June 16, 2017

[REVIEW] Secrets of the Dead

title: Secrets of the Dead (DI Robyn Carter #2)
author: Carol Wyer
genre: adult fiction, crime fiction, mystery, thriller
publish: May 30, 2017 by Bookouture
purchase: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository
rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Three murders. Three innocent victims. What secrets did they share with their killer? 
A bottle of bubble bath and colourful, plastic boats were scattered in small puddles on the floor. In the bathtub lay Linda Upton, fully-clothed, her lips a shade of blue, and her bloodshot eyes wide open. 
When a young mother is found drowned in the bath, clutching a receipt saying ‘all debts paid’, Detective Robyn Carter knows it’s just the beginning of a harrowing case. She recognises the signs of a serial killer, and when a second victim with a receipt is found, her worst fears are confirmed. 
With the local press whipping the public into a frenzy, Robyn is under pressure to solve the crime yesterday. But her team can’t find a link between the two bodies, and the cracks are starting to show. 
Just when her leads have dried up, Robyn discovers an unsettling clue she thinks could unlock the case. But as she chases across the plush carpets and manicured lawns of the wealthy elite, honing in on the killer’s shocking motive, one of her own is put in terrible danger. 
The press call him The Leopard for his stealth, speed and brutality. Can Robyn stop the most twisted killer of her career before it’s too late? 
A heart-pounding, toe-curling, one-sitting serial killer thriller that will hook you from the first page till the last. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.
Highly similar to Robert Bryndza's Detective Erika Foster series. If you like one, you might enjoy the other.

If you've read my review on Little Girl Lost, you'll know that I liked it -- its pace, its detective, its writing. I found it highly similar to other Bookouture thriller titles but when it easily reminds me of other specific characters from other books, I feel a bit of disappointment. Secrets of the Dead (or DI Robyn Carter series) is just that for me -- it feels like a shadow of Detective Erika Foster with a more positive take.

The room smelt sickly and she was convinced she could detect the stench of burnt flesh. She glanced around, noting the stains on the floor where flesh had made contact with the hot wood and stuck to it. -loc606; eARC

Secrets of the Dead opened with a man found burnt inside a sauna booth. He's body fried from the heat and while DI Carter's colleague, DI Shearer, closed this case as a heart attack inside a sauna booth with no foul play, DI Carter received a statement that tells that there's something more to this death than just plain heart attack inside a sauna booth.

Alongside the death of this man, Rory Wallis, a local bartender was found dead with him is a receipt stating that he has paid two hundred and fifty thousand pounds invoice in full (with his life). When another victim showed up, Robyn knows that she's dealing with a serial killer seeking revenge.

He didn't care for possessions -- the most precious thing he had ever owned had been taken from him, and nothing would ever replace it. -loc1364; eARC

This mystery involves a serial killer leaving note stating a balance that has been paid for through his victim's death. I'm telling this early now that this mystery thriller involves a man who's mentally incapable of reason anymore. The serial killer has his own point of view and it was quite interesting to read, as usual. He tells the story of this woman he likes and died in an accident -- this was further explored as Robyn unravels the accident with her team.

What's really great about this novel is how Carol Wyer successfully wrapped the story from the first death Robyn encountered to the serial killer and his receipts to the interference of the media. There was urgency in solving the case with its fast and thrilling pace.  There were also glimpse of her personal life and an interesting development in the relationship of Anna and Matt (should I say I ship this?).

Many of life's problems can be solved  if you treat them like a puzzle. You just have to gather the pieces and eventually, through jiggling them about, you'll work out the answer.' -loc4112; eARC

OVERALL, Secrets of the Dead is another intriguing crime fiction of Carol Wyer. I can't stop myself from comparing this to Robert Brynza's and Angela Marsons' detective series but despite that, Detective Robyn Carter is a really strong lead who believes in her gut feeling and stubbornly sticks with it.

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