Left for Dead (DI Amy Winter Thriller # 3) – Caroline Mitchell
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Available in Ebook, Audio & Paperback (8 July 2020)
Source: Copy received for review via Netgalley
ABOUT THE BOOK
A victim on display. A detective on the rails.
Shopping with her sister, DI Amy Winter is admiring a Valentine’s Day window display of a perfect bride encrusted in diamonds and resplendent in lace—until she notices blood oozing from the mannequin’s mouth.
This is no stunt. A post-mortem reveals the victim was left to die on her macabre throne for all to see. When a second victim is found, it emerges that both women were ‘Sugar Babes’ arranging dates with older men online—and Amy finds herself hunting an accomplished psychopath.
As she tracks down the killer, Amy’s instincts go into overdrive when the charismatic head of the agency behind the display makes no attempt to hide his fascination with her serial-killer parents. What exactly does he want from Amy? With her own world in freefall as her biological mother, Lillian Grimes, appeals her conviction, Amy pushes the boundaries of police procedure when a third ‘Sugar Babe’ disappears…Is she as much at risk as the killer’s victims?
This is the third book in the Amy Winter series but the first I have read. I do have a few of Caroline’s books on my Kindle that I have previously bought – always with the intention of ‘catching up’! Although there is obviously some backstory going here on that I have missed out on, it didn’t stop me enjoying this story as a killer thriller, although I would have had a better understanding of certain aspects had I been been familiar with Amy’s history – just bear in mind if you decide to jump in with this one.
A detective with a biological mother (and deceased father) – both serial killers (known as ‘the Beasts of Brentwood’) – my old stomping ground! 😳 From the backstory given, Amy has a complex relationship with her birth mother, Lillian Grimes, which in turn impacts on her relationships with her two sisters. Amy is pre-occupied with Lillian’s appeal trial and that is a whole other strand to the story. Lillian came over as a despicable character, quite capable of manipulating people when it suited.
Going back to the crimes, the killer here is clever and inventive. Their identity is revealed to the reader early on however this doesn’t make the story any less thrilling; watching the investigation team try to put together pieces of the jigsaw, which includes going back to a historic murder case, and wondering what the killer will do next. Of course it doesn’t just stop at one killing, and the tension mounts as Amy and her colleagues attempt to find out the identity of ‘The Love Heart Killer’ (so called because a heart is carved into the chest of the victims) before the body count rises even further.
Amy has a reckless nature which causes conflict between her and her new boss, DCI Donovan, when at times she crosses the line where procedure is concerned. There is clearly history between the two, both personal and professional, and I enjoyed the way the sparks flew between them (and not always in a good way) when they were together. Amy wants to be left to run things her way and doesn’t want to be babysat however at times she seems to have scant regard for her own safety if it means getting justice for victims. Clearly having Lillian for a mother has far reaching consequences!
Left for Dead was a very enjoyable read which I raced through. Set between London and Essex, it had a well-paced plot, a twisted and devious killer and two very engaging detectives that I would like to meet again.
My thanks to Sarah Hardy of BOTBS Publicity for the invitation to take part in the tour and to the publisher for the Netgalley copy provided.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An international #1 and New York Times, USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author, Caroline originates from Ireland and now lives with her family on the coast of Essex. A former police detective, Caroline has worked in CID and specialised in roles dealing with vulnerable victims, high-risk victims of domestic abuse, and serious sexual offences. She now writes full time, with over a million books sold.
As well as her crime series, Caroline also writes stand-alone psychological thrillers. The most recent, Silent Victim reached the Amazon number 1 spot in the UK, US and Australia and won first place as best psychological thriller in the US Reader’s Favourite Awards. Her previous thriller, Witness, was shortlisted for the International Thriller Awards in New York. She has also been shortlisted for ‘Best Procedural’ in the Killer Nashville awards. Her crime thriller, Truth And Lies recently became a No.1 New York Times best seller and has been optioned for TV. Her works have been translated worldwide and her book, The Silent Twin, has been converted as an interactive app in the Chapters Interactive game.