Daily Archives: May 31, 2012

Crossbones Yard by Kate Rhodes

Out on 7th June from Mulholland Books

Ray and Marie Benson killed 13 women before they were caught, tried and imprisoned. Five of their victims were never found.

Six years later, psychologist Alice Quentin discovers a woman’s body on the waste ground at Crossbones Yard. The wounds are horrifyingly similar to the Bensons’ signature style. But who would want to copy their crimes?

When Alice is called in to consult, her first instinct is to say no. She wants to focus on treating her patients, not analysing the mind of a murderer.

But the body at Crossbones Yard is just the start, and the killer may already be closer than Alice knows.

As the first debut UK author to be added to the excellent Mulholland Books imprint from Hodder, Kate Rhodes is in fine company and more than proves she’s up to the mark in this first novel.

With a wonderful and endearing central character in the form of psychologist Alice Quentin, a cast of interesting and unique characters as her supporting cast and areas of London you probably never knew existed playing great supporting role as addition characters along the way, Crossbones Yard is a great way to launch a crime fiction career.

Alice’s life is a bit of a mess, she already has her drug-addled brother, Will, to intend with, living as he does in a van on the street outside her home, and the memories and mental scars of a violent father in their past, and all this is before she stumbles upon a dead prostitute at Crossbones Yard. The location would have been a great piece of fiction, but sadly it’s a real place and you can see photos and comments about a tour Kate had for her book here.

Asked by the police to create a profile of the killer and to see if what they have is a copycat of the Benson crimes, Alice finds herself torn between the case and her rapidly unravelling own life.

With all the trappings of great contemporary crime fiction, a potential serial killer at large (in the form of the haunting Morris Cley, recently released from prison), great police procedural work from DCI Burns and Detective Alvarez (who provides Alice with hope of romance) and interviewing past serial killers to seek clues into current crimes, Crossbones Yard has all you could want and wish for.

Atmosphere, pace, character and brooding tension – all in spades.

Highly recommended.

You can order the book here.

And you can meet Kate Rhodes at Harrogate this July.

Keith

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