Happy publication day to Tony Parsons for the brilliant The Murder Bag…here’s my thoughts:
Twenty years ago seven rich, privileged students became friends at their exclusive private school, Potter’s Field. Now they have started dying in the most violent way imaginable.
Detective Max Wolfe has recently arrived in the Homicide division of London’s West End Central, 27 Savile Row.
Soon he is following the bloody trail from the backstreets and bright lights of the city, to the darkest corners of the internet and all the way to the corridors of power.
As the bodies pile up, Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything – and everyone – he loves.
Soon he is fighting not only for justice, but for his own life …
From the author of Man and Boy comes a new detective series and I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed as it had me gripped from the outset.
From the prologue we know there’s a murdered girl and we know who’s involved. From just these couple of pages I was hooked, the details of this poor girl’s death is not an easy read and that sets the scene and pace for the rest of the novel. In the opening chapter the suspected suicide bomber is quite a scene and left me with sweaty palms with Wolfe’s dilemma of has he done the right or wrong thing.
So there’s a serial killer targeting a group of public school friends, like me, you will immediately recall the link and have your suspicions and theories as to why and who’s next?. Several times I thought I had this all sewn up only to be wrong, theories of where this was going and who was the ‘doer’ but there were so many twists and turns. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t confusing, it was just very cleverly done, as with most crime mysteries, everything is generally there you just need to piece it all together in the right places!
Not one for following rules but getting the job done, I found Wolfe to be as hard as nails when necessary but then we’re shown a softer side in his home life as a single parent and dog lover. There’s a good twist here in his home life as well, I thought something different about his wife and totally got the wrong end of the stick which of course, was probably where I was meant to be.
This is probably one of the hardest and gruesomeist murder books I’ve read in terms of crime scene description, it doesn’t really hold anything back so be prepared if you’re a bit squeamish.
I enjoyed the parts when Wolfe visited the Black Museum and learning of the significance of ‘The Murder Bag’ which essentially is an early CSI kit. I found this room to be quite intriguing, and what’s more is that in the author’s notes it’s revealed that is a real place – would be fascinating to visit!
What I loved – everything, what I disliked – nothing! Fast paced, full of shocks, twists and turns, fans of UK crime drama give this one a chance, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Many thanks to the publishers for approving me for an advanced copy via Netgalley.
Connect with the author Tony Parsons