Splinter in the Blood – Ashley Dyer


Splinter in the Blood was published on 1 March 2018 by Corsair and is available to buy here

Deceit, betrayal and tension abound in this chilling police procedural from dazzling new voice Ashley Dyer.

Sergeant Ruth Lake and DCI Greg Carver are on the hunt for a serial killer who carefully poses his victims and covers every inch of their bodies in intricate, cryptic tattoos. Dubbed the ‘Thorn Killer’, by the media, the killer uses a primitive and excruciatingly painful thorn method to etch his victims. After many months, a breakthrough feels imminent. Then the killer gets personal: the latest victim – a student found only a week earlier – is staged to look like Carver’s wife.

Pushed over the edge, Carver spirals into a self-destructive cycle of booze and risky sex. Now he lies near death, and the unreadable Lake stands over him with a gun. Did she shoot her boss? If not, why is she removing evidence from his apartment, faking the scene?

Ruth, too, is convinced that Carver is holding back; that he remembers more than he admits. Why is he lying? Does he know what she did? How can she hope to unravel the half-truths, hidden meanings, secrets and lies at the centre of this investigation when she herself has lied and lied?

Intrigued, the Thorn Killer watches their every move – all the while plotting the next. Can Carver and Lake pull together to catch him before he strikes again? Or will they be held captive by their own web of lies?

Utterly gripping, with a twisting plot that keeps you guessing until the end, SPLINTER IN THE BLOOD is an unforgettable read that will get under your skin

Also by the same author

The author has written under the name A. D. Garrett including:

Believe No One by A D Garrett

Everyone Lies by A D Garrett

Truth Will Out by A. D. Garrett

My thoughts

Like Doctor Who, acclaimed author Margaret Murphy has regenerated. This time, Murphy has joined up with Helen Pepper in a brand new series, under the pen name Ashley Dyer. For those of you who do not recognise the name Margaret Murphy, check out A. D. Garrett, her brilliant and compelling forensic crime series. It is exciting to read Splinter in the Blood, from such an accomplished and talented crime writer.

Splinter in the Blood follows the hunt for a serial killer. The Thorn Killer tortures and kills his victims, by slowly tattooing them with a thorn. There is a strong emphasis on the forensics, as you would expect from Margaret Murphy and the psychological. We get two rather quirky leads in DS Ruth Lake and her boss, DCI Greg Carver. They have rather a bizarre relationship. Both seem to have a problem with openness and honesty. The intriguing opening scenes set the tone for the whole story. We get Ruth Lake discovering Greg Carver has been shot and destroying crime scene evidence.

This was such a disturbing read, on a few levels. First of all, we don’t have a clear understanding of Ruth’s behaviour or can pinpoint her relationship with Carver for some time. Ruth is covering up the truth about what happened to him. She is lying to the Police. She seems to be working to her own agenda. We don’t know why. We also have a psychopath with a method of killing, that is something out of my nightmares.  The Thorn Killer couldn’t have chosen a more horrific way of slowly murdering someone. Death by tattoo. Blood poisoning. Heart failure. Extreme agony. It made me feel nauseous. Good show.

I adored every word. It was a breath of fresh air. I was totally hooked. I could imagine it all, playing out in my mind. Brilliant. Unmissable. Colourful.





About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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1 Response to Splinter in the Blood – Ashley Dyer

  1. I’m looking forward to reading this and seeing them talk at York Explore in April.

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