“Each murder brings him one step closer to the perfect death.
Ex-priest, DI Farrell is called on to investigate a gruesome death in rural Scotland. All evidence points to suicide, except for one loose end: every light in the cottage was switched off. Why would he kill himself in the dark?
The question sparks a murder investigation that leads to the mysterious Ivy House, home of ‘The Collective,’ a sinister commune of artists who will do anything to keep their twisted secrets hidden.
And when the remains of a young girl are uncovered on a barren stretch of coastline, Farrell realises that there is something rotten in this tight-knit community. Now he must track down a ruthless killer before another person dies, this time much closer to home…”
I am thrilled to be one of two blogs kicking off the Perfect Dead blog tour today. Perfect Dead is the second book in the DI Frank Farrell series written by Jackie Baldwin and it’s published by Killer Reads in eBook TODAY! A very happy publication day to Jackie and the Killer Reads team.
I was a huge fan of Baldwin’s first DI Farrell book, Dead Man’s Prayer. So much so, that it featured on my books of 2016 list. Which means that I’ve been waiting for the release of Perfect Dead and Frank’s second outing with bated breath. For those new to this series our protagonist is DI Frank Farrell, an ex-priest turned Detective Inspector in the Dumfries and Galloway area of Scotland. Frank is conflicted as he doesn’t really know where his heart truly lies; is he destined to hunt the seedy criminals and lowlifes of the lowland or does he have a much higher, spiritual calling? What I love most about Frank Farrell is that he is unlike any of the other detectives I tend to read about. They are more often than not addiction driven, tortured souls but Frank, with his past in the Church, isn’t. He fascinates me.
I was also delighted to see DC Mhairi McLeod make a welcome return to proceedings. Her intelligent insight and her wonderfully feisty attitude really added to the story for me this time around. I liked her character in the first book but I felt she really came to life in Perfect Dead, often leaving DI Farrell in the shadows.
When Frank and Mhairi are called to a suicide in Kirkcudbright something just doesn’t feel right. Gut instinct and a good investigative brain mean that before long they are treating the artist’s death as suspicious. The investigation leads to ‘The Collective’s door, a group of uninhibited ‘invite only’ artists who keep themselves to themselves and their secrets well and truly hidden. Frank’s suspicious suicide was once part of ‘The Collective’ flock, so it’s only natural that he starts asking questions. But that’s only the beginning. When the remains of a young woman, missing for several years is discovered nearby, all roads lead to ‘The Collective’.
I really enjoyed how there were several plot threads intricately woven throughout the story and the way the author managed to keep the investigations separate, to a point. Parts of the story I found a little predictable but then I just can’t help playing amateur detective whilst reading detective fiction (any fiction!). I was looking for clues from the moment I started to read which is very normal for me. It certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the book. Although I had guessed ‘whodunit’ I really did love the conclusion of Perfect Dead.
Would I recommend this book? I would. I love how Jackie Baldwin writes and her characters are wonderfully unique. I just can’t help myself when it comes to DI Frank Farrell, there’s something so appealing about him that I will read this series until the author decides she has had enough! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the team in action again and I can’t wait to see what Baldwin has in store for us next. A delightfully intricate and enjoyable novel.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Perfect Dead. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Perfect Dead by Jackie Baldwin was published in the UK by Killer Reads on 15th June 2018 and is available in eBook format, with the paperback to follow in August (please note, the following links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | Waterstones | Book Depository | Goodreads |
Jackie Baldwin is a Scottish crime writer. Her debut crime novel, Dead Man’s Prayer, was published by Killer Reads, Harper Collins on 2nd September 2016. The second in the series, Perfect Dead was published on 15th June 2018. For most of her working life, she has been a solicitor specialising in Family and Criminal Law. However, she now practices in Dumfries as a hypnotherapist which is where her novels are set. Married, with two grown-up children, she has filled her empty nest with Golden Retrievers. She can often be found in a forest walking the dogs, covered in mud and with twigs in her hair.