The Trophy Taker [review]

The Trophy Taker

Title: The Trophy Taker
Author: Sarah Flint
Publisher: Aria

[Synopsis]

He keeps each floating in Formaldehyde to stop them from rotting. Each finger denotes a victim, tortured and butchered, their heart ripped out and discarded, replaced instead by symbols of their treachery. He sits alone admiring his trophies weekly; each and everyone of them guilty in his eyes. And now more must pay.

But who or what links the victims?

DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford is already investigating a series of escalating racist attacks and it now seems she has a vicious serial killer on her patch. With no leads and time running out, the team at Lambeth are at near breaking point.

Something has to give… and all the while he’s watching, waiting… and counting.

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[My Review]

This is the second book in the DC Charlotte Stafford series, and the first from the series that I’ve read.

I was really impressed by this novel – it had all the elements of police/ crime novels that I enjoy – great characters, a fast but not too fast paced storyline, and an ability to stay within the boundaries of ridiculousness. I often find with some novels in this genre, it strays a little too much in the high action/ drama and gets a bit stupid, but though this novel had some moments where I had to suspend my disbelief a little, it certainly didn’t ruin my enjoyment and I didn’t feel it was completely over the top, like many others.

Most of all, it has a great police lead character – and a female one at that! Charlotte Stafford is a likeable, caring and above all skilled detective who I enjoyed reading about throughout the novel.

The storyline is pretty gritty and shocking at times, both in terms of gore and horrific themes including racism and violent assaults. Sarah Flint writes very effectively to really get you behind the police force; I HATED with a passion one of the characters in particular (you’ll know which when you read it) so I was willing the police force to succeed and find him, as well as a few other nasty characters… The story moves along quickly and is fairly straightforward – hunting a killer and a violent attacker – and easily succeeded at keeping my attention. The narrative draws to a great conclusion with a few twists along the way.

To me, this is just a great police novel which anyone – maybe apart from people who like their crime really soft (isn’t that a bit of a contradiction?) is bound to enjoy. I now want to read the first in the series, Mummy’s Favourite, and compare!

[Rating: 4/5]

Have you read any of this series? If so what did you think?

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