Unseen Evil by Liz Mistry #BookReview #BlogTour

New Release from best-selling author Liz Mistry is number 6 in her D.I. Gus McGuire series.

Social Media can be the death of you …

The Snapchat
A twisted killer comes to the attention of DI Gus McGuire and his team when a teenager receives a Snapchat image of his murdered friend.

The Killer
As the killer becomes bolder, using social media to publicise the murders, Gus fears there may be more than one murderer targeting young people.

The Stalker
Meanwhile, Gus comes under threat from a stalker who is not afraid to get up close and personal.

Can Gus protect his loved ones and catch the killer before another Snap is received?

It's such a pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Unseen Evil today. Many thanks to Liz Mistry and to Sarah Hardy from Books on the Bright Side for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel.

I almost turned down the opportunity to read Unseen Evil; as the sixth book in the DI Gus McGuire series, I was a little concerned that I'd missed too much already. However, I've read so many glowing reviews of the previous novels and in the end, curiosity won out! I'm so glad I did give in to temptation because I loved this gripping book and can most definitely be added to the ever-growing list of Gus fans.
My enthusiasm should be evidence enough that Unseen Evil can be enjoyed as a standalone. Enough of the characters' back stories are included to satisfy newcomers without rehashing previous events for established readers. That said, there were still a few mentions of things which had happened in the past that I don't fully understand. This isn't meant as a criticism - on the contrary, I thought it was very clever as now I really want to go back and read the previous novels!
Unseen Evil sees Gus' happiness with Patti threatened by a stalker who seems to becoming increasingly obsessed with him. He's been receiving letters for months but when the latest arrives hand-delivered to his home, he starts to feel more concerned. Meanwhile, a mysterious and rather sinister group of teenagers - Pisces, Leo and their manipulative leader, Zodiac have a list of names and a taste for revenge. The two sub-plots run alongside each other, both absolutely chilling as they each follow twisty storylines which examine how vulnerable people can be in these days of technological advances and ever more invasive social media use. Most of us will probably have some experience of both the positive and negative side of online platforms but the potential power of the internet to be used as a medium for evil is explored to terrifying effect here. Even Gus isn't immune to as he discovers just how quickly information can be spread and how difficult it is to take down. Even more disturbing, however, is when a teenager receives a late night Snapchat which he initially thinks is just a sick joke - until his friend's body is discovered. It soon appears that there may be a serial or spree killer targeting young people and horrifyingly they are using social media to draw attention to their twisted game.
The book cleverly switches between third and first person as chapters are written from the perspective of a number of characters. I thought this was really well done and was particularly impressed with the way Liz Mistry captures the voices of the teenage characters. The identity of Zodiac's gang remains a mystery for most of the novel but each character is still distinctly brought to life. The chapters which feature Gus and his team are no less compelling and I soon became completely invested in their lives. I loved seeing how supportive they are to one another, proving that family isn't always about blood ties. As much as I liked Gus, I must admit that Compo became a particular favourite, especially at the moments where his empathetic nature comes to the forefront.
It wouldn't be fair to write this review without mentioning its setting. Although Unseen Evil is a novel about the darker side of life in Bradford, there's an affectionate warmth to the descriptions of this vibrant, multicultural city. Of course there are tensions but Liz Mistry's love for her home town shines through the pages without ever becoming sentimental. Her authentic writing is truly a highlight throughout, whether in capturing a true picture of Bradford or in her exploration of issues which affect teens and young people, particularly regarding online and real life bullying, social pressures and mental health.
The gritty, cleverly constructed storyline and the fascinating, diverse cast of characters ensured that Unseen Evil is a treat from start to finish. I read the book in a day and immediately added the DI Gus McGuire series to my must-read list. Highly recommended.

Unseen Evil can be purchased from Amazon UK.

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author

Born in Scotland, Made in Bradford sums up Liz Mistry’s life. Over thirty years ago she moved from a small village in West Lothian to Yorkshire to get her teaching degree. Once here, Liz fell in love with three things; curries, the rich cultural diversity of the city … and her Indian husband (not necessarily in this order). Now thirty years, three children, two cats (Winky and Scumpy) and a huge extended family later, Liz uses her experiences of living and working in the inner city to flavour her writing. Her gritty crime fiction police procedural novels set in Bradford embrace the city she describes as ‘Warm, Rich and Fearless’ whilst exploring the darkness that lurks beneath.
Struggling with severe clinical depression and anxiety for a large number of years, Liz often includes mental health themes in her writing. She credits the MA in Creative Writing she took at Leeds Trinity University with helping her find a way of using her writing to navigate her ongoing mental health struggles. Being a debut novelist in her fifties was something Liz had only dreamed of and she counts herself lucky, whilst pinching herself regularly to make sure it’s all real. One of the nicest things about being a published author is chatting with and responding to readers’ feedback and Liz regularly does events at local libraries, universities, literature festivals and open mics. She also teaches creative writing too. Now, having nearly completed a PhD in Creative Writing focussing on ‘the absence of the teen voice in adult crime fiction’ and ‘why expansive narratives matter’,
Liz is chock full of ideas to continue writing.
In her spare time, Liz loves pub quizzes (although she admits to being rubbish at them), dancing (she does a mean jig to Proud Mary – her opinion, not ratified by her family), visiting the varied Yorkshire landscape, with Robin Hoods Bay being one of her favourite coastal destinations, listening to music, reading and blogging about all things crime fiction on her blog, The Crime Warp.
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  1. Thanks so much for being on the blog tour today and for the wonderful review x

  2. Wow, Just wow!. So glad you enjoyed it and that it read well as a standalone. You've made me a very happy bunny today. Thanks so much


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