When the body of a man is found with his wrists slashed in a London hotel room, it appears at first to be a tragic suicide. But Detective Dan Riley suspects there is more to this case than meets the eye and the pathology report confirms his worst fears – the victim was poisoned and suddenly Dan is dealing with a murder inquiry.
Then he makes a disturbing discovery, uncovering links between the victim and a woman calling herself Goldilocks on an online dating site. Is she seeking revenge or something more?
Still grieving the devastating loss of his girlfriend and unborn child in a car accident two years ago, Dan throws everything he has into the investigation. Yet just as Dan begins to piece together the clues of this complex case, the body of a woman is found in her bed with identical wounds.
Dan is on the trail of a twisted individual who is much closer than he realises. Can he overcome his own demons and stop the killer before it’s too late?
*Thank you to the publisher, Bookouture, and NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review.
Detective Dan Riley was tasked to lead the investigation of a case which appears to be a suicide in an upscale London hotel room. A body of a middle-aged man was found in a bathtub. His wrists were slashed and there’s a note which leads the police to believe it’s a suicide. But when Dan looks closer at the evidence, it appears that there is more to the story than just suicide. Pathology confirms his suspicion that the victim was murdered. As he investigates the case, Dan was sucked into the victim’s double life which leads him to a girl who calls herself Goldilocks online. He immediately thinks of the fairy tale and if he’s right, Goldilocks is trying to recreate the said story starting off with Daddy Bear. Not long after, another body was found with the exact same wounds as the first. Only, it’s a woman–there goes Mommy Bear. The time is ticking for Dan to find the twisted killer because if not, Baby Bear would be next.
Told from alternating viewpoints of Dan and the killer, Black Heart makes for a fascinating read. I was immediately hooked and I really enjoyed it. It has an intriguing storyline and engaging yet complex characters. Having a female serial killer is a plus as there’s not a lot of books has them. Right from the start, readers already know about the killer and her plans but surprisingly, it added more suspense and doesn’t take away the thrill of anticipating what comes next.
Oddly, both Dan’s and the killer’s characters are relatable. Years after the death of his girlfriend and unborn child in an accident, Dan is still reeling from his loss. And though his grieving can be a bit too much, Dan is a likeable character and I would love to see his growth and slowly move on from his past. As for the killer, despite her devious nature, I feel empathy towards her. She has a vicious past inflicted by her own parents and it affected her in so many ways. It was always unsettling to delve deeper into the mind of a serial killer but the reason behind their actions can be interesting, as well. She sure does some evil things but it’s also evident that’s there’s more to her.
It was dark, twisted and extremely disturbing. It is definitely a brilliantly written thriller. Just some warning, details can be quite gory and there’s also animal cruelty. It was fast-paced and it had me gripped the whole time despite the lack of twists. But, overall, it was great. An impressive start for a series and I’ll sure follow Detective Dan Riley’s story.