Emma didn’t know how long he hid, silent and unmoving, in the large Victorian wardrobe to the side of her single bed. She didn’t know how long he peered, salivating and drooling, between the two heavy dark oak doors, and watched, mesmerised, as she slowly drifted into fitful sleep. She didn’t know what time he pushed the doors open and crept towards her in the drab grey darkness of the night.
Detective Inspector Gravel finds himself floundering when a local nineteen-year-old university student is abducted and imprisoned by a sadistic serial killer, who has already tortured and killed at least five young women.
The greater the evil, the more deadly the game… How far would you go to save your life?
Portraits of the Dead is the authors third novel and a stand alone. Having read the authors previous two novels, of which White is the Coldest Colour was in my top ten reads of 2015, I knew I was going to be in for a gripping and entertaining read.
The majority of the story is told through the work of the detectives which gave a slight crime thriller series feel to it all. Gravel and Rankin are brilliant characters and the author far from sugar coats their roles. He keeps them very real which brought them very much to life for me and I loved how we were allowed inside their heads to see what they were thinking.
Even though Emma and what she is going through is probably only a smaller portion of the story, this was not an issue at all. The parts with her horrifying situation are exactly that, horrifying. The true nightmare of what Emma is going through flows through the authors writing and clings to the reader, so that what she is going through while the police hunt for her and her abductor, is at the front of the readers mind at all times.
The abductor and killer himself is pure evil through and through. There is never any scope in feeling sorry or liking the bad guys in this authors novels. He makes sure his readers are as scared and as full of hate for them as much as the villains victims do.
Portraits of the Dead is a gripping thriller with more than a few surprises in store. It actually had me reminiscing of the old television show, Tales of the Unexpected. If you watched the show and when you’ve read the book I think you will understand but won’t say anymore than that in fear of giving to much away.
Another brilliant offering from an author who is certainly one to watch out for.
My thanks to the author for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads rating 5/5 stars.
Portraits of the Dead is out on the 1st of September and available to pre order now from Amazon.