Lost Souls by Chris Merritt

EXCERPT: Death was a fresh start for them; that’s how he saw it. Others might not agree, but they were wrong. He could understand why some would think of dying as the end though. In one sense, that was true. It was an ending. But it was also a beginning. A chance to go on to a better place. Somewhere you no longer had to suffer the torments that your earthly body had endured.

Somewhere everything would be okay for evermore.

ABOUT ‘LOST SOULS’: Standing at the school gates, he waits until the last child leaves the safety of the playground. And then he follows at a distance, keeping to the shadows. Only he knows what’s going to happen next.

In a quiet church, on a busy London street, 12-year-old Donovan Blair is found dead. His hands are clasped together as if in prayer. Just hours ago, he was happily playing with his friends at school, but now his body is lifeless, and his killer is long gone.

Detective Dan Lockhart is working alone on his wife’s missing person’s case when he receives a call telling him to get to the crime scene at St Mary’s Church immediately.

Bringing in psychologist Dr Lexi Green to help profile the murderer, Dan is convinced that the killer has provided a clue by leaving the body in a prayer position, and Lexi agrees. As they try to get into the mind of the person responsible, another victim is found. A 13-year-old girl, left in a different church, posed in exactly the same way.

Fearing the murderer may already have another child in his sights, Dan and Lexi work together to establish links between the two deaths, and soon discover that not only were both children in care – they had attended the same school. And when it emerges that Lexi’s new boyfriend works there, things become difficult between her and Dan. How much can he tell Lexi about the case? And could she be at risk?

As Dan makes a breakthrough in the investigation, he receives devastating news about his wife, Jess. But with children’s lives at stake and Lexi in danger, Dan must put his personal emotions aside and chase the killer. Can he and Lexi work out who is behind the murders before another vulnerable child is taken?

MY THOUGHTS: I have been a little disappointed in Chris Merritt’s Lockhart and Green series. I love this author’s Zac Boateng series, and I was looking forward to more of the same. WRONG. The Lockhart and Green series is very different. Where I found the Zac Boateng series to be fast paced, suspenseful and thrilling, Lost Souls seems to be drawn out and, to be quite honest, I found passages where the author seemed to be pontificating/procrastinating, and repeating himself. Don’t get me wrong – this is not a bad read, 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 if not always likeable bunch.

The basic plot is sound, and there are a few interesting twists and misdirections, but I didn’t find the read particularly suspenseful or thrilling. I did have fun trying to guess the killer – I didn’t. There are plenty of suspects to choose from. I thought the chapters written from the POV of the murderer were a little repetitive and didn’t, after the initial insight, add much of value to the book.

And I do have just one small quibble with the blurb where it states ‘with children’s lives at stake (true enough) and Lexi in danger’……wait – did I miss something?

Lost Souls is a good read, just not a great one.

⭐⭐⭐.5

#LostSouls #NetGalley @cjmerritt81 @DrCJMerritt @bookouture
#contemporaryfiction #crime #detectivefiction

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.

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 Lost Souls 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

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

3 thoughts on “Lost Souls by Chris Merritt”

  1. I am sad to read this review. I have this one to read and was so looking forward to it. I agree with you and Carol about stuff in the blurb that isn’t in the book. Maybe it was edited out? 😊😊 Nice, honest review Sandy.

    Liked by 1 person

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