This is a very densely packed crime thriller with many twists and turns. Helen writes well but has struck a difficulty in introducing a new series with new characters and as well starting with a big bang story. There was just too much going on and dragged the story back. Hence the reduced mark.
There wasn't a lot of subtlety in this book. DCI King has lots of problems including a failed marriage, a long term love interest in the major crime figure, and an ex husband living next door. She fits the fiery red head stereotype a bit too well. The rest of the characters become one dimensional in face of this emotional roller coaster which is as tiresome for the reader as for Rachel herself..
There is a family connection from the start and Helen hits you over the head with it and red herrings. I was puzzled not by the family connection but the apparent age of the killer and the ultimate victim. As with a lot of this book there little unintentional issues of logic which were frustrating.
Perhaps Helen should have put her pencil down for a little while so her story could reset to a more modest but better constructed beginning of a new series. I will have to see where DCI King goes in her next book.
Much as I enjoyed this new series I found it full to overflowing with far too much information about our leading lady. I wondered if the murder was made to fit around Rachel's life so we were introduced to all the complications she is to deal with in the future while being a good DCI in the following books. I am hoping that future books will calm down a bit and we will be more involved with the mystery rather than her family.
I have to agree with the reviewer 'Peter the constant reader'. I am anotheravid reader but found this plot by Helen a little erratic. I will stick by her although i found the lead DCI King draining. She the type of character I hope grows on you like Greco from a previous series, another hero I really struggled to like.