Book review: Beautiful Death by Fiona McIntosh

Thursday, March 7, 2019 Permalink

It has to be said, DCI Jack Hawksworth has some seriously bad luck on the romance front. In the first novel in this series Bye Bye Baby he was unlucky in love and this time around he’s dating a young woman (who’s actually kinda engaged to someone else) and, well…. let’s just say, she’s not around long.

Book review: Beautiful Death by Fiona McIntoshBeautiful Death
by Fiona McIntosh
Series: DCI Jack Hawksworth #2
Published by Michael Joseph
on March 5th 2019
Source: Penguin Random House Australia
Genres: Crime Fiction, Police Procedural
ISBN: 0143794876
Pages: 448

A calculating killer, who ′trophies′ the faces of his victims, is targeting Londoners.

Under enormous pressure from politicians and the public, DCI Jack Hawksworth and his team begin their investigation, which takes them into the murky world of human organ trading.

But when the murderer strikes closer to home than Jack could ever have imagined possible, the case becomes a personal crusade - and a race against time. Can the killer be brought to justice before Jack is removed from the operation?

It’s been two years since the events of Operation Danube and Jack’s recovered from his injuries, had a break and apparently working with the ‘ghosts’ (Directorate of Professional Standards) when his old mentor approaches him to head up a case involving the series of gruesome deaths.

Jack’s ready for a change and leaps at the chance to surround himself with those we met in the first book of the series, plus a few new faces. I really liked Kate and Sarah in the first novel and so enjoyed catching up with them again. There was less from Jack’s boss and mentor this time around, and more involvement from a colleague from the ghost squad (and old friend of Jack’s). I couldn’t recall if we met Geoff in the first novel but I liked him.

One thing I struggled with in the first novel was again a bit of an issue here was the vast array of characters introduced. Jack’s team is large and I tend to get bogged down trying to remember who is who (Jenny, Dermot, Doug, Angela, Mal etc), but really it doesn’t matter. I’d probably suggest ditching a couple so it’s less overwhelming for readers.

I liked that McIntosh didn’t belabour the death of Lily. Jack finds out quickly (and in a rather horrific way) and I also liked that the team works out pretty quickly ‘why’ the victims are being targeted and killed. It makes the ‘who’ seem kinda obvious though when McIntosh places us in the mind of the killer it gets a tad confusing. It doesn’t entirely make sense until it does.

I’d actually guessed who it was, along with the intermediary, but enjoyed the twists and turns nonetheless.

I mentioned in my first review that Bye Bye Baby and this book are re-releases. McIntosh is better known for her historical and fantasy novels and so I’m not sure if she lost interest in crime fiction or has planned more for this series. I like to think so as she introduces a new love interest (or two) for Jack, some great new characters (I loved the Aussie police forensic psychologist) and ends this at an interesting point, this has been re-released because there are more coming.

Beautiful Death by Fiona McIntosh was published by Penguin Australia (Michael Joseph) and is now available.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.


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