Published 12 September 2013 by Sphere
From the outside, the house was unremarkable. Just one of many on an ordinary, suburban estate. But inside was a different matter. With pink ribbons and pink walls, stuffed toy animals everywhere and a dining table laid out for a tea party, it was a doll’s house. The doll was sitting at the table. Life size, with blonde, pigtailed hair and rosy red cheeks, dressed in her best pink party dress. Her finger and thumb curled round the handle of a fine china teacup. An adult woman. Covered in blood. Eviscerated. Dead. In all his years on the force, DI Phil Brennan of the Major Incident Squad has never encountered a scene like it. As he investigates he uncovers more bizarre revelations and realises that he must act fast; the next murder has already been planned and the victim is close to home …
I am now at the fifth of the Brennan/Esposito series by Tania Carver. It is exactly what I want in a creepy slightly unnerving thriller. This series has reached the point, where I am totally and utterly impressed.
Brennan and Esposito, plus their daughter, have moved to Birmingham, to escape the bad memories of earlier in the year. Brennan has a new department in the local police to acclimatise to and Esposito is working for Birmingham University, as a Psychology lecturer. Brennan gets a new horrific case to work on. A woman has been found dead, dressed as a doll and arranged in a tableau. It becomes more horrific, when the full details are revealed. Esposito has some trying times, as she adjusts to her new job and new colleagues.
It is such a great idea to take Brennan and Esposito to new territory. It completely refreshes the series and adds new faces. I approve. In fact this would be a perfect place for new fans to find the series. Marina Esposito goes through a hard time (can’t say more than that- spoilers) and this leads her to become increasingly isolated from her husband. As a psychologist, I would have assumed Marina would have told Phil. I didn’t feel it was an inconsistency, more a reveal about Marina and how she deals with trauma.
Overall this has a weird and very contemporary feel about it. I loved it.