Published 17 September 2009 by Sphere
A shocking double-murder scene greets Detective Inspector Philip Brennan when he is called to a flat in Colchester. Two women are viciously cut open and laying spreadeagled, one tied to the bed, one on the floor. The woman on the bed has had her stomach cut into and her unborn child is missing.
But this is the third time Phil and his team have seen such an atrocity. Two other pregnant women have been killed in this way and their babies taken from them. No-one can imagine what sort of person would want to commit such evil acts.
When psychologist Marina Esposito is brought in, Phil has to put aside his feelings about their shared past and get on with the job. But can they find the killer before another woman is targeted?
This book should come with a warning. You must have a strong stomach to cope with the subject matter.
The Surrogate is the first in the Brennan and Esposito series by Tania Carver. The story introduces Phil Brennan, a police officer who suffers from panic attacks and Marina Esposito, psychologist. They have a romantic history together. This is a brutal tale of pregnant women having their lives taken and their babies ripped from their bodies. Why would anyone be that desperate for a child, they would do that that to another person?Brennan’s team is investigating and Esposito is brought in to offer insight.
See why it could possibly be a bit gruesome? I think the deaths of mutilated pregnant women might deter a few readers. I found it a twisted and rather fascinating story. We can easily empathise that for pregnant Marina, this is rather a challenging case. The relationship between Brennan and Esposito was strangely rather worthy of my attention. They both seem to be wounded needy souls, drawn together. Esposito seems at times rather immature and deserving of a good talking to.
There actually worked for me as an introduction to the series. I thought it was an incredibly promising start, with two leads who are just getting established and have masses of issues. I have a strong stomach and no kittens were harmed, so I didn’t have a problem with the crime scenes. I loved the idea of a killer with a warm nurturing side, who wants to be a mother. We never think of mother-wannabes as killers.
Crime novels should unsettle you and this achieves 10/10 for that. I’m hugely looking forward to The Creeper, which is book two in the series.