Blood Rites by David Stuart Davies – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

1980s Yorkshire. DI Paul Snow has a personal demon. He is a homosexual but is desperate to keep it secret, knowing it would finish his career in the intolerant police force. As this personal drama unfolds, he is involved in investigating a series of violent murders in the town. All the victims appear to be chosen at random and appear to have no connection with each other. After the fourth murder, he is removed from the case for not finding the killer but continues investigating the matter privately. Gradually, Paul manages to determine a link between the murder victims, but this places his own life in great danger. Can Paul unmask the killer as he wrestles with his own demons?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

Blood Rites is the first book that I have read by David Stuart Davies. Set in Yorkshire in 1985 the lead character and investigating officer has a secret. He is homosexual but attitudes were different in the 1980s and if it became public he would be hounded out of the force. He has to solve a series of murders that have a link but he is struggling to prove it to his superior officers. All of the victims have done things that they shouldn’t have. A couple of them you don’t get to know but the ones you do are very unpleasant and their crimes are horrific. I think my heart broke over a couple of the people who suffered because of them. Thankfully there wasn’t too much focus on their actions.
I did have a lot of sympathy for Snow, I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the serving police force who had to keep their sexuality hidden. His pain, guilt and confusion over his private life was one of the stronger parts of the novel.
I couldn’t really tell that it was set in the 1980s. Apart from the attitudes and the mention of fixed telephone lines it could be set any time and any place. When the murderer was revealed it wasn’t a huge shock but the ending definitely was. Just a little different and very clever. I would be very interested to see what happens next.

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