|Thank you so much, Urbane Publications, for sending a review copy my way.|
SYNOPSIS AND SPOILER-FREE REVIEW:
London, 1986. A newspaper editor is horrifically murdered, his death quickly followed by a series of more brutal, and often bizarre, slayings. The police are baffled, the only clear link between the murders being a single blood red rose left at the scene of every killing. Why? What does the rose mean? What connects the killer to each bloody corpse? Scotland Yard detective Alan Winters leads a hunt for the elusive prey. As the body count rises, Jennifer Chapman, renowned investigative journalist and daughter of the murdered newspaper editor, sets out on a personal quest for revenge. Drawn together in their pursuit of a deadly quarry, Winters and Jennifer unwittingly face a fatal surprise, for the killer is closer than they think. As they close in on the truth of the blood red rose, their unseen foe plots a shattering end to his reign of terror, and death awaits them all.
In this mystery novel following a series of murders, we follow both Alan Winters and Jennifer Champan through their investigations as well as personal life. I personally enjoyed how well intertwined both topics were, and how love and mystery could coexist, without one shading the other.
One of the things I enjoyed the most was reading from the assassin's P.O.V as well, because it helps you understand why he is doing what he is doing, and also because his description does not match any of the characters' personalities, which brings you to the edge and keeps you wondering until the very end.
Reading from Alan Winters' P.O.V was very exciting, so I really hope the author is working on some other novel led by him and the rest of the detectives, as I enjoyed them all. Winters is just an interesting character with a very tender side and a rather troubled one as well. He is focused on his job, but being the human being he is, he is betrayed by his feelings when he meets Jennifer.
I really liked the speed of the mystery development, and how clues were dropped without me realising them (which is the fun in a thriller). I also liked the characterisation, how special each character was (though Jenifer's colleagues were hard for me to recognise) and what each of them meant in the story.
The mystery really got me, and especially in the last pages I could not put the book down. It really is a page-turner, one I recommend for readers with no experience in the genre, like me, because of how much I enjoyed it. After finishing it, all I could say was: wow, that was brutal!
Blood of the Rose is the captivating story of a detective and a murdered man's daughter fighting a serial killer and their feelings at the same time. With a dark setting and strong characters, Kevin Murray gifts us a tale of family, love, trust... and murder.