Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Bad Moon Rising - Frances di Plino

'He marked them only to save them, not for his own pleasure.'

Detective Inspector Paolo Storey is on the trail of a killer. As we meet him he is 'mad at the world in general, and justice in particular.' Several women's bodies are found on his patch and he is trying to piece together any clues to the killer's identity, but there is little left behind. His new partner, DS Dave Johnson, seems to have somewhat outdated attitudes to women and Storey tries to get a handle on this. We are also introduced to local Maltese criminal Frank Azzopardi, and the solicitor representing him, Matthew Roberts. Paolo is familiar with them both from schooldays together.

Meanwhile the DI has problems away from work; his daughter Katy, who lives with his ex-wife Lydia, is becoming troublesome at her Catholic school where she has begun to question the beliefs they are teaching there, and also Storey has history with Dr Barbara Royston, the forensic pathologist working on the bodies found. 

Then we have the killer. A flashback to his childhood gives us an insight into how his troubled mind, and his own particular twisted reasoning for his crimes, has come about through strange practices at the hands of his mother. In his distorted beliefs, sex with the living is a sin, and he feels he is saving the souls of the prostitutes he abuses and kills, thinking he is carrying out the Lord's work; 'he could punish those he caught and deliver their souls to God wiped clean of sin.' Slowly, more of his actions and behaviour is revealed to us throughout the novel. 

This is a very dark psychological crime thriller that grabbed hold of me right from the very first page with an arresting opening scene and kept me totally gripped throughout. I never wanted to put it down for long, as the story flows so well and kept my interest piqued. It cleverly keeps you guessing as to the identity of the perpertrator for most of the novel. It's compelling and very well written, and anyone who enjoys a good crime novel should find this thriller an absorbing read.

Paolo Storey is a complex and engaging lead character, with an awful lot to deal with. I also liked the rest of the cast of characters and found the relationships to be developed and believable. I sincerely hope there will be another novel featuring Paolo and this cast of characters. I would love to catch up with them again.

Published by Crooked {Cat} Publishing and available to buy now as an e-book.

You can follow the author (Lorraine Mace writing as Frances di Plino) on twitter @francesdiplino and visit her website here.

Thank you very much to the publisher for asking me to read and review this novel.


  1. Thank you for the review, Lindsay. It convinced me to buy! :) x

    1. I really hope you find it a good read too Sheryl! Thanks! x


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