EXCERPT: If she’d known it was to be her last night alive, he wondered, how would she have spent it? Gossiping in an over-priced bar with her friends and dancing until the early hours? Or hooking up with one of those square-jawed randoms she seemed to collect on Tinder? Perhaps she’d get sentimental, gathering her relatives privately for a solemn, tearful goodbye. Knowing her though, his guess was hosting an obscenely expensive, self-aggrandising charity bash with champagne and fireworks. She certainly wouldn’t have chosen to sit alone like this, tapping away her final hours at a computer.
ABOUT THIS BOOK: Natasha Mayston wasn’t expecting anyone to knock on her door so late at night. And she has no idea that the face staring back at her is the last one she’ll ever see…
As Detective Dan Lockhart is called to a wealthy London street to investigate Natasha’s death, he’s startled by the similarity to a previous case. Noticing the cable-tie restraints and the tiny scratches on Natasha’s wedding finger, Dan already knows what he will find if he looks in her mouth – the metal ball which choked her to death. He knows Natasha isn’t the killer’s first victim and is certain that he will strike again.
Months earlier, Kim Hardy was found in the same position in a run-down hotel across the city – an identical silver ball in her throat. But Kim’s murderer was caught and sent to prison – did they arrest the wrong man? And what connects the two victims? Fearing that he’s dealing with a psychopathic serial killer, Dan calls in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help him to get into the perpetrator’s mind. Tough and smart, Lexi will stop at nothing to hunt down the man responsible for the deaths.
Then, another body is discovered, just as Lexi finds a clue online leading to the killer. Dan’s team aren’t convinced, but in pushing Lexi away from the investigation, they force her to dig further into the case on her own. Convinced that she’s on to something, she puts herself in unthinkable danger… but can Dan piece together the clues and identify the killer before it’s too late?
MY THOUGHTS: I started this book with great excitement. I love this author’s Zac Boateng series, and I was looking forward to more of the same. WRONG. Knock Knock is very different. Where I found the Zac Boateng series to be fast paced, suspenseful and thrilling, Knock Knock seems to be drawn out and, to be quite honest, I found myself skimming passages where the author seemed to be pontificating/procrastinating. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a bad read, and I will give this series a second chance, but it needs to be tightened up, to be not quite so bogged down in repetitive psychological analysis.
I liked the characters: Dan, Detective Lockhart whose wife has disappeared without trace; Maxine Smith, a strong character inclined to follow her instincts; Lexi Green, psychologist, who also has trauma in her past. Even the lesser characters, the supporting cast, are an interesting bunch. The chapters written from the POV of the murderer were mostly interesting, but a little repetitive.
The basic plot is sound, and there are a few interesting twists and misdirections. I did have fun trying to guess the killer – I didn’t even come close.
I hope this does develop into a good series. I know Merritt has the talent.
Love the cover. *:)
THE AUTHOR: Hello! I’m a British author whose crime thrillers combine psychology, suspense, and characters you care about.
All my novels are set in London, where I live. My first trilogy starred Zac Boateng and Kat Jones, two detectives motivated by family, who tackle organised crime and police corruption. LAST WITNESS, the second Boateng and Jones book, reached #13 in the UK Kindle chart in 2019.
My second series features detective Dan Lockhart – an ex-soldier with a missing wife – and psychologist Dr Lexi Green, an American living in London. These novels are darker, more psychological serial-killer cases, with romantic relationships as a central theme.
I began writing fiction in 2014, after previous careers as a diplomat, based in Iraq and Jerusalem, and later as a psychologist working with victims and perpetrators of crime. I specialised in treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which sparked my interest in telling stories about how people cope when faced with extreme adversity.
Now, I spend most of my time writing novels and drinking coffee while ‘thinking’ about writing novels. When I’m not writing, I love climbing and playing basketball.
DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bookouture via NetGalley for providing a digital ARC of Knock Knock by Chris Merritt for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
For an explanation of my rating system, please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com
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