*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: He blends in. He is successful, intelligent and methodical. There are no clues. There are no leads. The only thing the FBI and local police have to go on is the method of death: two bullets to the face- gruesome and meant to send a message. But it’s difficult to understand any message coming from a dark and damaged mind. Two adopted boys, struggling in their own world, have no idea they are the next targets. Neither does their family. And neither does local law enforcement.
Spiral into Darkness is an unusual psychological thriller, with some disturbing and thought-provoking content.
Firstly, I would highly recommend that the author’s previous books are read before you try this one, as there is a lot of context and history between the characters prior to this story. The author does fill us in as he goes along here, but there are so many characters involved and the relationships are so unique that I really feel more of the back story would be useful.
The story itself has two distinct threads: one is a tight and tense police procedural with a multi-disciplinary team investigating a serial killer with an efficient method and obscure motive; the other an emotional family drama about blended and adopted families, teenage hormones and exploring sexuality. The connection that binds these two disparate elements together is the history between the family in question and a number of members of the investigative team; which can lead to some unusual decisions such as drawing on the expertise of teenage boys in a FBI murder investigation!
I am not sure if there is a trigger warning here or not, but I was slightly uncomfortable at the sheer volume of teenage sexual behaviour explored in the book and particularly at the casual acceptance of such behaviour between (adopted) siblings. I appreciate that the author stresses the importance of love, openness and communication in family relationships, and includes some very positive messages about acceptance and body confidence. My personal preference was for more of the psychological thriller and less of the teenage pleasures, but I am well past my own teenage years and quite British too, so fond of tea and euphemisms!
Whilst I found some plot points somewhat difficult to believe, I did enjoy the characters in the investigative team and their working relationships, and the suspense elements of the story were intriguing and kept me guessing. I think this would be a good read for those who are as interested in psychology as they are in crime thrillers, and don’t mind a LOT of sticky sheets!
He rarely displayed emotion except when the appropriate social situation called for it. On demand, he could feign anger, surprise, shock, or doubt. Even happiness and joy though they took more work. Like an actor. However, he viewed himself to be more of a chameleon than an actor.
He watched the news conference and concluded they did not have a clue. None. The blond FBI agent was no match for him. Beauty over brains, except that he did not think she was all that good looking either.
Free and clear, just as he had been and always will be, forever and ever, amen. He chuckled at his little joke, the smile disappearing as quickly as it appeared.
– Joseph Lewis, Spiral into Darkness
Spiral into Darkness releases on 24th January but you can preorder it on Amazon right now!
Don’t forget that to check out the other blogs on this tour (see the poster below) for more great reviews and content!