Sunday, July 19, 2015

The slaughter man by Tony Parsons

Slaughter man in the second book in the Detective Max Wolfe series, however you can read it as a stand alone book like I did without much trouble.

On New Years Eve a figure enters a family home and leaves no one alive inside - mother, father, daughter, son all snuffed out of existence, while the youngest child is smuggled away to an unknown fate.  The murder weapon is crude, brutal, and effective and points to a single culprit - a killer known as the Slaughter Man, known to his family as Peter Nawkins.  It seems like it might be a cut and dried case, Nawkins has been released after serving his time and there seems to be a connection between the murdered family and the travelers community that Nawkins calls home.  

In some ways it is too perfect though, there are too many niggly little details that just don't sound right - details that stop Detective Max Wolfe from putting the case to bed - especially when a second child if a similar age goes missing.  With Bradley Wood missing the race is on to find him before he becomes another statistic, another little body found too late, but that desperate chase may lead them on a merry dance before they discover the truth.  As the lines of investigation between to converge Detective Wolfe will have to lay everything on the line to save a child that he has never met, and stay one step ahead of the killer who has nothing left to lose and everything to gain.

The slaughter man was a very pleasant surprise, a gripping read that kept me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish.   Detective Max Wolfe is the perfect anti-hero, he is flawed, he makes mistakes, and he takes risks to do what is right - the perfect combination for someone who likes their heroes human rather than perfect.  I sometimes find British crime too heavy and detail orientated to enjoy, the pace dragged down by pages of descriptions of characters and scenery that does nothing for the story other than make it seem like a chore to enter their world.  The world of Max Wolfe, in comparison, is declared with bold text and broad sweeping text that jumps in with the action and keeps moving until the last pages.  You don't have time to smell the roses or wonder about the world, the action and story keep you wondering what is going to happen next.

This is a twisted story that left me surprised (which is great, no seeing through flimsy plots here), and I thoroughly enjoyed the real world they all encountered as the story progressed.  There are some very nasty and petty little people here, and there are also diamonds in the rough that keep yo cheering them on through the events that happen.  Like in the real world there is also a blurring between the "good guys" and the "bad guys" - you have people who also flip happily between the two at the drop of a hat or when it is convenient for them.  This is not a book for the faint hearted, but it is also not needlessly violent or gory.  A great read and I hope there are many more adventures to come for Detective Wolfe and his team.

If you like this book then try:
  • Eeny meeny by M.J. Arlidge
  • The surgeon by Tess Gerritsen
  • One step too far by Tina Seskis
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • The basement by Stephen Leather
  • The silence of the lambs by Thomas Harris
  • Level 26: Dark origins by Anthony E. Zuiker and Duane Swierczynski
  • Now you see her by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
  • Vodka doesn't freeze by Leah Giarratano
  • The postcard killers by James Patterson and Liza Marklund
  • Private Oz by James Patterson and Michael White
  • The survivors club by Lisa Gardner
  • Darkly dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay
  • Kill switch by Neal Baer & Jonathan Greene
  • The edge of normal by Carla Norton

Reviewed by Brilla

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