Retriever Of Souls by Lorraine Mace #BookReview #BlogTour

The first title in a dark and gritty crime series.

Brought up believing that sex is the devil's work, a killer only finds release once he has saved his victim's souls. Abiding by his vision, he marks them as his. A gift to guide his chosen ones on the rightful path to redemption.

Detective Inspector Paolo Sterling is out to stop him, but Paolo has problems of his own. Hunting down the killer as the death toll rises, the lines soon blur between Paolo's personal and professional lives.

It’s my pleasure to be hosting the blog tour for Retriever Of Souls by Lorraine Mace today. Many thanks to the author, Headline Accent and Emma Welton from damppebbles blog tours for inviting me and for my digital copy of the novel. 

From the very first scene, it's clear that Retriever Of Souls isn’t the sort of book which is going to appeal to readers who don’t like reading graphic crime scenes; it’s brutal, explicit and shocking. However, this is a novel about a twisted serial killer who is driven to kill then defile his victims and so although there are sections which are particularly gruesome, these scenes do have a vitally important role as they reveal the very damaged mindset of the murderer.
DI Paulo Sterling is the police officer tasked with solving the case and it turns out to be far more personal than he would have expected. He has a particularly fractious relationship with local gangster, Frank Azzopardi and his solicitor, Matthew Roberts. He was at school with them both and it’s clear they have a long and troubled history. Paulo claims he hates Frank because he’s a violent criminal who uses people for his own gains and Matthew for defending Frank, making out he is the victim of injustice despite being fully aware of the sort of man he really is. There is obviously bad blood between them and it’s not surprising that Paulo’s new detective sergeant, Dave Johnson should question whether Paulo’s desire to secure a conviction for Azzopardi has a element of wanting to seek retribution as a result of something that happened when they were boys. 
With the exception of Paulo, the male characters are not a pleasant group of people. Retriever Of Souls has a slightly anachronistic feel compared to some crime fiction novels - female police officers are still referred to as WPCs and the attitude of many of the men is misogynistic, with more than one character guilty of violence towards women. It’s not just the public who have the dodgy attitudes either, Dave Johnson uses crime scenes to hit on the women also in attendance and describes one of his colleagues with a homophobic slur. However, this is probably a more realistic portrayal of what real life is really like for many people, where politically correct sensibilities are less in evidence.
While most of the story is centred on the investigation into who is viciously killing prostitutes, the scenes involving Paulo’s personal life add a fascinating dimension to the story, particularly with regards to his ex-wife, Lydia and teenage daughter, Katy. There are also really disturbing moments which provide an insight into the killer’s activities; they are horrific but also drop hints as to his identity - although the clever red herrings meant I was actually really surprised when the truth is finally revealed.
Retriever Of Souls is a fast-paced and engaging crime thriller which kept me guessing throughout. I thought DI Paulo Sterling was a strong protagonist whose tragic past and  complicated relationships ensure it will be intriguing to see how his character develops in the future.

Retriever Of Souls is published by Headline Accent and can be purchased from the following;
Amazon UK
Amazon US
Google Books

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

About the Author

Born and raised in South East London, Lorraine lived and worked in South Africa, on the Island of Gozo and in France before settling on the Costa del Sol in Spain. She lives with her partner in a traditional Spanish village inland from the coast and enjoys sampling the regional dishes and ever-changing tapas in the local bars. Her knowledge of Spanish is expanding. To stop her waistline from doing the same, she runs five times a week.

When not working on the D.I. Sterling series of crime novels, Lorraine is engaged in many writing-related activities. She is a columnist for both Writing Magazine and Writers’ Forum and is head judge for Writers’ Forum monthly fiction competitions.

A tutor for Writers Bureau, she also runs her own private critique and author mentoring service.


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