Published: 31st October 2017 (Bookouture)
A serial killer is playing a terrifying game of life or death with his victims. After he captures them, a countdown begins. He marks the time by sending clues to the whereabouts of the women he has taken in three disturbing images: alive, tortured, dead.
In a race against the clock, East London Detective Ruby Preston must play the twisted killer’s terrifying murder game and decipher the clues before more women die…
But this isn’t the first time the police have seen such a sickening crime. The notorious Lonely Hearts Killer, Mason Gatley, was put behind bars ten years ago for murdering six women in exactly the same chilling way. Desperate for more information, Ruby persuades her boyfriend, Nathan Crosby, to use his criminal connections to set up a dangerous meeting. Because to catch this killer, she needs to think like one…
But the closer Ruby grows to the dark and charming Mason Gatley, the more worried her team become. Is Mason really helping her catch the killer? Or is he lining Ruby up to be his next victim?
Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Peter James will be hooked by this dark and utterly disturbing thriller, packed with twists until the final page.
Many thanks to Bookouture for having me on the blog tour and providing me with my copy of the book via NetGalley for this review.
Murder Game is the third in the Ruby Preston series and I recommend that you read the first two books in the series, Death Note and Sleep Tight to get a full understanding of the relationships in the book, particularly between Ruby and Nathan. Whilst the investigation itself can be read as a standalone, the underlying relationships and struggles are developed throughout the whole series.
In this investigation, Ruby and her team need to find a serial killer who is using a ‘dark web’ dating website to select his victims – he then follows a distinct pattern to inflict pain upon his victims and taunt their family until he kills them. However, this pattern is all too familiar of a previous serial killer who is still behind bars for his crimes – they are too connected to be a coincidence so what’s the link? Also, the team are under immense pressure from the top, not only to catch the killer before he strikes again but to keep this out of the press. Considering the possible links to the ‘Lonely Hearts Killer’, they all know that the press will have a field day with the comparisons.
Within Murder Game, we are also given an insight into the mind of the killer, as far as we are privy to his motives earlier than they are discovered by the team. Also, we get to see the inner turmoil that the killer is having between continuing his ‘plan’ and also his conscious (that’s if a serial killer can actually have a conscious!).
Alongside this investigation, we also see that Ruby and Nathan are more settled – this stability seems to have a positive effect on Ruby generally but there is still an edge to their relationship given Nathan’s criminal family. Cathy, their daughter, has also settled into Crosby life and enjoying being looked after, even if it is a bit suffocating at times!
Murder Game is fast paced – both through Caroline’s writing style and also the fact that the team are against the clock to prevent any further murders given the killers three-day ‘process’ to his murders.
I completely recommend this fantastic series – they are fast paced from start to finish and are exactly what the tagline states “a gripping serial killer thriller you won’t be able to put down”.
USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author.
Originally from Ireland, Caroline lives with her family, parrot and two dogs in a pretty village on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. Published by Bookouture and Thomas & Mercer, she now writes full time and all her books have become number 1 best sellers in their categories.
Her fast-paced DC Jennifer Knight thrillers carry a hint of the supernatural and are weaved from Caroline’s personal experiences in the police and paranormal.
Set in Shoreditch, London, her DS Ruby Preston series is described as “terrifying, addictive serial killer thrillers”.
Caroline also writes psychological thrillers, the most recent, Witness, has been described as “thrilling, tense, exciting, dark and twisted in the best possible way”.