The team is seeing changes. Cyril is away and for the second time, Owen finds himself in charge of the investigation. An elderly gentleman dies of a snake bite and unfortunately his carer is also attacked. The second murder is a shooting, an unusual weapon being used, again an elderly victim.
A photograph of four friends celebrating a win at the Great St Wilfred’s Stakes at Ripon races in 1986 seems to be significant, but the relevance, at first, is lost in the investigation.
Another victim, one of the friends in the photograph, is found dead in his home. Only one of the friends remains alive and Owen and his team fight against time to prevent his murder.
The investigation is hampered by two siblings, the Bostock brothers, who have a history of rivalry and hatred; one of them is in the Ripon races photograph.
DS April Richmond’s biblical knowledge proves critical in solving the crime. The snake, Lilith, conjures the Garden of Eden. Two more fatalities occur before the crimes are solved and the motive is revealed.
This was my first Hollingdrake novel and it did not disappoint! I’m a huge fan of the DCI Yorke series, and luckily for me this one is similar in the eerie content and fast pace!
You also do not need to have read the previous books to start this series on say, number nine, as I did. Still, I think I see myself reading the other eight in the future.
This was the perfect length, the pacing not drawn out or rushed and the Hollingdrake knows how to draw out suspense without overdoing it and making you lose interest.
This was creepy and yet plausible, not too gory but also right there with say the darker episodes of CSI, so, perfection for a fan of crime and thrillers such as myself.
The motivation for the killer was unique and was probably my favorite part about the book, I also loved how they planned everything, gave me goosebumps and kept me reading late into the night. [While also wanting me to keep the light on and not have my limbs sticking out from the covers at all, haha.]
So, if you love thrillers, I highly recommend this and if you’re a Hollingdrake fan, you’ll want to jump into this ninth book in the series!
Thank you to Caroline and the Author for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.
Three large cups of coffee from me!
About the Author
You could say that the writing was clearly on the wall for someone born in a library that they might aspire to be an author, but to get to that point Malcolm Hollingdrake has travelled a circuitous route.
Malcolm worked in education for many years, even teaching for a period in Cairo before he started writing, a challenge he had longed to tackle for more years than he cares to remember.
He has written a number of successful short stories, has nine books now available and is presently writing the eighth crime novel set in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.
Born in Bradford and spending three years at Ripon College, Malcolm has never lost his love for his home county, a passion that is reflected in the settings for all the DCI Bennett novels.
Currently, Malcolm is writing a new series which is set in Merseyside.
Malcolm has enjoyed many hobbies including collecting works by Northern artists; the art auctions offer a degree of excitement when both buying and certainly when selling. It is a hobby he has bestowed upon DCI Cyril Bennett, the main character in his successful Bennett series.
The Rest of the Tour