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.Snakes and Ladders by Victoria Selman
Published by THOMAS & MERCER on December 17, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Thrillers, Crime, Psychological
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Psycho meets The Silence of the Lambs
One killer on the loose. Another setting the rules. A profiler caught in the middle.
A serial killer is terrorising London, removing a body part from each victim and leaving in its place a single pink rose.
Dr Vernon Sange, a multiple murderer awaiting extradition, seems to know the culprit's identity--but he'll only talk to profiler Ziba MacKenzie, the woman responsible for putting him away. Though there's something he wants in return from her. And time is running out.
With one killer whispering in her ear and another running rings around the police, Ziba must play a game in which only her opponent knows the rules, and the forfeit is death.
Wow…Snakes and Ladders was the dog’s testicles for sure! Billed as psycho meets Silence of the lambs, never was I going to refuse a match up like that! Although this book is one that you should go completely blind into. It was very Silence of the lambs, but it far exceeded my expectations. Do you want a book that will give you blunt force trauma by its sheer brilliant narrative and its impending threat that just constantly lurks around every corner. If you only read one crime series this year, make it this one!
Victoria Selman translates such equivocal storytelling onto the page with such ease. She gives the reader a snapshot of her powerful imagination. Snakes and Ladders is essentially a power to be reckoned with. She pushes us to our emotional limits, squeezes us to accept humanities flaws and highlights society’s cracks.
Snakes and Ladders will hook you immediately. The setting, the storytelling and the characterisation will do a blinder on you! I do love a good crime fiction novel but very few have been able to suck me into the storyline quite like this. Add in the intensity of two serial killers and the flawed character of a highly successful criminal profiler and it eagerly ticks all the boxes for a hugely addictive crime novel. All it takes is one taste of the story buried underneath and you will be gone.
Snakes and Ladders is one of those books that are so incredibly difficult to review. The story is so intelligent and compelling, but I don’t want to give anything away that may spoil the story. Ziba Mackenzie is an extremely strong protagonist. I think ultimately this is the reason I loved the story so much. The flowed around her, she strengthened it, but she had her flaws and for that, she was relatable – we can all see parts of ourselves within her character. Her personality felt like an echo resonating out with the pages. Her role within the investigation was as a freelance criminal profiler. I enjoyed this angle and it made an intriguing change from the usual detective or police viewpoint. She delved into the investigation with vigour and I was intrigued about the personal connection she seemed to have with one of the serial killers, Vernon Sange. He’s still behind bars but somehow, he’s still able to pull the shots. He’s intimidating and creepily intelligent. He’s for sure a dead ringer for Hannibal Lector. He gave me chills!
Our other serial killer, The Pink Rose Killer is the focus of this investigation, but it is no less devastating. How does Vernon Sange know so much about him? Are they in contact? Will he give a name? can they stop him before he claims his next victim? We get insight into the killers past with flashback chapters and it really nails home just how much the past can have a firm grip on our present and future.
Snakes and Ladders has cemented Victoria Selman as an exciting crime writer to watch. Twist follows twist at such a breakneck speed. Cancel all your plans. Turn your phone off, lock the doors and get comfy…you won’t be going anywhere until the final page is closed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria’s first novel, BLOOD FOR BLOOD, was shortlisted for the 2017 Debut Dagger Award and is a Kindle #1 bestseller. Her second novel, NOTHING TO LOSE went straight to #22 on the Kindle Movers & Shakers chart when it was published in March.
She has written for The Daily Express, Ham & High and Independent newspapers and in 2013 she won the Full Stop Short Story Prize.
She also co-hosts the true crime podcast, CRIME GIRL GANG in which three crime writers examine real life cold cases then solve them from a fictional perspective: itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/crime-girl-gang/id1447814645?mt=2 …
If you’d like to get in touch please use Twitter @VictoriaSelman