Today I’m excited to be a part of the blog blitz for the new book by Tana Collins, part of her Inspector Jim Carruther series. It’s the first time I’ve read anything from this series and I SO enjoyed it! Read on to find out what I thought…
Title: Dark is the Day
Author: Tana Collins
Series: Inspector Jim Carruthers #4
Publisher: Bloodhound Books
DI Jim Carruthers has to put his personal feelings for newly- appointed DCI Sandra McTavish aside when a young student is brutally attacked and left for dead.
Meanwhile, when a university lecturer is stalked by one of her own students, Carruthers is horrified to discover that the academic is none other than his ex-wife, Mairi. Are the attacker and stalker one and the same, and if so, will Carruthers’ ex-wife be next?
When a second then a third victim is discovered, not only dead but mutilated, Carruthers and his team are tasked with searching for a murderer. A murderer who takes great pleasure from killing.
What is the victims’ connection to a cult in North America, which seems to be getting a stranglehold in a Scottish university? Why have these women been targeted? And who is doing the killing?
It looks like there might be a serial killer on the loose in Castletown but can DI Jim Carruthers stop this depraved murderer before they strike again?
Dark is the Day is the first novel I’ve read from the Inspector Jim Carruthers series, but it certainly won’t be my last. It’s a brilliantly crafted, punchy and enjoyable novel which focuses on the investigation into the attack on a young woman, and its possible links to other similar attacks in the Scottish town of Castleford.
Dark is the Day tells the story mostly from the perspective of Detective Carruthers, but also from some other members of the team and people involved in the story. It’s one of those stories where the plot makes for addictive reading, as it has elements of ‘whodunnit’, police procedures, the personal lives of some of the police and an eerie atmosphere at times, particularly when following some of the victims as the tension builds and you’re not sure what might happen to them.
The plot is gritty (without being overly gory for people who prefer their crime novels a little less bloody) and I really liked Jim and (most of) his team. I was rooting for them to solve the case as they navigated some red herrings, suspicious characters and a very rude senior member of staff. I really liked Carruther’s sidekick, Fletcher, and would happily have read more about her too.
I’d really recommend this book for fans of well-written crime/ detective novels, and I am excited to read more from this series too.
Many thanks to Bloodhound Books for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest and unbiased review.
[Read an Extract from ‘Dark is the Day’]
The phone on Carruthers’ desk rang. Brown’s voice was on the line. Carruthers pictured the overweight DC with the comb over. ‘Jim, we’ve just taken a phone call. Don’t know how to tell you this–’
‘Spit it out. What’s with the suspense?’ He absentmindedly picked up his empty
polystyrene cup, felt its weight and knowing it was empty flung it in to the bin.
‘The caller. It was your ex-wife. The thing is she says she’s being followed. I told her we’d get someone out straight away.’
Carruthers’ keen blue eyes widened. ‘Who’s been sent?’
‘She’s asking for DS Fletcher and Andie’s still doing the reconstruction. Shall I say you’ll go instead? That’ll be an interesting meet-up.’
Instead of getting angry, which he often did rather well, Carruthers tried to think about his ex-wife in a detached manner. Although there were times he’d like to shake or punch Willie Brown and Dougie Harris, come to that, Carruthers had learned his lesson the hard way. In his first big case in Fife he’d punched his nemesis, Superintendent Alistair McGhee when McGhee had bated him about his ex. Utterly stupid. Carruthers had brought his demotion from DCI on himself. He could see that now. Carruthers stood up and grabbed his coat wondering how she’d feel about seeing him again. ‘Okay, where is she?’
‘Inside The Pilgrims Arms, here in Castletown.’
Carruthers hung up and left his desk. As he passed Brown who was still holding the
receiver, presumably about to make another call, the older man said, ‘Have you seen her since your break up, your ex-wife?’ Carruthers remained silent, knowing that by the time he returned to his desk after his meet-up it would be all over the station that his ex-wife had been on the phone.
Carruthers took the short drive from the outskirts of Castletown to the centre of town. As luck would have it, he found a parking space opposite the pub, cut the engine, jumped out and strode over to The Pilgrims Arms. A couple of students were coming out and Carruthers held the door open for them. He walked in to the gloom letting his eyes adjust before searching for his wife.
He spotted Mairi sitting at a round table by herself near the window. His heart did a somersault. She looked absorbed, staring in to the contents of a glass of colourless liquid. He wondered if she still drank slimline tonic. He fought to keep down all the feelings that were threatening to spill over – anger, hurt, confusion and concern. She looked good. Smart and professional. She had her slender legs crossed and her dark hair was shoulder length and loose, longer than he remembered it. How should he play this? He had no idea. There was nothing in the police manual about how to greet your ex-wife.
She saw him, looked puzzled but recovered and then smiled as she stood up. He was too far away to see if her smile was genuine. He walked across closing the gap between them and for a moment it was as if they were still together and just meeting in the pub for a drink. He felt a knife tear in to his heart and a loneliness wash over him. Pity it hadn’t worked out with Jodie Pettigrew, John Mackie’s assistant, he thought. If it had, he probably wouldn’t be feeling like this.