“A serial killer, The Director, is on the loose in South London. He’s snatching young women off the street to ‘act’ in his movies. He’s got a type: barely legal, blonde and beautiful.
Newly promoted DI Jessica Wideacre is tasked with heading up the investigation. But with few clues to go on and a rising body count, Jessica begins to fear she isn’t up to the job. Her boss is breathing down her neck. Her marriage is in jeopardy and the pressure is driving her to drink.
Meanwhile, The Director has another victim in his sights. He’s rolled out the red carpet, he s got a killer script, and now he s got his star. It’s a dream role, but not for her.”
When I first read the synopsis of this book I was hooked. Simple as that. I had to read it, there were no other options. And I’m so glad I did as this is a totally absorbing serial killer thriller with shed loads of punch. It’s my kind of book.
Thanks to a killer who calls himself ‘The Director’ the body count in South London is on the rise. Young girls with a very specific look are being targeted, only to meet a horrific death at the hands of a deranged killer. Ballsy, newly promoted DI, Jessica Wideacre, is in charge but the clues are few and far between and progress is slow. The situation is not helped by her DCI keeping a very close eye on her progress and thinking her not up to the job (a man would be much more suited). But Jessica has her own problems; her marriage is on the rocks and her family are THE family from hell! Can Wideacre and her team piece together the flimsy evidence and stop The Director before the end credits roll on his leading lady..? (Sorry, cheesy pun. I couldn’t help myself!).
DI Wideacre is a mess. She’s aggressive, she’s unpopular and the way she treats her team puts her on the cusp of a disciplinary hearing. But she’s also driven and determined to get results. If that makes her even more unpopular then so be it, she doesn’t give a rat’s bottom! Wideacre is the type of character that I normally adore but for some (still unknown) reason, I didn’t really warm to her. Saying that, I didn’t dislike her. It’s just that there were other characters in the book I liked more than our heroine.
Having pondered on this conundrum it for a few minutes, I have come to the conclusion that I liked Wideacre more towards the end of the book when her relationship with arch nemesis and superior officer, DCI Beckwith, started to mellow. I think throughout the book I was more a part of #TeamBeckwith than #TeamWideacre.
The investigation is slow and the body count is high. There are lots of red herrings along the way to keep you guessing and I didn’t see the twist coming (that always gets extra points from me).
I enjoyed Tara Moore’s style of writing. The plot progressed well and at a enjoyable pace. Would I recommend this book? Heck yes. Even though my relationship with DI Wideacre has started off a little on the tentative side, I hope to read more about Jessica and team in the future. This is a brilliant start to a great new series.
Four out of five stars.
Thanks to Matthew at Urbane Publications for providing me with a copy of Fade To Dead in exchange for an honest review.
Born into a military family in Co. Kildare, Ireland, Tara spent much of her childhood moving around the country, as well as spending a period in the Middle East. During that time, she lived in Damascus and Jerusalem, where the family had a house on the Mount of Olives. For a short while she attended school there, learning rudimentary Arabic. After that, the family moved to Israel, where she attended a convent run by French nuns. At the commencement of the Six Day War, they returned to Ireland and settled in Dublin. She is one of six children. In 1985 she left Dublin for the brighter lights of London and within a year met and married her first husband, a fiery Spanish Moroccan. The marriage produced two sons, but ended in 1999. She relocated to the pretty harbour town of Ramsgate on the East Kent coast in 2005 and, within months, met her second husband, Dr David Moore. They married in Sorrento on 2008.
Although previously published under the pseudonyms Tara Manning and Emily Sage, she did not commence writing full time until 2010, working ‘for her sins’ in a series boring but stable jobs, including insurance, banking, accountancy and law. Connect with Tara on Twitter via @TaraMoore2.