Double Review: DI Pereira & DS Bain Series by Douglas Lindsay

Cold CutsRevenge is a dish best served … sliced.

The new cold meat option in the sandwich shop isn’t chicken, and it isn’t pork. It’s Kevin Moyes, missing for two weeks, now presumed dead.

The Serious Crime Unit are notified, and the hunt for the macabre butcher takes detectives Aliya Pereira and Marc Bain to the meat-processing factory where the human flesh entered the food chain. They are followed by a media frenzy, with Pereira’s boss demanding immediate results. But while the factory is clean and no one is talking, some of the players have gone missing, people are still dying, and the butcher’s work is not yet done.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Purchase          My Rating: 4/5 stars

**MINI-REVIEW**

The Bottom Line:  I can’t say I devoured (HA! Pun intended!) this book, but I can say I appreciated the read.  Lindsay uses this novella-length read to introduce two new characters, DI Pereira and DS Bain, as they work a strange case involving dismembered human bits and cold cuts.  Because of the shortened length of the book, the case moves quickly yet not so quickly as to lose anything in the reading.  DI Pereira is by far the most senior of the police pairing so much of the background information revolves around her; while Pereira is interesting, I would have liked to have had more (an equal amount) information about DS Bain as he seems to be the far quirkier of the two.  As I neared the end of the book, I was absolutely certain of the identity of the big bad and I was partly correct.  That partial certainty is what had me upping my star rating and that upping didn’t come until the very last page!  Yes, Cold Cuts has a creepy surprise twist at the end that had me all shivery and wanting to sleep with the lights on 😊 In all, I would recommend this read, but not a top of the TBR read; it’s a good (not great) introduction to two new characters that need more time and space to grow.

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Judas Flower

The Necropolis, Glasgow. A man’s body, in the shadow of the city’s ancient cathedral, sits propped against a gravestone. Held upright by a length of rope around his neck, blood weeping from his eyes, killed by a small metal cross hammered into his skull, the blossom of the Judas tree in his hands.

The Judas Flower is the second book in a gripping and realistic new crime series featuring DI Aliya Pereira and DS Marc Bain. Set in a grim, rain-soaked Glasgow, Pereira & Bain find themselves mired in a toxic mix of money, religion and revenge, as they begin the search for the killer of Archie Wilson, recent lottery winner, keeper of secrets, and now ritualistic murder victim.

Review. Text on the string. Conceptual 3d image

Source: Netgalley          My Rating: 3/5 stars

Round two of the DI Pereira and DS Bain series has the two intrepid detectives hot on the heels of a sick killer with a penchant for symbolism.

As with so many things in life (and books!) the whole mess Pereira and Bain find themselves a part of started with a secret and whole mountain of money.  Archie Wilson won the lottery, and by won the lottery I mean life-changing, never have to worry about anything ever again kind of money.  That kind of money brings out the crazies, and one of those crazies had an ax to grind with Archie Wilson.  When Pereira and Bain get called to the scene, Archie Wilson has had a very bad night and finds himself all kinds of dead in a cemetery with a Judas flower in his hands and a metal cross pounded into his skull.

As they should, Pereira and Bain begin their inquiries by following the money, all the money.  What they discover is a long, winding path leading them to the Catholic Church and an ill-fated day many, many years ago that left a young boy dead and three others safe and sound all telling the same story about a horrible accident.  Trouble is, the story the survivors have been telling for so many years isn’t quite the truth, and the truth has a way revealing itself, eventually.  What’s more, Archie Wilson was one of three survivors and as Pereira and Bain quickly discover, this case isn’t about the money at all, but about the righting of a terrible wrong.

The Bottom Line: At the end of the first Pereira and Bain book, I asked for more time and space to develop the characters, to give me more full-bodied characters I could feel invested in and connected to.  That sort of happened here . . . . As the plot of the Judas Flower unfolds, there is a great deal more information about DI Pereira and very little, once again, about DS Bain.  This isn’t a terribly fast-paced book, but it doesn’t necessarily drag either.  There is just enough weirdness and twistiness to keep one turning pages, but not so totally absorbing that you can’t put the book down and sleep.  As you can clearly discern from my comments, I wasn’t at all blown away by this book, but I wasn’t completely disappointed either.  At the end of the day, I am sticking with the assessment I had of the first book: I will recommend this book, but not recommend it be added to the top of your TBR list.  If I come across a third book in this series, I’ll likely give it a shot, but I’m not going to go searching for that third book either.  Yeah, I’m completely on the fence 😊

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