The Art of Death #bookreview April, 1st Monday Crime @DavyFennell @1stMondayCrime

First Monday Crime is back on Monday, 12th April 2021 at 19:30 p.m. UK time (it’s a week later due to the Bank Holiday) and we have another brilliant panel for you. I’m re-sharing my review of David Fennell’s fantastic, The Art of Death which I originally shared as part of the blog tour in February. David is one of the authors who will be appearing on the panel. I will have all the details at the end of this post.


Death is an art, and he is the master . . .

Three glass cabinets appear in London’s Trafalgar Square containing a gruesome art installation: the floating corpses of three homeless men. Shock turns to horror when it becomes clear that the bodies are real.

The cabinets are traced to @nonymous – an underground artist shrouded in mystery who makes a chilling promise: MORE WILL FOLLOW.

Eighteen years ago, Detective Inspector Grace Archer escaped a notorious serial killer. Now, she and her caustic DS, Harry Quinn, must hunt down another.

As more bodies appear at London landmarks and murders are livestreamed on social media, their search for @nonymous becomes a desperate race against time. But what Archer doesn’t know is that the killer is watching their every move – and he has his sights firmly set on her . . .

He is creating a masterpiece. And she will be the star of his show.


The Art of Death is a fantastic start to a new crime series, and David Fennell is a new crime writer to watch out for. This book utterly gripped me, and I read it really quickly. If you’re a fan of serial killer thrillers, then you need to read this book.

Grace Archer is a fascinating new detective on the crime fiction scene. In David Fennell’s first book, she faces a sadistic serial killer, and it becomes a race against time to catch him. He is a deranged individual who creates art out of his victims. He puts Grace’s entire team on edge when they discover his first victims, and they know he isn’t finished. He has already gained a following on social media, and he is keen to show more of his work. He also has a star victim in sight. I wanted to know if he would succeed in carrying out his plans, and I was rooting for the police to catch him.

The tension in this book never lets up. The chapters are short and snappy, and the dialogue keeps the pace flowing forward. There is tension on every page as Grace and her team race to find the killer and there are also chapters told from his point of view. We get to see how he chooses his victims, and it makes for terrifying, but utterly gripping reading as he carries out his plans. I found myself wanting to scream at the characters he was targeting. I wanted them to see him for who he really was.

I liked the team Grace worked with as well. There is a lot of wit in their conversation. You can see that they all get on with each other and I’m looking forward to seeing how their friendships develop in future books. We are aware that Grace has gone through something terrible in her past, but David Fennell doesn’t go into a lot of details regarding this. One part I really liked was Grace’s relationship with her grandfather, which makes her a really likeable character.

David Fennell certainly doesn’t shy away from gruesome details, and there are some quite graphic scenes. You get a real sense of how insane the killer is and how keen he is to carry out his crimes. The only way he is going to be stopped is if the police catch him first. As the novel drew closer to its conclusion, I was able to guess who the killer was, but I wanted to see how things were going to pan out.

The Art of Death is an exciting, gripping start to a new series, introducing a fresh new voice in the crime fiction market. I loved it, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Publisher: Zaffre

Publication date: 4th February 2021

Print length: 432 pages

The Art of Death is available to buy:

Amazon UK Kobo Waterstones

First Monday Crime is live on Facebook at 19.30 p.m. on Monday, 12th April 2021. We have David Fennell author of, The Art of Death, Sarah Pearse author of The Sanatorium, Matt Wesolowski author of Deity and David Baldacci author of A Gambling Man. You can access the event by clicking on the following link below. The panel is being moderated by Jacky Collins.

First Monday Crime

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse #bookreview #blogtour @SarahVPearse @TransworldBooks @annecater

I’m delighted to be joining the blog tour for The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse on my blog today. With thanks to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part.

The Sanatorium by [Sarah Pearse]



An imposing, isolated hotel, high up in the Swiss Alps, is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But she’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when she receives an invitation out of the blue to celebrate her estranged brother’s recent engagement, she has no choice but to accept.

Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge. Though it’s beautiful, something about the hotel, recently converted from an abandoned sanatorium, makes her nervous – as does her brother, Isaac.

And when they wake the following morning to discover his fiancée Laure has vanished without a trace, Elin’s unease grows. With the storm cutting off access to and from the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic.

But no-one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they’re all in . . .


The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse is one of the most chilling reads I’ve read. It is the perfect book to read in the winter months, maybe not one to take with you though, if you’re going on a skiing trip. The novel is set in an old sanatorium in Switzerland, recently converted into a luxury hotel. The guests who are arriving are among the first to try it out. But the plans for the hotel came under a lot of scrutiny from the locals. It took years to get the plans approved for the development to go ahead.

I absolutely loved the setting in this book. Sarah Pearse opens her novel with such a chilling prologue, which takes place five years before the main events. It is in an isolated location, and the route to the hotel is a dangerous one. I can remember one year going skiing when I was very young and having a bad experience driving to the hotel, which was almost impossible to find. One of the families who were with us nearly slid off the road. It still gives me chills thinking about that. This is what I was picturing as I read Sarah Pearse’s opening chapters.

It doesn’t get much more relaxing for the guests when they finally arrive at the hotel. They are there to celebrate the engagement of Isaac and Laure. Isaac’s sister, Elin, is a detective back in the UK. Already there is an uncomfortable atmosphere in the hotel. Some of the guests aren’t too happy with the thought of what the hotel used to be. Then Laure goes missing, which is completely out of character and unexpected. Would she really want to go off on her own when she is celebrating her engagement?

Because of the dangerous weather conditions, the Swiss Police are unable to reach them, and Elin offers to help out. However, as a UK police officer, she has no jurisdiction in Switzerland. This is when the tension begins to rise. I had suspicions about almost everyone in the book, and I really liked how Sarah Pearse wrapped everything up, concluding her story on another utterly chilling note.

The Sanatorium is a brilliant, atmospheric read which will keep you turning the pages. I couldn’t put it down, and I finished it in just two days. I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended.

Publisher: Transworld

Publication date: 4th February 2021

Print length: 391 pages

The Sanatorium is available to buy:

Amazon UK Waterstones


The Sanatarium BT Poster