Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Apostle Rising - Richard Godwin

Richard Godwin is a cracking writer as anyone who has come across his stories will already know. Earlier this year, he published his debut novel and it has been making waves both sides of the pond ever since. I was looking forward very much to reading it and I have to say, I wasn't disappointed.

What the publisher says
Detective Chief Inspector Frank Castle never caught the Woodlands Killer and it almost destroyed him. Now years later, mauled by the press, and traumatised by nightmares, he is faced with a copycat killer with detailed inside knowledge of the original case. He and his partner DI Jacki Stone enter a deadly labyrinth, and at its centre is the man Castle believes was responsible for the first killings. He's running a sinister cult and playing dark mind games with the police. The investigation has a shattering effect on the lives of Castle and Stone. The killer is crucifying politicians, and he keeps raising the stakes and slipping through their hands. Dark coded ritualistic killings are being carried out on high profile figures and the body count is rising. Castle employs a brilliant psychologist to help him solve the case, and he begins to dig into the killer's psyche. But some psychopaths are cleverer than others. 'Apostle Rising' is an extremely powerful Noir Crime story that contains a unique twist, timed to perfection by the author. It is a dark, layered narrative with detailed psychological profiling, and a chilling dimension of horror.

My two penn’orth
People are dying and Frank Castle, tainted and twisted by past failure, has a sinking sense of déjà vu. Jacki Stone, his partner, is drawn in by the copycat killer just as Castle was by the original case years ago. Both are struggling to maintain a grip on reality in the face of visceral horror and cruel psychological mind games.

Despite there being two serial killers at work, this is not just a ‘slasher’ novel. It is well researched, cleverly written, and very satisfying. It contains layers, mirrors and echoes and has at its end a twist that knocked the breath out of me.

The chapters in Apostle Rising are quite short and I found they pulled me into the story. I would read just one more, then just one more: once I got into the book, I didn’t want to put it down.

Apostle Rising is a dark, disturbing debut, without doubt one of the best books I’ve ever read. I recommend it to you wholeheartedly. And I very much hope there will be a sequel.

Apostle rising may be found here in the UK and here in the US.

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