Her Last Breath by Alison Belsham #bookreview @AlisonBelsham

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on the second book in one of my favourite new crime series by Alison Belsham, Her Last Breath.

Her Last Breath: The new crime thriller from the international bestseller by [Belsham, Alison]

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The body count is rising…and the clock is ticking.

When a young woman is attacked and left fighting to survive in hospital, the police are pulled into a race against time to save her life. But just 24 hours later, she dies and a deadly tattoo is discovered on her body.

And when another young woman disappears, Detective Francis Sullivan and his team fear a serial killer walks the streets of Brighton.

His team identify a suspect, Alex Mullins, son of Francis’s lover, Marni. Can Francis forget their shared past and save the next victim before it is too late?

MY THOUGHTS

I really like the characters in this series. When I read Alison Belsham’s debut novel, The Tattoo Thief, I thought it was one of the most original crime novels I’d read in a long time. When I read her last book, it made me think that I would definitely never get a tattoo. It was such a chilling read, and she has done it again with her second book, Her Last Breath. I did wonder how Alison was going to carry this series on, and she has created an absolute belter.

There are some particularly gruesome scenes in this book, and once again Alison has created a terrifying serial killer who is terrorising the streets of Brighton. Tattoo artist Marni Mullins is once again at the centre of this new investigation. When her son’s girlfriend is attacked, he is put firmly in the spotlight of the police probe leaving Marni exasperated. She desperately seeks her friend’s help, Detective Francis Sullivan, who is in charge of the case. But suspicions raise when more people who Alex is acquainted with are attacked and especially when the attacks turn to murder.

This is a really tense read. I really felt Marni’s exasperation as she tried to clear her son’s name of any involvement in the attacks. It did make me feel angry as well when some of the detectives on the case seemed utterly convinced right from the start that he was responsible, even though there was little evidence to support their claims. It did make me wonder how Marni was going to get her son out of it.

You really do get the sense of a race against time as the police try to find the person responsible for the crimes before they strike again. Alison Belsham kept me turning the pages as the book reached its conclusion. I literally could not put it down.

Her Last Breath is a really gripping and an intense read. I can’t wait to read the next book.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 19th September 2019 (kindle) 6th February 2020 (paperback)

Print length: 416 pages

If you would like to purchase Her Last Breath, you can do so by clicking on one of the following links below. 

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The Tattoo Thief by Alison Belsham blog tour @AlisonBelsham @Trapeze Books

Source: Own copy

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A policeman on his first murder case
A tattoo artist with a deadly secret
And a twisted serial killer sharpening his blades to kill again…

When Brighton tattoo artist Marni Mullins discovers a flayed body, newly-promoted DI Francis Sullivan needs her help. There’s a serial killer at large, slicing tattoos from his victims’ bodies while they’re still alive. Marni knows the tattooing world like the back of her hand, but has her own reasons to distrust the police. So when she identifies the killer’s next target, will she tell Sullivan or go after the Tattoo Thief alone?

MY THOUGHTS

Alison Belsham has created a belter of a crime thriller in her debut novel The Tattoo Thief. I can see why her pitch was the winner of the Bloody Scotland pitch perfect event a couple of years ago. Personally, I have never been interested in getting a tattoo, and after reading Alison’s novel, I think I definitely won’t be getting one. This is a chilling, serial killer thriller!

The Tattoo Thief is very dark. The novel is set in Brighton, and it delves into the heart of the tattooing industry which for me gave the book a very unique feel. I don’t know anything at all about tattooing, but Alison had me captivated, and I could see the fascination that she has for this subject which was very well researched. It’ll be interesting to see how she will take this series further.

Alison’s protagonist, Marni Mullins was a brilliant lead to follow. From the moment she discovers the mutilated corpse of a man, not far from the tattooing convention she is attending, I wanted to follow her journey and see just how involved she was going to get in this case. I wanted to know who was behind the brutal and horrifying attacks that were taking place and what reasons they had for doing this. Alison keeps us in the dark about Marni’s past but reveals more as the novel progresses. We know that she doesn’t like dealing with the police, but we don’t know why, and there was a strong sense of foreboding that Marni was going to become much more involved in this mystery than she would like to.

The detective working on the case is Detective Inspector Frank Sullivan. Frank has recently been promoted, so he is faced with the added pressure of having to get results as quickly as possible. His boss makes it very plain that Frank has to solve this case soon or risk throwing the rest of his career away, his boss isn’t the most pleasant of characters, and I didn’t like his handling of the case. I really liked Frank, he is a character that I very easily warmed to; I think this was probably due to the fact that he goes through quite a rough time with this investigation. The team he works with doesn’t appear to be strong and supportive. But he is determined to see the case through, even if it means risking his career.

The killer in this book is terrifying. Some of the scenes are told from the killer’s perspective, and I found it genuinely scary as Alison gets inside their head. You strongly get the sense that this is a messed up individual who will fight to the end to get what they want. There was a twist towards the end that took me by surprise, and it was a jaw-dropping moment of realisation. There was so much tension in those final scenes; I couldn’t see how it was going to play out.

I think all I can say now – if you love your crime fiction – is that you definitely need to go and grab yourself a copy, especially if you like your fiction dark and gory. The Tattoo Thief is clever and very well written, and it has a very strong hook that will keep you intrigued.

Thank you to Tracy Fenton for inviting me to join the blog tour.

Publisher: Trapeze

Publication date: 20th September 2018

Print length: 384 pages

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