

The circus is in town…

When a ten-year-old girl turns up on DCI Ryan’s doorstep to tell him she’s witnessed a murder, he has no idea he’s about to step into his most spellbinding case yet. The circus has rolled into Newcastle upon Tyne, bringing with it a troupe of daring acrobats, magicians, jugglers—and one of them is a killer.

Thinking he might be able to enjoy a quiet Sunday for once, DCI Ryan was lost in a peaceful moment when the door bell rang. Determined to dispatch whoever it is quickly, he was surprised and a little taken aback to see a young girl on the doorstep asking for his help…to catch a killer. 

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