Reviewer: Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore & False Lights. (www.gillianhamer.com)
What we thought: I am a huge fan of Peter May and would list his Lewis trilogy among my favourite top three crime fiction reads of recent years, so I was excited to take on a new crime series from this author.
The Killing Room is the third in the China thriller series, and in my opinion the most gruesome yet. The opening scene was brutal and the discovery of a mass grave in Shanghai was brilliantly written. The investigation focuses on the hunt for a serial killer of women, but the crimes are even more disturbing than usual murders, as the bodies are all found hacked into pieces with organs removed.
Again, lead characters are Li Yan and American pathologist, Margaret Campbell, whose difficult personal relationship is not helped when Li Yan is transferred to Shanghai to assist in the serial killer enquiry. He finds himself working with attractive, Mei Ling, and his feelings become even more complicated.
As the story unfolds, so the horror increases, Margaret’s assistance with the post-mortems opens up even more chilling theories, and before long every layer of Shanghai society is implicated in the cover up of these hideous crimes. With some excellent final twists and reveals.
This is a real blood and gore, no-holds back, crime thriller that is past-faced, full of tension and cleverly laced with personal versus professional life issues. The forensic research and attention to detail is wonderful,the reader is always in safe hands, and the writing is smooth and effortless. Another brilliantly crafted piece of writing and another surefire winner from this superb author!
You’ll enjoy this if you like: Tess Gerritsen, Karin Slaughter, Peter James.
Avoid if you don’t like: China. Corpses.
Ideal accompaniments: Chow mein, noodles, prawn crackers and rice wine.
Genre: Crime thriller.
Available from Amazon