It’s my stop on the blog tour for Alison Belsham’s The Tattoo Thief today and I’m delighted to share my review of this gruesome crime thriller.
Here’s the blurb …
Trapeze (3 May 2018)
A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…
When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?
My thoughts …
I really enjoyed this debut.
With a slight twist on the typical police procedural, Belsham brings us a young officer promoted before he maybe should have been. And his case as the boss is that of a serial killer who collects the tattoos of his victims.
I wasn’t sure about Francis Sullivan at first. In fact, the whole police team seemed a little off at the start but perhaps it’s because the teams in other books typically get along. Sullivan has been promoted young, which I believe is something that is happening a lot in the real world nowadays, people who perhaps have little hands on police experience being brought in to positions above those with years on the ground. His DS, Rory, isn’t impressed with this and the tension between them creates a sense of foreboding for the team. Is Rory really that upset by the promotion of the whippersnapper that he’d risk the whole investigation?
Then we have Marni Mullins.
Marni finds the first body and is then asked to help the police identify the victim’s tattoo.
Marni and Francis have a strange relationship at the start, they have secrets and a distrust of each other, but at the same time they seem to need each other. It was great to watch their relationship develop as they became closer and more comfortable with each other.
Told in chapters that switch between Marni, Francis, Rory, and the killer, it was a little hard to be fully immersed in each character and it felt a little disjointed in places – especially with the police chief and his constantly changing feelings towards his new DI.
All in all, a great debut with some thrillingly gruesome parts and a team that has the protentional to grow and develop in future books.
Huge thanks to Tracy Fenton, Alex Layt, and the team at Trapeze for my spot on the tour and for my review copy of the book. Make sure you keep up with the rest of the tour:
You can get your copy now over at Amazon:
About the author …
Alison Belsham initially started writing with the ambition of becoming a screenwriter-and in 2000 was commended for her visual storytelling in the Orange Prize for Screenwriting. In 2001 she was shortlisted in a BBC Drama Writer competition. Life and children intervened but, switching to fiction, in 2009 her novel Domino was selected for the prestigious Adventures in Fiction mentoring scheme. In 2016 she pitched her first crime novel, The Tattoo Thief, at the Pitch Perfect event at the Bloody Scotland Crime Writing Festival and was judged the winner.