I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Wash of Black by Chris McDonald
Published by Red Dog Associates on February 4, 2020
Genres: Crime, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural
Format: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
IT'S NOT LIFE THAT IMMITATES ART. IT'S DEATH.
Anna Symons. Famous. Talented. Dead.
When the body of a famous actress is found mutilated on an ice rink in Manchester, recreating a scene from a blockbuster film she starred in years ago, DI Erika Piper must find the culprit; the media-dubbed 'Blood Ice Killer.'
Having recently returned to work after suffering a near fatal attack herself, she must once again prove her worth. When another body is found, and the killer issues a personal threat, Erika has to put her demons aside and crack the case, or suffer the deadly consequences.
Art is subjective. Murder is brutal. The two combined create a heady mix for a psychopathic cocktail. A wash of Black is Chris McDonalds debut and what a poignant and as such is a breeze block straight into the chest. The walk between functioning citizens and sanity is a knife’s edge. I have read so many Crime and Police procedurals lately that it takes something truly remarkable to pull me in – the author caught me by the neck and yanked hard! The prologue was like a defibrillator constantly restarting me…making me aware that what I was reading was true. The crime was like an ice-cold fist gripping my heart.
That opening chapter had me holding my kindle in a death grip. The words jumped from my screen, danced in a rhythmic beat and created threatening shadows that sealed the deal. The tension could have torn through the page like a knife. My eyes and my brain couldn’t keep up with each other. My brain was conjuring images before my eyes took in the final word. Chris McDonald knows just how to get you by the jugular and keep you gasping for any morsel of breath that he allows you to have.
We don’t expect the evil to be lurking around the corner. We don’t expect to meet our end at the hands of another. I’m not a schemes person but A Wash of Black had me clutching my stomach and trying to force the queasy feeling back down. I may have nearly lost my lunch, but the poor victim lost a lot more than that. It was thrilling and had me looking over my shoulder more than once. This book had everything I look for in Crime Fiction. The author had weaved an intricate web of clues and like the Poirot in me, I just had to follow them. Walking into the darkness I was prepared for the evil to grab me and pull me under.
Mr McDonald had developed an uncanny ability to leave you blind. Unsure of which way is right. Unable to detect those usual nuances that depict a lie or deception. He set us up to fall and fall I did… straight into a bottomless hole. Are you ready for your senses to leave your body?
What’s a great story without an amazing protagonist? Erika Piper is a straight-talking. No holds barred, strong woman. We meet her after an incredibly traumatic event in her career. Physical damage. Metal turmoil. A crumbling relationship. Her team is supportive but some great funny moments too. It was only strengthened by the foundations that was a concrete -strong narrative. The crime scenes, the teasing of clues, an unreliable narrator, all was fed to us and as starving little disciples we inhaled it all and begged for more. I had every faith she would hunt down this evil murderer and bring him to justice.
The plot in Wash of Black is so tautly wound that you fear it’s going to snap and take your head off. It captivates your attention and literally has you sitting on the edge of your seat. It’s so fast paced that it’s a race to get to the next page, the next chapter and before you know it you have read the last word. What more could you possibly want in a crime fiction novel? Gruesome Murders. A calling card. A mysterious homeless man that seems to turn up. Will they find the killer before they strike again?
Chris McDonald has earned his place at the table. His novel is original and suspenseful. It’s hard hitting prose with its perfect execution and razor-sharp dialogue make this author one to watch.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Originally hailing from the north coast of Northern Ireland and now residing in South Manchester, Chris McDonald has always been a reader. At primary school, The Hardy Boys inspired his love of adventure, before his reading world was opened up by Chuck Palahniuk and the gritty world of crime.
He’s a fan of 5-a-side football, has an eclectic taste in music ranging from Damien Rice to Slayer and loves dogs.