“How do you identify a ruthless killer when you can’t even recognise your own face in a mirror?
Returning to work following an accident, Detective Inspector Ray Patrick refuses to disclose he now lives with face blindness – an inability to recognise faces.
As Ray deceives his team he is pulled into a police operation that targets an international trade in human organs. And when he attempts to bring the organisation down, Ray is witness to a savage murder.
But it’s a killer he will never remember.
The pressure mounts as Ray attempts to keep his secret and solve the case alone. With only his ex-wife as a confidant he feels progressively isolated.
Can he escape with his career and his life intact?”
I recently had the pleasure of reading Fighting Monsters, the third book in the DI Hannah Robbins series written by ex-police detective turned author, Rebecca Bradley. I said in my review of Fighting Monsters how it was the first full novel by Bradley which I had read. I also said that I was keen to go back and read books one and two in that series, which (you’ve guessed it!) I haven’t done. But, in an effort to redeem myself, I have just completed Dead Blind, a brand new standalone from Bradley with a fascinating lead character in DI Ray Patrick.
‘Why so fascinating?’, you may be asking. DI Patrick was involved in a traumatic car accident whilst in pursuit of a killer. The accident resulted in several badly broken bones, a colleague who is scarred for life (which he feels 100% responsible for) and a knock to the head. Not just any old run-of-the-mill knock to the head though. Prosopagnosia. I obviously need to work on my knowledge of medical conditions as I had never heard of prosopagnosia. Even in layman’s terms, I was a bit unsure what ‘face blindness’ actually meant for the sufferer. Oh, the things I have learnt from reading this book.
At times my heart broke for Ray, the way he had to deal with situations that for the majority of us don’t require any real thought, things we take for granted; such as seeing your children, your partner, your friends and colleagues. I couldn’t help but put myself in Ray’s shoes as he approached situations which he knew were going to cause him problems. For example, any time he meets his long-term girlfriend. He knows it’s her because of her voice, her perfume, the smell of her shampoo, he recognises her clothes but when he looks at her face….nothing. There is no connection there. And imagine how difficult life would be if you were a senior police officer trying to catch a cold-blooded killer. Someone only you’ve seen, someone who killed a young man in front of you and someone you now have to pick out of an identity parade. This is the first time I have met a character with prosopagnosia and I thoroughly enjoyed what Bradley has done with him!
I liked Ray. I wanted to thump him at times though. I could see his reasons for wanting to keep his condition secret, and the story wouldn’t have had quite the same edge to it but flipping heck, man! I would be terrified to tell my employer something like that too (although my employer is my children, and they’d probably just shrug and carry on squabbling over whose turn it was to choose a television programme!). Sharing is caring, or something like that anyway! What I did love was the bubbling, will they/won’t they between Ray and his ex-wife, Helen. From Helen’s point of view, it seemed to be a fairly certain ‘they really won’t’ but I was never 100% sure, I *think* she could be tempted to rekindle her love affair with Ray, just for old times sake. I’m not a fan of any kind of romantic liaison in my crime reads but this one could be interesting…
The investigation Ray and his team were carrying out was an interesting one. This book is so much more about the characters rather the investigation, which was a rather pleasing change. After all, we know whodunit fairly early on. It’s just whether Ray can get his identifiers lined up in time to catch the killer, and exactly how long he can keep his condition a secret for…
Would I recommend this book? I would. I really enjoyed it and hope (fingers crossed) that Bradley has lots more adventures in store for Ray and his team. I want to read more about these characters; they intrigue me. I will be sad if my path doesn’t cross with DI Ray Patrick’s again. If you’re a fan of a character-driven police procedural then make sure you pick up a copy of Dead Blind. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, with Rebecca Bradley at the helm you get a certain amount of realism that others fail to achieve. Her experience as a police detective adds so much to the detail of the story. Slick, absolutely fascinating and very readable. Great stuff.
Four out of five stars.
I chose to read and review an eARC of Dead Blind. The above review is my own unbiased opinion.
Dead Blind by Rebecca Bradley was published in the UK on 8th May 2018 and is available in eBook format (please note, the following Amazon links are affiliate links): | amazon.co.uk | amazon.com | Goodreads |
I live in Nottinghamshire with my family and two Cockapoos Alfie and Lola, who keep me company while I write. I need to drink copious amounts of tea to function throughout the day and if I could, I would survive on a diet of tea and cake while committing murder on a regular basis.
After 16 years service, I was recently medically retired from the police service where I finished as a detective constable on a specialist unit.
My first crime novel, Shallow Waters is set in Nottingham. The lead protagonist is DI Hannah Robbins. Because the novel is written in first-person narrative you get a pretty good feel for who she is.
I blog about my writing, policing, social media, occasionally the above disorders and anything else that springs to mind. It’s a loosely connected place inside my head and it’s possible anything could come out. I would genuinely love to see you around and to hear your thoughts.
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Review © Emma Welton | damppebbles.com