I’ve had some bad experiences lately when picking books up part-way through a series. I’ve written about the sequel dilemma before… new readers are either completely befuddled about who’s who, or they’re provided so much backstory there’s no need to read any earlier books in the series.
I noted Goodreads labelled this Brennan & Esposito #7… so I was kinda worried.
But I need not have been.
The author, Tania Carver—who incidentally does not exist, but rather is a pseudonym for the husband/wife writing team of Martyn and Linda Waites (however to avoid confusion I’ll refer to the author as Carver… which is possibly a bad choice for someone who writes about serial killers and peeps who dismember bodies). Anyway… I digress… Carver, does a great job at providing some backstory without over-sharing. And yes I know that earlier bit wasn’t a real sentence… #whatevs
DI Phil Brennan is separated from his wife, consulting psychologist, Marina Esposito (and we soon learn why) and struggling to deal with his new life. In fact he’s on the verge of collapse and put on leave when he becomes a tad too obsessed with his latest case.
Brennan’s investigating the murder of a young mother who was kidnapped while attempting to leave her abusive husband. He’s an obvious suspect but when another victim with a similar history of abuse turns up it’s discovered they were both attempting to reach a women’s shelter.
The shelter is supposed to be a safe haven for these women, but somehow they’re being lured to their deaths and… for added enjoyment they’re tortured and their hearts removed before their deaths.
Brennan and his team are on the hunt for someone preying on women who are finally taking a stand against their abusers, only to become the ultimate victim… which is ironic in a very sad way. Given the nature of the case (and to everyone’s unease) Brennan’s estranged wife is called in to consult with the police about the crimes and the victims.
I really enjoyed this novel though I did guess pretty early on whodunnit. I think I’ve read something similar or seen a show with a similar baddie. Thankfully Carver throws a few other suspects into the mix near the end so I was forced to second guess myself; and none of that made this read less enjoyable.
The personal stuff between Brennan and Esposito adds some texture to their characters and I look forward to reading a bit more about them. I’m definitely keen to read some previous novels in the series to get a feel for who they were as a couple working together, as it’s something they do briefly (but well) in this latest release.
In summary, an entertaining and edge-of-your-seat read… while this was my first Tania Carver but it most certainly won’t be my last!
Heartbreaker by Tania Carver will be released in Australia via Hachette on 28 July 2015.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.