It’s a busy old day on TWG today! Kicking off the first of the SIX blog tours scheduled for today is my review of Tana Collins’ ‘Mark of the Devil’. Thank you to Sarah from BloodHoundBooks for the blog blitz invite, and of course my ARC of the book.
While Inspector Jim Carruthers and team are busy investigating a series of art thefts they receive an anonymous tip about the body of a young woman on a deserted beach.
The bizarre clues to her identity, and what might have happened to her, include a strange tattoo, a set of binoculars and slab of meat left on the cliffs.
The team’s investigations lead them to a local shooting estate and its wealthy owner Barry Cuthbert. However, Carruthers suspects Cuthbert is not all he seems and the DI soon starts to wonder if the cases of the missing works of art, the dead woman and the estate are connected.
Then when the body of a young gamekeeper is pulled from the sea tensions boil over. The trail of clues lead the team to the unlikely locale of Tallinn and into the sinister world of international crime and police corruption.
Needing answers Carruthers must look further afield than Fife. However, the closer he gets to discovering the truth the more danger he finds himself in.
Since everyone who crosses the vengeful killers seem to end up dead, can Carruthers solve the case with his life in tact?
What does TWG think?
Ohmygoodnessme this book made me tired! Why? Because I was on tenterhooks all the way through, feeling as though I was hanging from a rollercoaster ride upside down! ‘Mark of the Devil’ is full to the brim with excitement, grit, intensity, as well as a graveyard full of death.
A young woman with an outlandish tattoo was found dead. No identification with her. Half of a missing face thanks to the local wildlife. And that tattoo. A lot of people have tattoo’s so why was that one any different? Someone must know what it means, right?
Carruthers now has to get to the bottom of an unexplained death, as well as trying to find the art thief. Are they both linked? Carruthers is determined to find out, even if that means travelling outside of his comfort zone. Literally.
It’s not often I say this, but, I could read ‘Mark of the Devil’ over and over again, and still find something new to be shocked about. With such a complex storyline taking the lead in this book, Tana Collins ensured that her characters weren’t going to be hiding in the background by making their personalities extremely colourful so that they were on par with the strong storyline. Even though I had a couple of the characters cards marked early on, I still couldn’t put all of my eggs in one basket and say that they were involved for definite – there was a lot more to this book than someone pinching some art and a woman losing her life, that’s for sure!
I must admit that Carruthers’ boss made me frown on more than one occasion. I couldn’t quite work out why a big boss in a police station, refused to keep his eyes and ears open and listen to his team. Pot kettle black sprang to mind!!
‘Mark of the Devil’ just kept on giving with every page I turned. The pace was on fire, the characters played their parts well, and the author, well, she has written such a cleverly crafted novel which left me wanting more! As soon as I finished the book I was having withdrawal symptoms, that’s how much I loved this book. It was dark, severely twisted and incredibly memorable – I cannot wait to read more from this author as her books are out-flipping-standing.
About the author.
Edinburgh based Tana Collins is the author of the popular Jim Carruthers detective series set in Fife. Her debut novel, Robbing the Dead, published February 2017, became a No 1 Amazon bestseller for Scottish crime fiction. Care to Die, the follow up in the series, also became a Top 10 Amazon bestseller. Published on 1st June 2017 Care to Die was described by Peter Robinson, author of DCI Banks, as “A finely plotted mystery. Tana Collins racks up the suspense on this one. DI Jim Carruthers is a cop to watch.” In September 2017 having won one of the coveted Spotlight places at Bloody Scotland Tana supported Lynda La Plante on stage.
Her third novel, Mark of the Devil, is to be published 24th April 2018. Author Leigh Russell writes of it, “A cracking read. The suspense never lets up.”
Tana is a trained Massage Therapist and Stress Management Consultant.
Author Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Tana-Collins-490774634440829