The Raven’s Mark by Christie J Newport – Review.

About The Book

Meet Beth Fellows, a Preston detective haunted by her mum’s murder when she was only four. She’s a driven woman with a heart of gold.

A stranger came into our home, strangled my mother to death and left me sitting alone with her body. What happened to my mum is the driving force behind every major decision I’ve made since . . .

Now Beth faces the hardest case of her career: Rose Danes’s throat is cut, her body discarded on a council estate. Seared into the teenage girl’s skin is the image of a raven.

Six years ago, another girl was attacked. The victim, fourteen-year-old Celine Wilson, barely survived and was left brain-damaged in a coma.

THIS GIRL ALSO HAD A RAVEN BURNED ON HER BODY.

Why wait six years to strike again?

Then Beth receives a mobile phone from the killer — with a warning that he will hurt those closest to her if she tells anyone.

She’s talking to a dangerous predator but nobody knows. Not her team. Not her partner. No one.

If I’d known the personal cost of heading this investigation I would have walked away. No, I would have run as fast as I could and never looked back. Now, it’s far too late . . .

Beth must break all the rules to stop any more girls from suffering. But will her everything be enough to stop a sick murderer?

My Review

I first became aware of this novel when I saw a link to an article in my local newspaper. It’s not often where I read a book set where I live so I immediately looked closer and placed an online preorder. And then sat and waited impatiently.

It was well worth the wait, this is a gem!

Firstly, this was a team of detectives that I liked a lot. I could see how they were all affected by the death of a teenage girl, especially when they all felt guilt that there were a lot of similarities to a previous case where the culprit had never been found. Not just the frontline officers but the team working behind the scenes as well, the forensic investigators who often go unmentioned. All were unable to relax in their free time. I also really appreciated the closeness and their loyalty. None of them wanted to outshine their colleagues, they just wanted to stop a killer. 

Secondly, the storyline. The death of a young girl is always going to be upsetting and the author showed how raw the situation was. The way that Rose’s family and friends fell apart from grief, anger and guilt. It also had a huge impact on Beth, who also has to cope with selfish behaviour from her partner Yvette and worry over the safety of those close to her. 

And obviously, with it being a local book and author I enjoyed the setting. I did spend quite a bit of it trying to place the real Preston into a fictional setting but that was part of the fun. It wasn’t just the places, it was also the people. I felt that the author captured the true personality of Prestonians. 

A fantastic debut novel and I’m hoping that there will be a follow up.

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