As I’ve said before on this blog, the Tania Carver books featuring DI Phil Brennan and Psychologist Marina Esposito are one of my favourites, and HEARTBREAKER – the latest addition and seventh novel in the series – is a real cracker of a read.
Here’s the blurb: “After years of abuse, Gemma Adderley has finally found the courage to leave her violent husband. She has taken one debilitating beating too many, endured one esteem-destroying insult too much. Taking her seven-year-old daughter Carly, she leaves the house, determined to salvage what she can of her life. She phones Safe Harbour, a women’s refuge, and they tell her which street corner to wait on and what the car that will pick her up will look like. They tell her the word the driver will use so she know it’s safe to get in.
And that’s the last they hear from her.
Gemma Adderley’s daughter Carly is found wandering the city streets on her own the next day. Her mother’s mutilated corpse turns up by the canal several weeks later. Her heart has been removed. Detective Inspector Phil Brennan takes on the case, and his wife, psychologist Marina Esposito, is brought in to try and help unlock Carly’s memories of what happened that day. The race is on to solve the case before the Heartbreaker strikes again …”
HEARTBREAKER has a fabulously twisty turny plot, a disturbing set of crimes at its core, and a tough emotional struggle for the two lead characters that threatens to destroy both their careers and their life together.
What I found especially chilling in this book is the way the killer selects their victims – targeting vulnerable women who have made the decision to seek refuge. Somehow the killer is gaining access to confidential information in real time, and until they are caught every woman seeking sanctuary is a potential victim. Through the storyline, the book looks at domestic violence through the eyes of the perpetrators, the victims, and those working to help the victims, and it doesn’t hold back from showing a violent and brutal truth.
Along with the case being investigated, there’s another complex situation that Phil and Marina are dealing with in their personal lives – the aftermath of the horrific chain of events in the previous book – TRUTH OR DARE – which has had a devastating impact on their relationship. As they struggle seperately to come to terms with the events they experienced, and the ever-present danger that hangs over them, the rollercoaster of emotions they feel continues to drive them further apart. But with the Heartbreaker investigation needing them to work together to find the killer, it soon becomes apparent that this case could be the thing that destroys them both and all that they’ve worked for.
Gritty and compelling HEARTBREAKER is a tense and suspenseful page-turner of a read.
You can find out more about Tania Carver (aka crime writer Martyn Waites’ alter ego) over on www.martynwaites.com and follow Martyn on Twitter @MartynWaites
And be sure to pop back on Thursday to read my interview with Martyn about the book.
You can click on the book cover below to buy HEARTBREAKER from Amazon:
[I bought my copy of HEARTBREAKER]