Source: Review Copy
A UNEXPLAINED DEATH
The discovery of a horribly mutilated corpse launches FBI Agent Rose Blake into a puzzling investigation. The victim was alone at home with no signs of forced entry. Who – or what – burnt him to death?
THE GAME BEGINS
Strips of rubber melted to the body emerge as evidence that the victim was wearing The Skin, an innovation that takes users deep into the virtual world.
ESCAPE OR DIE…
When a body with identical wounds is discovered, Rose realises that in the darkest corners of the Dark Web, a brutal killer is playing a deadly game. A game with no rules – and no mercy. To stop it, Rose must play too…
Playing With Death is a very different serial killer thriller. The novel opens with a bang. FBI Agent Rose Blake is undercover as she tries to nail the suspect that has been in the sights of the FBI for the murders of several young women, the scene is set straight away. It is devastating for Rose and her team when he slips the net and they are back to square one. Rose soon begins to realise that the killer is seeking revenge on her and this is where the tension really builds. I was hooked from the opening pages and I flew through it. It is very well written and the writing draws you in without effort.
What I loved about this book was that it felt very fresh. It is always hard, I think, to really stand out in this genre but the authors have managed to do just that with this book and they explore some interesting ideas and themes. Although the technology that is used in the plot doesn’t exist, it didn’t feel far-fetched at all and it doesn’t feel very far off in the future. That in itself is quite a scary thought.
What Simon and Lee explore here is the damaging effect that technology can have on the human race. This is particularly the case on young people and also on our ability to connect with the outside world and distinguish what is real and what is a simulation. They make very poignant remarks about education levels dropping as we become more wrapped up in the online world. It is a scary thought but I think it will, unfortunately become a reality. Is it something that we should cut back on? This is another topic also explored in the book and I think I personally would agree.
Because of the technology that Simon Scarrow and Lee Francis have created, the investigation takes a different turn and the FBI have to adapt and explore new techniques. It is a book that does blend with science fiction and it was these parts of the novel that I found interesting and exciting as we are outside the realms of possibility. The serial killer is always lingering in the background of the book, you’re never quite sure if the recent crimes being committed are his work or if they are the work of someone else.
This was a very clever thriller and it is certainly a page turner that will keep you reading well into the night. It will also make you wary as to what is to come in the future. Playing With Death is thought-provoking and gripping. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the blog tour and to the publisher who provided me with a copy of the book to review.
Publication date: 26th July 2018
Print length: 464 pages
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