Thriller starts with a bang but ends in a whimper
VENGEANCE by ROY CHESTER Joffe Books Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 15 Dec 2016
As a criminal profiler and psychiatrist, Dr Hannah Nightingale has come across some of the most dangerous and disturbed individuals. Her efforts to help the police in their investigations have led to her being a target on more than one occasion - the last time resulting in her being suspended in a cage of glass. But despite all that she has suffered, Hannah has persevered. But now, she has been targeted by at least one of the criminals she has helped to put away.
Vengeance begins as Hannah is discovered by police, naked, drugged and handcuffed to a glass sculpture. This is only the first of a series of events designed to drive Hannah to madness. Next, Hannah is discovered drugged and wandering after being kidnapped from her home. CCTV footage given to the press and the police makes it look like she is a killer. Hannah is on the run, searching for the truth, and her friends on the force are seeking her both as a victim and a possible murderer. Complicating matters, the anonymous letters accusing Hannah also indicate the existence of a previously unnoticed serial killer.
The beginning of this novel creates an overwhelming feeling of tension. Hannah’s tormentors seem to have everything planned - no gaps, no hope. Things look really bad for Hannah with the damning video footage. Suddenly Roy Chester applies a macguffin- SOCO has a new software that makes it obvious Debbie Connelly is the killer, only she’s made up to look like Hannah. The novel completely changes at this point. Falcon, his boss, and the teammate race against time to find Hannah, Debbie Connelly and her cohort before she has completed her plan for exacting vengeance. They have oodles of clues from Debbie’s anonymous letters. The solution is almost too easy. Readers are too aware that from the point where Hannah’s innocence is shown that it's only a matter of time before she is rescued.
Vengeance has a lot of unrealized potential. Unfortunately it seems that once Chester set the scene he got tired of it and wanted to expediently finish the novel. His previous novels are better. That doesn't mean that Vengeance isn't well written or entertaining, simply that it could be a lot better.
I received a copy of Vengeance from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
SOMEONE WILL DO ANYTHING TO DESTROY HANNAH NIGHTINGALE Criminal profiler Dr Hannah Nightingale is found drugged and tied naked to a fountain in the city centre . . . Hannah can’t remember anything about what happened. Clearly someone very evil is determined to take vengeance on Hannah. But the obvious suspect, Debbie Connelly, is safely locked in a secure mental hospital, isn’t she? Detective Falcon and the Garton police try to protect Hannah. Yes the criminal who is after her has an elaborate and devious plan to destroy everything she cares about, piece by piece. Framed for murder, Hannah goes on the run among the homeless community of Garton where she discovers more shocking secrets . In a shattering conclusion Hannah faces her tormentor in a life and death stand-off in a disused mental hospital. VENGEANCE is the fourth in a series of best-selling thrillers. Great for fans of Sarah Flint, Paul Finch. Kathy Reichs, Angela Marsons, and Patricia Cornwell. THE DETECTIVES: David Mallory is an old-school policeman who has made some powerful enemies within his own department. DCI Gary Falcon is an ambitious young man on the rise, but his father’s legal work for the city’s criminal does not play well with his fellow officers. THE PROFILER: Dr Hannah Nightingale an up-and-coming forensic psychiatrist who is employed as a consultant profiler by the police. The Nightingale family are prominent in the Garton social scene and Hannah has to fight hard to be accepted by a sceptical police force. THE SETTING: Garton is a fictional port city in the north of England. It’s faced years of industrial decline, but a strong community spirit and sense of humour give hope of revival. But there are still pockets of rundown inner-city criminality.