Book Review: Blood of the Rose by Kevin Murray

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Read between: 9th- 22nd June
Published: 9th June 2014
Publisher: Urbane Publications
Number of pages: 380
Format: Paperback
Synopsis: London, 1986. A newspaper editor is horrifically murdered, his death quickly followed by a series of more brutal, and often bizarre, slayings. The police are baffled, the only clear link between the murders being a single blood red rose left at the scene of every killing. Why? What does the rose mean? What connects the killer to each bloody corpse? Scotland Yard detective Alan Winters leads a hunt for the elusive prey. As the body count rises, Jennifer Chapman, renowned investigative journalist and daughter of the murdered newspaper editor, sets out on a personal quest for revenge. Drawn together in their pursuit of a deadly quarry, Winters and Jennifer unwittingly face a fatal surprise, for the killer is closer than they think. As they close in on the truth of the blood red rose, their unseen foe plots a shattering end to his reign of terror, and death awaits them all..

Rating: 3-5-stars

Review: I admit I would have given this book a higher rating if I had been able to get into it straight away- but for me, it started off slow – I think that was because it took me awhile to work out that the focus wasn’t on one character- but many!

Once I got over that I began to follow it better and the story started to flow.

It’s set in 1986- a year I’m not over familiar with being born in the 90s- and Detective Alan Winters is the main protagonist (although another detective is introduced first but that was just something the author did) and he is on the hunt for a serial killer known only as ‘The Rose’ who kills with a crossbow!

Then Alan meets Jennifer, the daughter of the first victim, a journalist who wants to avenge her father. Alan finds his loyalty slipping away from the police investigation and towards Jennifer and their could-be relationship…

A wrong decision.

The Rose is a very well written antagonist. He’s a psychopath- but I did work out who he was, although not until nearer the end. His diary entries are integrated throughout the novel, giving us an insight into his mind, and his life- past and present. This then allowed me to work out who it was.

It still came as a shock though!

There is plenty going on, which keeps the reader hooked. From the range of police officers, to the murders, to the victims, their families, and the aftermath. Everyone is important.

There is a slightly happy ending, in the sense that the killer is locked up and Jennifer and Alan end up happy together. They deserve it after all they’ve been through. However, who is the mystery woman with the gun in her handbag at the end? Jennifer’s mother? Who knows? But ending the book on a question leaves it open- and leaves the suspense.

A good read!

Thanks for reading!
~Katie

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