The Killing Files [review]

The Killing Files by Nikki Owen


No matter how fast you run, the past always catches up with you
Dr Maria Martinez is out of prison and on the run.
Her mission? To get back to the safety of her family.
Little does she know that this might be the most dangerous place of all…

[My Review]

I read and loved The Spider in the Corner of the Room (now titled Subject 375) – read my review here – so was really excited to read the second in The Project series, called The Killing Files. I can’t deny I was a little worried that the second novel wouldn’t live up to the brilliant work that is The Spider… but I needn’t have been worried, because this is a worthy follow up!
Dr Maria Martinez is back and she’s as lovable as ever. I felt that Nikki Owen has created a character that so refreshingly portrayed someone with Autism (I’m no expert, but I can tell when characters with this condition don’t quite seem to ring true, as with various other novels I’ve read in the past), and she’s back in The Killing Files as the same well-crafted, interesting character who I loved reading about, as always! She’s not the ”typical’ female character that we so often see in books and films (much more in films, though, to be fair) who is often just a supporting character for the men, or there mainly as a sex symbol and is always looking attractive and ladylike. There’s plenty of occurrences where Maria’s sweating, dirty and looking (and feeling) as rough as anyone else. It’s great to learn a little more about Maria, and see her meet someone who I looks like they could be a potential love interest – and none of this is portrayed in a cheesy, cliched way, because the story is, again, told through Maria’s eyes. She just tells it all as it is, and it’s really entertaining and, at times, very humorous to get inside her head and see why she thinks the things she does.
The novel is very fast-moving, and switches between the present tense, when Maria is seemingly captured and locked in a room, and the time leading up to this, so we can see how it all happened. I felt it was a little too ‘action’ and not as much substance as the first novel to begin with, but that soon disappeared as the story went on and it became a much more developed and intriguing.
This is one of those novels where you’re never quite sure who is on Maria’s side and who isn’t – as the reader we only see what Maria does, so there’s no reader advantage here. We’re often as bewildered as she is, and I loved that uncertainty – it really ramps up the threat level.
I’m really glad this lived up to the first book, which I really enjoyed – you can’t help but compare, but this is definitely well worth a read and is a worthy follow up to The Spider in the Corner of the Room (Subject 375).

[Rating: 4/5]

Many thanks to Harlequin publishers for providing a copy of this novel in return for an honest review.


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