Dying Breath #BookReview #BlogTour

The killer is closing in… can she find him before he finds her?
When Detective Nikki Parekh receives a set of threatening postcards, she knows it can only mean one thing… The man who escaped arrest after murdering her mother two years ago is back.
Each postcard has a similar message: You’re next Parekh.
As the post marks on the cards gradually get closer to Bradford, Nikki must do everything she can to protect her family and catch the killer before it’s too late.
But when human remains are found in a remote barn on the icy Yorkshire moors, Nikki’s attention is pulled away from her family. When a tattoo on the victim’s arm – the only means of identification – leads nowhere, the team have already met a dead end.

I'm delighted to be hosting the blog tour for Dying Breath today, many thanks to Liz Mistry, HQ Digital and Rachel Gilbey from Rachel's Random Resources for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel, received through Netgalley. 

A new Nikki Parekh book is always something to look forward to and Dying Breath, the fifth in the series is another dark, twisty read that kept me engrossed from start to finish. In many ways it feels as if this may be a crossroads novel and I'm intrigued to see what comes next. 
In the previous book, Blood Games, DS Nikki Parekh was in a bad way; she is much stronger here but is still an often tormented figure, weighed down by guilt, regret and her responsibilities to her family. There are many opinions as to what makes a good crime novel but as important as plot and pacing may be, I believe that it's the characters who really make the difference and Dying Breath is as reliably strong as ever with regards to the people – whether good, bad or downright evil – who populate its pages. Nikki is a sheer delight because she is completely believable and therefore so relatable. She is an ambitious, resolute woman but she is damaged by her past, scared, angry and often very funny – whether intentionally or otherwise. She is also a working mother whose family comes first and the interactions with her partner and children, most notably her eldest daughter, Charlie are warm, turbulent and entirely authentic. She knows her family are at risk from a twisted killer with a vengeful plan and is doing everything she can to protect them. However, the steps she has taken to try to ensure their safety leads to a different sort of conflict, resulting in one of the many fascinating subplots woven into this cleverly plotted thriller.
There's a growing sense of foreboding throughout the novel and the chapters which follow her nemesis are particularly chilling. He leaves her a terrifying message which leaves her in no doubt of the danger they are all in and the tension is ratcheted up still further with the gritty, brutal case Nikki and her team are investigating. The sense of place is always a highlight of this series but the action moves away from the city of Bradford in Dying Breath as Liz Mistry makes full use of the remote Yorkshire moors. The icy weather and sense of isolation really adds to the bleak atmosphere which permeates throughout the whole book. The investigation is almost too horrible to even contemplate and although most of the violence happens off the page, readers are left in no doubt as to the terrible suffering inflicted on the victims. 
There are very few leads to follow and it's vividly clear just how frustrating it is to work a case with so little to go on, especially as the escalating danger Nikki and her family are in threatens to distract her from her work and to engulf her once again in darkness. The switching viewpoints follow Nikki, the killer on her trail, Jacko, a man out of his depth and horrified by what he has become a part of, and an unnamed young man who is in a piteous state and seems likely to face something even worse than the torture he has already been subjected to, and it's a real rollercoaster ride of fear and emotion. Eventually all the strands of this cleverly plotted novel are brought together and the pulse-racing climactic scenes are the stuff of nightmares. 
Change is an ongoing theme throughout Dying Breath and as I said at the start of this review, it does feel as if we have reached a pivotal point in the series. What doesn't change, however, is that Liz Mistry writes compelling thrillers that explore the darkest recesses of humanity but still imbues her books with insightful compassion and a generous helping of humour. Dying Breath is no exception, I thoroughly recommend it. 

Dying Breath is published by HQ Digital, purchasing links can be found here

Follow 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 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.  Liz has completed a PhD in Creative Writing on Diverse voices in crime fiction
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.  


  1. Thanks so much for being part of the blog tour. I absolutely loved your review. xx


Post a Comment